First South West and Wales discussion

Schnellzug

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i think Ugh is a fair description. Not content with the "Barbie" name, they seem determined to make them as bland as they possibly can.

Did you know, incidentally, that according to one thing I read one time they chose the turquoise colour for interior trim because it would appeal to women. Condescending much?
 
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Ivo

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i think Ugh is a fair description. Not content with the "Barbie" name, they seem determined to make them as bland as they possibly can.
I was going to criticise the livery - it looks awful on E400s (there you go!) - but you've beaten me to it :p But if those are supposed to be for the Olympic shuttle, doesn't the word "Shuttle" need to be more prominent? At least with settlement names it's clear what their purpose is.

Did you know, incidentally, that according to one thing I read one time they chose the turquoise colour for interior trim because it would appeal to women. Condescending much?
I've thought that before now, but can't find anything easily available on the Internet. Hardly a surprise considering the choice PINK/MAGENTA and PURPLE in the corporate colour scheme :roll:
 

bignosemac

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The day ticket is indeed £6, which is pretty steep - but it is far better value than our £4.10 off-peak fare (on account of the size of Bristol's network).
The day ticket is £6 for zones 1,2 & 3. For most folk though £4 for zones 1 & 2 will suffice.

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...
Whilst I assume you are referring to First not serving those parts of North Bristol particularly well, there are other bus routes in those areas operated by Wessex. There's the 501/502 from Avonmouth/Shirehampton to Filton Abbey Wood/UWE/Frenchay via Bristol Parkway. The 508 from Sea Mills to Southmead. Also for parts of Shirehampton and Sea Mills there's the 902 Portway Park and Ride.
 

Ivo

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And it looks worse from the back! Certainly suits the squarer Gemini rear more
If those shape things either side of the eponymous "f" weren't there the rear would be one solid colour which doesn't look too bad.

Whilst I assume you are referring to First not serving those parts of North Bristol particularly well, there are other bus routes in those areas operated by Wessex. There's the 501/502 from Avonmouth/Shirehampton to Filton Abbey Wood/UWE/Frenchay via Bristol Parkway. The 508 from Sea Mills to Southmead. Also for parts of Shirehampton and Sea Mills there's the 902 Portway Park and Ride.
You are right to assume that. No doubting that. But the service provided by First is far superior to the Wessex lot, with the exception of the areas within range of the 902. Most of the 5xx routes are run by MPDs...
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
A little thought, if I may.

Bath and Weston charge 20p for the purchase of one of their First timetable books.

Does any other First subsidiary charge for these things? If the likes of Southampton do it for free, why not the Avon lot - and in the case of Bristol, why can't they do one AT ALL? It wouldn't be that big!
 

tbtc

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A little thought, if I may.

Bath and Weston charge 20p for the purchase of one of their First timetable books.

Does any other First subsidiary charge for these things? If the likes of Southampton do it for free, why not the Avon lot - and in the case of Bristol, why can't they do one AT ALL? It wouldn't be that big!
First SY don't even produce timetables - how I'd love to be able to buy a 20p book (rather than rely on our PTE's attempts at corporate branding...)
 

Ivo

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Relating also to my S&A meeting thread, I have had a look at the finalised SPA1 timetables for April - and have noticed that some of my suggestions have been accepted! They aren't careless and useless after all! :lol:

The main note is that I had suggested revising the frequency used on Saturdays and during holidays to a matching 45 (instead of the current 60 on Saturdays and 60 on both SPA1 and SPA2 during holidays). Although they haven't actually done it exactly, they have revised the timetables to run on a 40 frequency, which basically matches my suggestion but at a marginally better frequency! All that work has paid off!

Allowing for finally receiving my compensation today as well, I think I can safely say that 23/03/2012 will go down in history as a victory for me over First Somerset & Avon! :p A good day all-round.

