First West of England (Bristol, Bath & The West)

anthony263

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The swansea open topper leaves from the quadrant bus station and last year ran daily except for a wednesday although this year journey times are slightly longer and there will not be as many trips as last year.

Good new is that Bristol VR MOD 571P should be working for the first few weeks once the service has started however there is talk of First cymru getting an additional Wolvo olympian to replace it.

If you do come down to Swansea a visit to the bus museum is a must.
 
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heart-of-wessex

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Cheers Anthony,

May I ask when it starts please? I assume it kicks off around June or July? Never done it before that's why I'm after that one. Never knew about the museum either so I'll be going to that too!
 

sonic2009

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Im currently on my way to Swansea via the Greyhound 100, very cheap fare booked this afternoon, although i don't understanding the reasoning behind changing it from a normal express service to a coach service?

Any ideas?.

Personally i think Greyhound should expand a little more, with a few routes.

Possibly a Express Manchester - Leeds via Bradford, would be successful if operated under the Greyhound brand, with the cheap fares.


Sent from my GT-I9000 using Tapatalk
 

Greenback

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If you do come down to Swansea a visit to the bus museum is a must.
Agreed. I foudn the bus museum fascinating, even Mrs Greenback found it interesting, which she was very surprised about!

Im currently on my way to Swansea via the Greyhound 100, very cheap fare booked this afternoon, although i don't understanding the reasoning behind changing it from a normal express service to a coach service?

Any ideas?.
The Swansea - Cardiff Greyhound replaced the Shuttle service, which also offered a (practically) non stop service.

I believe it was a marketing ploy to rebrand the service which tied in with the superior on board ambience of the new coaches.
 

Greenback

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was that greyhound run equiped with brand new vehicles when started? O/T tHE GLASGOW london is good other than the absense of leather seats
Yes, I'm sure the local publicity played heavily on the fact that the coaches were brand new.

The very cheap fares also encouraged people to try the service out!
 

Blindtraveler

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An important note for everyone interested in a south-West bus bash:

One of my three South-West Day tickets has now been used! Only two remain!


when had you in mind my friend? And how much is the ticket for us normals?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Yes, I'm sure the local publicity played heavily on the fact that the coaches were brand new.

The very cheap fares also encouraged people to try the service out!


glad it worked so well
 

Greenback

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glad it worked so well
The main attraction for me, and I suppose quite a few others, is the ability to get to the Sarn Retail Park quickly. It is certainly quicker than getting the train to Bridgend and then a local bus.

When we have travelled on the Greyhound, far more people have been travelling to and from Sarn, both from Cardiff and Swansea. I must admit I don't know what the flows ar elike at peak times though, as we have only ever used the service in late morning and early afternoon!
 

Ivo

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I quite fancy a trip to Swansea too. Maybe we could make a meet out of it? :p

when had you in mind my friend? And how much is the ticket for us normals?
Whenever, so long as the date is one I can make! The ticket is valued at £7 (possibly £7.50).
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Cheers for that Ivo, been too long since I've been on a bash I don't know what's left! I'll head straight for Bristol on the X39 (+1 connection at Bath) then maybe head down on the X1 first to Weston.
A little warning - I travelled on the X1 on Friday and was treated to a standard 2003 Volvo B7TL instead of the high-spec E400s. Whilst I'm not going to complain about having a B7TL, it was a bit disappointing to not sample the improved capabilities of the route...
 

anthony263

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I have seen people left behind in the peaks with the Greyhound services of course this can be because seats have been taken by people booking advance tickets and people who have turned up on the day have not be able to get on.

Now first could order some double deck coaches or another operator could step in and run some services perhaps a market for Arriva to run a 2 hourly Aberystywth - Cardiff trawscymru service using coaches in between their 40 Aberystwyth - Carmarthen bus service.

I think things will get worse later this summer when National express cut thenumber of the Heathrow Airport - South wales coaches to run to/from Cardiff.

Ideally I think if the local train services were improved between Swansea & Cardiff then that might take some demand from the greyhound services however as greenback has said a majority of passengers are going to Mc Arthur Glen in sarn which is not acessible by rail



As for the question about the Swansea open top service the start date is 2nd June however I dont have a copy of the new timetable for this year however I assume the 1st service from Swansea will be the same as last year at 10:20.

As for IVO's suggestion I like it and would certainly be interested seing as I am living fairly close and it should take me about 30 minutes on the train or 45-60 minutes by bus.
 

Greenback

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I am all for a meet in Swansea! If it was a Saturday and anyone is interested but unfamiliar with the city, I could point out some of the old railway routes and docks beforehand.

