First South West and Wales discussion

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by Ivo, 27 Feb 2012.

  1. anthony263

    anthony263 Established Member

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    IVO I know 1 or 2 drivers with Stagecoach who always keep me up to date with the latest gossip they here from the management.

    Stagecoach were looking at extending at least 1 trip per hour on their Pontypridd - Aberdare service down to Swansea where it should compete against First cymru's X5 Glyneath - Neath - Swansea service. I am expecting a bit of a bus war to start up around the Cardiff & Rhondda area's soon. Stagecoach have lost a lot of contracts in the Newport/Chepstow area's to Newport bus who inccidently are a very good operator and are looking at expanding.

    There was talk of newport bus running a Chepstow - Swansea bus service not sure what I make of that although their scania's are lovely to travel on.

    The problem with Bristol is that the frequencies on a lot of routes are so high that it will be nearly impossible for another operator to compete, I heard Stagecoach did look at launching a competitive network of services in & around Bristol but it seemed to be dropped.

    If they had decided to do so I would have been appyling to work for them.
     
  2. Ivo

    Ivo Established Member

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    I know a couple of drivers here too, and one of the few things First do here that I like is that they give the drivers consistent shifts. (For me, this means the 16:30 on Wednesdays from the centre on my way back to Uni after my School Placement.)

    Bristol is effectively a no-go zone for other operators. Wessex have won most of the contracts in the area, both from the Councils and Universities, but otherwise their network in Bristol is almost nonexistant. Otherwise, there is almost nothing. As such, I can't see where Stagecoach would fit in - unless they promise better reliability than First, in which case I'll happily switch allegiance! :lol:

    I have to say though, there are some areas that they don't serve particularly effectively. Avonmouth, Shirehampton, Sea Mills and others have just one operation between them, the 40/41, and they tend to use the older ALX400s; worse still, if something goes wrong and there are insufficient ddeckers for the service, they lose out first. There might be an opportunity out that way...

    Chepstow to Swansea is a long way :lol:

    Speaking of Newport Bus, how do they apply for internal Newport contracts? How are the council supposed to give everyone an equal chance?
     
  3. Blindtraveler

    Blindtraveler Established Member

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    Nowhere near enough to a Pacer :(
    FYI glasgows artics are ok and are used to doing a bit of speed. If your short of deckers I hear mutterings that Scotland East are getting replacements for some shagged out olies, new in 98. Want some?
     
  4. Ivo

    Ivo Established Member

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    Please :p

    They'll probably be sold :(
     
  5. Schnellzug

    Schnellzug Established Member

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    Hmm, they usually seem to be about every 15 minutes in practise, thanks to factors like motorcycling Santas and other causes of congestion.
    True, there are lots of Buses in to town from opposite TM, but going the other way it's not so easy unless you happen to know offhand which ones do go past TM, and they go from all different stops around Broadmead, and you can chase around looking for which stop they go from. That's what I tend to find, anyway.
     
  6. Blindtraveler

    Blindtraveler Established Member

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    Nowhere near enough to a Pacer :(


    pitty anyone who actually buys them - good buses but theyve been worked hard and often not very well looked after.
     
  7. Ivo

    Ivo Established Member

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    One of the problems with the 8 and 9 though is that as with all other City services they don't serve the bus station. The only frequent routes between it and Temple Meads are the Airport Flyer (which doesn't count) and the X39 (which is busy anyway). Similarly, the 8 and 9 might be advertised as terminating at Temple Meads - but many others are shown as running via Temple Meads, given they stop on Temple Gate anyway.

    What they really need are new vehicles with special advertising for the routes and their tourist potential (allowing for the Zoo and Clifton suspension Bridge). Oh wait - they tried that, albeit without the tourism angle, and then aborted it. Now the routes don't have any branding at all; their Darts are in Bath and others and their Volvos are on the 70. Now they are just another City route that just happens to run on to Temple Meads forecourt.

    The other issue is that by the tme you have walked from the platform to the 8/9 stop, it's only 100m or so (and some traffic lights) to the Temple Gate stops, so there's no real gain in deliberately using the 8 and 9 to get into the centre. As you say, from the centre is a different story, but you have to remember that the 8 and 9 also only stop at selected locations. Most groups of stops have at least one route to Temple Meads, even if this means walking up from the A4...

    Apparently we can expect new 12-reg buses in April! (My source doesn't know what exactly though.)

    I expect they will be new Eclipses for the X39, as part of the Travel+ scheme.
     
    Last edited: 28 Feb 2012
  8. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Perhaps he is a little out of touch, or out of date!

    I've sometimes been asked for more than the day ticket would cost, but usually I am offered the day ticket option. When the former happens, I always say that I'll have a day ticket instead, but visitors like Ivo may not be aware of the various fare options, and get overcharged, if my experiences are anything to go by.

    My contact on Sunday also mentioned the withdrawal of evening services from April 15th, but only on Sundays. It seems he might be very out of touch if it is every day!
     
  9. Ivo

    Ivo Established Member

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    More news from my source indicates that I had better get used to walking. We are set to lose our Sunday service during holiday periods! Now, this does make sense, because they probably get about three journeys all day - but I wish he hadn't told me when I had a foot injury :(

    Or they could put the rattleboxes from Taunton on the SPA route :lol: Speaking of which, they are still running; one was out today.