All we need now is for April 23rd to roll on (when the term time service will run for the first time) and show that my suggestions are as good as I think they are. They haven't taken on my suggestion of breaking up the main service, but the way things have been over the last month or so - i.e. since the suggestion was made - it's probably a good thing. I just wonder if anyone here will actually notice (or care?) that I had a lot of influence over this! :D

Anyone here who is looking at attending Bath Spa University in the future - you can thank me for this when your time arrives. By contrast, what about the other lot (including among others our very own Welsh Bluebird)? Well... they got a reduction in peak-time service. If they are unhappy with this (which wouldn't surprise me) I should get them to pay me to do the same work for them :lol:
 

bignosemac

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Does any other First subsidiary charge for these things? If the likes of Southampton do it for free, why not the Avon lot - and in the case of Bristol, why can't they do one AT ALL? It wouldn't be that big!
You know what? They used to. Well, back in the days around the time of the changeover from First Cityline and First Badgerline to just plain First....

30p for a comprehensive City and 'country' timetable book. Used to come with a poster sized Cityline network map as well..... Still got one of those maps squirrelled away somewhere...

I note that the comprehensive bus timetable books produced by Somerset County Council are also no more. Used to be a selection of books (all free) for Taunton Deane, West Somerset, South Somerset, Mendip.... Now it's just a selection of 'town based timetable guides'. :roll:

Progress? Pah!
 

dorsetman

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You know what? They used to. Well, back in the days around the time of the changeover from First Cityline and First Badgerline to just plain First....

30p for a comprehensive City and 'country' timetable book. Used to come with a poster sized Cityline network map as well..... Still got one of those maps squirrelled away somewhere...

I note that the comprehensive bus timetable books produced by Somerset County Council are also no more. Used to be a selection of books (all free) for Taunton Deane, West Somerset, South Somerset, Mendip.... Now it's just a selection of 'town based timetable guides'. :roll:

Progress? Pah!
Dorset County Council still produce 3 excellent free timetable booklets covering the whole county, except the Poole/Bournemouth conurbation. They're also available to download.
In addition First have produced free timetable booklets for the Dorset area and another for South Somerset (Yeovil).
 

Schnellzug

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Dorset County Council still produce 3 excellent free timetable booklets covering the whole county, except the Poole/Bournemouth conurbation. They're also available to download.
In addition First have produced free timetable booklets for the Dorset area and another for South Somerset (Yeovil).
I suppose they're going to be re-issued some time fairly soon? They'd need to be, after Damory took D.C.C. for a ride.
 

DaveHarries

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Whilst I assume you are referring to First not serving those parts of North Bristol particularly well, there are other bus routes in those areas operated by Wessex [.....] Also for parts of Shirehampton and Sea Mills there's the 902 Portway Park and Ride.
The 902 is a useful route. Note, however, that wef 01-Apr-2012 the Portway P&R passes to CT Plus. The same type of vehicles will be used on the Portway P&R as are currently used on the Bath Road P&R (Service 904) but in a multi-tone green livery.

Last time I looked into the Bristol depot of CT Plus there was only one Merc Citaro bendybus in there and it was BX02 YYS:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/14103794@N04/6854863116/in/photostream

HTIOI,
Dave
 

anthony263

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Seems a lot of First Cymru's enviro 200's hve been transfered to First Bristol

These being:
Enviro 200`s 44914 (YX09 AGZ), 44915 (YX09 AHA), 44916 (YX09 AHC), 44917 (YX09 AHD), 44918 (YX09 AHE), 44919 (YX09 AHF).

That said we have got a few low floor Volvo's from Plymouth
for the Swansea - Fforestfach P&R Service
 

Ivo

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Not a good day for the 54 in Bristol. This usually Gemini-only route saw at least two single buses today, one of which was a step entrance Dart!
 

83G/84D

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Seems a lot of First Cymru's enviro 200's hve been transfered to First Bristol

These being:
Enviro 200's 44914 (YX09 AGZ), 44915 (YX09 AHA), 44916 (YX09 AHC), 44917 (YX09 AHD), 44918 (YX09 AHE), 44919 (YX09 AHF).

That said we have got a few low floor Volvo's from Plymouth
for the Swansea - Fforestfach P&R Service
I heard,maybe wrongly, that the Enviro's are at Bristol to replace some Volvo B9's which are London bound for the Olympics.
 

anthony263

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Step entrance darts? Still on the road in 2012? Ouch...

Are there many "high floor" single deckers left in Badgerline/ Bristol territory?
Yes I saw a step entrance dart operating service 18 at Bristol Parkway on
13th January and I have seen one recently in Bristol city centre
 

tbtc

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Yes I saw a step entrance dart operating service 18 at Bristol Parkway on
13th January and I have seen one recently in Bristol city centre
Cheers

I thought it was bad enough still to have First Group Olympians etc on the streets of South Yorkshire - at least we got rid of step entrance single deckers a while ago

Don't envy Bristol (and I thought that it used to get a pretty good share of resources from FG)
 

Schnellzug

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there's still a number of the 462xx series ones still around; actually, I'd rather have one of them than an old low floor one, as they wear out rather quickly.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Cheers

I thought it was bad enough still to have First Group Olympians etc on the streets of South Yorkshire - at least we got rid of step entrance single deckers a while ago

Don't envy Bristol (and I thought that it used to get a pretty good share of resources from FG)
I'm sorry? Olympians? Bad enough? Please, i'd rather have an Olympian than any cheap lightweight low floor single decker; than any single decker at all come to that.
 

Ivo

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According to my data (which is only accurate up to roughly October, but not too far off), First Bristol still have 19 Step Entrance Darts. These are usually found on routes 4/5 and 36 (Bristol to Downend and Bristol to Withywood), which are far from the busiest routes around. As I saw on Tuesday though, they can be found elsewhere - but there is no excuse for one to find its way on to a route as important as the 54 (Stockwood to Cribbs Causeway via Temple Meads and the City Centre). Other operations under the BSA headline still have a worrying 53 step-entrance vehicles, of which 23 are Volvo Olympians, 20 are Darts and 10 are Varios. Agan, this is based on October's data and is thus not entirely up-to-date, but they haven't made that much progress in the last five months.

Anyhow, today S&A had a Meet the Managers session at my University (which the Uni only publicised a day or two ago, which is why I hadn't mentioned it previously). It was open from 1300 - 1600, and I was there from about 1310 to about 1440 :oops: I secured a copy of the new Customer Charter whilst there, and to be fair it doesn't look too bad or unreasonable. In addition, I also established a couple of contacts within the company, gave them some details about my charity thing in August (covering all of the South-West area, not just S&A), and discussed my little complaint that they finally got around to sorting last week. I have to say that Ms Tagholm (the Customer Services Manager for SW, who dealt with my complaint) was very apologetic and polite in person, so no personal hard feelings I guess. They are also setting up a Customer Panel in Bath and all three people present suggested that I should sign up for it. Lastly, they asked me to send them my University presentation I did three weeks ago (the one for which I requested mileage data on here a few weeks beforehand) to see if it might be useful!

I have to say though, they may have planned this months in advance (soon after my meeting with them in November I believe; one of the First representatives from that day besides Simon Newport also came today and recognised me!), but they could have picked a better day. A water main on the SPA1 route burst last night causing massive delays...

As a consequence of all of this, I hate to admit it but my faith in the company has improved slightly! Especially given the fact that they actually listened to my advice with the new SPA1 timetable with regards to Holiday and Saturday services...
 