    That is an embarrassing thought :oops: Sometimes they just like to make a quick buck without thought for Customer Service! This driver is the sort of driver that hates his job and may as well work as a traffic warden...
     
  10. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I think it may be more to do with being on 'autopilot' - just put the destination into the machine and recite whatever comes up without thinking. I suffered from this syndroem once or twice ont he railway, your mind just goes to sleep...
     
  11. 83G/84D

    83G/84D Established Member

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    What new vehicles have D&C had because I haven't seen them?! The P&R Enviro's at Plymouth are several years old but about the newest vehicles and they seem to be heading elsewhere. Rest of D&C fleet is mostly really ancient Olympians,Dart's and Trident's.
    Only other relatively new vehicles are the Manchester cast-off Volvo's and a handful of Optare's.
     
  12. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I found an email update in work today stating that no First Cymru buses will run on Sundays after 1900. Thankfully I can catch the train for my occasional Sunday evening beer in Swansea, but sadly I will be by myself because the firends I meet are reliant on the bus!
     
  13. anthony263

    anthony263 Established Member

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    It appears some of the routes are operated under contract to Swansea council after 19:00 on Sundays and they have withdrawn the subsidy in order to safegaurd other daytime routes such as the gower explorer network.

    If afres were not so high perhaps some routes could be operated commercially until at least 22:00 on sunday evenings especially some routes to like Blaen-Y-Maes
     
  14. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes, that's what I heard - local authority cutbacks again!

    I agree about the fares. I would have thought that the Blaenymaes route and the Morriston and Mumbles corridors might support a Sunday evening service. Taxi's should see a rise in business though!
     
  15. anthony263

    anthony263 Established Member

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    Greenback you should see how first are struggling in Neath, a lot of services have been cut back. Of Course South Wales Transport are benefiting from the extra passengers the same with Select Coaches.
     
  16. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    There was a South Wales Transport bus down at the bus museum last Sunday. It seemed to be brand new (my knowledge of modern buses is extremely limited!) and had a timetable display at the doors. We didn;t have time to go and have a close look, but it seems that SWT are on the rise!
     
  17. Schnellzug

    Schnellzug Established Member

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    I thought SWT* were taken over by First years ago. I suppose this is some new concern, is it? So don't First have the rights to the name?

    *South Wales Transport, not South West Trains

    ** Although thinking of it, I have seen one or two Darts around from an outfit called Crosville Motor Services.
     
  18. anthony263

    anthony263 Established Member

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    SWT and Brewers were taken over by the Badgerline group who the merged with some other group to form First Bus.

    The new company is called SWT(Neath) legally although their buses do have South Wales transport on them.

    See their website:

    http://www.southwalestransport.com/

    I did read the manager who runs SWT wasn't too sure if First owed the rights to the original SWT livery which didn't look to be the case although I don't think they wanted to risk a legal challenge from First so they just used the currrent livery.

    SWT have risen to the challenge against First around the Neath area and against the odd's are winning especially on the Neath - Cimla route which First are cutting to every 30 minutes using just 1 bus while SWT still have a bus every 15 minutes using 2 buses.

    Another operator called Select coaches have also recently started up and are launching more routes in Neath & Swansea. First are taking a battering from Stagecoach & Edwards coaches in their Bridgend - Talbot Green - Pontypridd & Cardiff - Beddau routes. In fact First have withdrawn their Cardiff - Beddau route only 3-4 months after launching it.
     
  19. DaveHarries

    DaveHarries Established Member

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    Assuming you are correct for this (I don't know either way) then what is coming will most likely be:

    - B7RLE / Wright Eclipse 2 for the X39 (Bristol - Bath)
    - B9TL / Wright Gemini 2 for the X1 (Bristol - Weston-s-Mare)

    It was recently reported in a newspaper here in Bristol (the "Metro" paper, 3rd week of February IIRC) that the X1 was to see an increase in frequency to every 20 minutes. In addition the 352 will see a change of route in Milton and will also no longer serve Yatton Village. Journeys from Yatton to Weston will be available on Service 125 (see below).

    Other changes are also due in the area of Weston-s-Mare are due following the retendering exercise by North Somerset CC: details can be found at http://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/NR/rdo...6/0/SupportedBusServicesSummaryWeb_201202.pdf so see what you make of that lot. Some interesting stuff there IMO.

    One interesting side, not given on the NSC website, is that Service X25 is to be withdrawn between Weston-s-Mare and Portishead. Over this section a new Service 125 will operate which will also serve Congresbury and Yatton. The section between Portishead and Cribbs Causeway will continue to be known as the X25. Yatton will regain a bus link to Cribbs Causeway for the first time since the closure of Bridge Valley Road, Bristol forced the withdrawl of Service 600 by NSC.

    Dave
     
    Last edited: 4 Mar 2012
  20. Sun!

    Sun! Member

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    First really seem to be struggling in South Wales at the moment.

    I have heared rumours from a friend last night that Stagecoach were considering reintroducing a service from Merthyr/ Aberdare to Swansea through Glyneath and Neath in order to compete with First as they smell blood. They are also considering stepping up operations in Pontypridd to compete with First as well as the few independents that operate there.

    Conversely with the cut in BSOG some Stagecoach services in their valleys heartlands will be cut or reduced.
     

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