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Schnellzug

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According to my data (which is only accurate up to roughly October, but too far off), First Bristol still have 19 Step Entrance Darts. These are usually found on routes 4/5 and 36 (Bristol to Downend and Bristol to Withywood), which are far from the busiest routes around. As I saw on Tuesday though, they can be found elsewhere - but there is no excuse for one to find its way on to a route as important as the 54 (Stockwood to Cribbs Causeway via Temple Meads and the City Centre). Other operations under the BSA headline still have a worrying 53 step-entrance vehicles, of which 23 are Volvo Olympians, 20 are Darts and 10 are Varios. Agan, this is based on October's data and is thus not entirely up-to-date, but they haven't made that much progress in the last five months...
They have 23 Olympians? I thought they'd got rid of them all, I'm rather pleased to hear that (since, as remarked above, if they did replace them witrh Super Low Floor Easy Access Buses, they'd be rattly old Darts.)
 

tbtc

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I'm sorry? Olympians? Bad enough? Please, i'd rather have an Olympian than any cheap lightweight low floor single decker; than any single decker at all come to that.
The olympians are brilliant buses to ride on I too would rather have 1 of them than a low floor dart or volvo.
I'm probably biased in that we had some unrefurbished ex-London ones that creaked badly - still a few in South Yorkshire

According to my data (which is only accurate up to roughly October, but too far off), First Bristol still have 19 Step Entrance Darts.
Cheers Ivo :)
 

Ivo

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After an extended period of uncertainty, the end has come for nonstandard University operation under First in Bath. After today's operation, only the 18 and SPA1 now exist - the 8 and SPA2 are no more.

A good chance for some photography then! I made certain that I was on the last ever SPA2 (1815 from Spa Uni) and the last ever 8 (1910 from Bath Uni). The sunlight did cause a few problems, but see what you make of my pics!

SPA2 A: Volvo B7LA 10036 stands outside the Library at Bath Spa University, about to make the final journey into the City Centre via the A36.
SPA2 B: Having completed said journey, 10036 stands before a bright but setting sun on Corn Street.
8 A: Dennis Dart SLF 46260 stands at the University of Bath, about to make the final journey on the 8, carrying just three passengers.
8 B: Down at Green Park Road in the City Centre, opposite Corn Street, 46260 sits once more after arriving three minutes early.
8 C: The end is nigh as 46260 arrives at Kingsway - the 8 and SPA2 are history.

I have to say the driver on the 8 had some interesting stories to tell! His father drove for Bristol Omnibus, and his grandfather was a conductor on Bristol Tramways! He hasn't done badly either, getting to drive K-Types among other things; he has also driven the same low-floor Lance in four different liveries :shock:

Meanwhile, news ffiltering through from yesterday's Meet the Managers session at Bath Spa University suggests that the event the Universities have feared may not be far off - the inevitable now looks inevitable. This summer, Bath may well be saying goodbye to 10035/6/7 and 10174/5/6/7 - leaving a total of zero articulated buses in the Weston Island fleet. They just aren't economically viable anymore...

More news on this as and when I get it.
 

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anthony263

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Got an email to say First have lost the contracts for the National express service's they ran in south Wales including the 201/202 Swansea - Bristol - Heathrow Airport/Gatwick services.

First's south wales coaching operation still retains school contracts and the Swansea - Cardiff greyhound service and rail replacement work.

Edwards coaches have the contract for service 202 although nobody knows who is taking over service 201 Edwards are to use the diamond coaches depot in Swansea to cover some of their national express contracts
 

MCW

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Just wanted to say Olympians are bloody bomb proof. Hence why first still use them and hence why people like confidence of Leicester use them for daily service
 

anthony263

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Yep I certain have some agreement our Volvo Olympians are still going strong although I do wish we had some low floor deckers here in south wales.

We are also getting Bristol VR MOD 571P back in service in the next couple of weeks for the Swansea bay open top service although First cymru are getting some other open top deckers to replace it after a few weeks.

So keep an eye on the first cymru website for the start date of the open top service and get a ride before MOD 571P is finally withdrawn from service and goes into preservation
 

heart-of-wessex

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Steppy dart 46246 (N246 LHY I think) is still knocking around surprisingly, saw it working the Bath to Devizes 271 the other day, would have loved to have been on that!

Am awaiting for ALX400's 32280 and 279 to swap over, been on the exact same 234 diagrams for the past week including Saturdays, and could the same for another month yet.
 

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