There is hardly anything left of the old Mumbles Train, but its route is still there, now a footpath and cyclepath as in so many other places!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I have seen people left behind in the peaks with the Greyhound services of course this can be because seats have been taken by people booking advance tickets and people who have turned up on the day have not be able to get on.
It was the intention originally to move to advance bookings only, but I don't know if they have decided against that now. They have always had priority for advance bookings.
 

anthony263

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Yes and the open toper services does follow the old route along the main road for the majority of its journey.

I have been told that the route may be slightly longer than it was last year which is why journey time has been extended especially with traffic down in Oystermouth on a sunny day as I am sure Greenback may be able to agree with me on.

A saturday would be ideal for me so long as there are no major events on in Swansea etc
 

Ivo

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@ Greenback - are you happy for me to make a thread relating to this in the Meets section of the forum? Or should we keep it here?

I will not create a Doodle at this stage because there are so many dates available.
 

heart-of-wessex

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The last time I went on the X1, the route was ploughed by the Vovlo B7TL's never knew there was any form of (dennis?) E400's there. I'll need all those plus I still need some Gemini's too.

There used to be a dart on a 272 at around 1600 or 1700 apparently, steppy one too, but that was a year or two now, and I don't know if that could happen again...
 

WelshBluebird

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Only just found this thread (mainly thanks to the swansea meet up thread!).
As I use buses around the south west and south wales nearly as often as I use trains, I'll keep an interest in here :)

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:
I tend to use the U18 service most of the time, only relying on first if I am in a rush or the U18 doesn't turn up. So to be honest, I haven't noticed any reduction in service. Although I do find the removal of the number 8 a bit odd. I know the route is provided by the U10 and if someone wants to use first they can just change buses in town, but the times I travelled on the 8 it was pretty busy. Maybe it was only ever the one or two services I used that were busy and at all other times it was empty? Or is it just a case of first wanting to put all resources into their other routes?

The customer charter you posted earlier in the thread looks interesting though. I lost count of the number of times an 18 hasn't turned up at all in my first year in Bath! Interested that mechanical issue are included, as Bathwick Hill must take its toll on the buses that run up it (although in my experience the Wessex Connect services are worse in the breaking down regard).

Talking about buses in Bath, does Ivo (or anyone else) have any idea what is happening on Tuesday 22nd May (when the Olympic torch comes through). The first website doesn't seem very clear (mainly I'm not sure if the 18 will just run between the bus station and the top of bathwick hill all day or just during the hours around the torch coming through?), and Wessex Connect have said nothing at all about it from what I can see.

Also, is the sale or Firsts north devon operations still going ahead? I'd assume so considering even my girlfriend knows about it (shes from ND). Hopefully stagecoach won't use it as a chance to hike the fares.

(ps - sorry about the long post - it takes a while to say everything you want to when you first come into a thread!).
 
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Ivo

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I tend to use the U18 service most of the time, only relying on first if I am in a rush or the U18 doesn't turn up.
I'm tempted to say "Traitor" here <D

I do find the removal of the number 8 a bit odd. I know the route is provided by the U10 and if someone wants to use first they can just change buses in town, but the times I travelled on the 8 it was pretty busy. Maybe it was only ever the one or two services I used that were busy and at all other times it was empty? Or is it just a case of first wanting to put all resources into their other routes?
First's view was that most passengers on the 8 didn't travel beyond Oldfield Park (if not the centre), making the route somewhat pointless. The drivers on the other hand are mostly of the opinion that they have made a mistake - it puts unnecessary pressure on the 10. One journey (I forget which) in the evening often left people behind; last year, deckers were a common sight in the morning. Overall, I believe the U10 should be doubled in frequency, giving two buses an hour between Coronation Avenue etc and the University, and four between Southdown as a whole and the University.

By contrast, whenever I travelled on the 8 it averaged about two passengers (not including me) per journey :lol:

The customer charter you posted earlier in the thread looks interesting though. I lost count of the number of times an 18 hasn't turned up at all in my first year in Bath! Interested that mechanical issue are included, as Bathwick Hill must take its toll on the buses that run up it (although in my experience the Wessex Connect services are worse in the breaking down regard).
The 18's reliability has been improving in my opinion, although the bendies (the older onees in particular) do seem to struggle quite badly on Bathwick Hill. For me though, a Customer Charter wouldn't be valid if mechanical issues aren't counted; after all, they are problems with the vehicles themselves and therefore effectively within the control of the company. If GW pay out for breakdowns, why shouldn't S&A?

in my experience the Wessex Connect services are worse in the breaking down regard
In my experience they're worse in every regard (except for (a) having the most modern buses and (b) bias in favour of your University - not a good thing ;)) <D

Talking about buses in Bath, does Ivo (or anyone else) have any idea what is happening on Tuesday 22nd May (when the Olympic torch comes through). The first website doesn't seem very clear (mainly I'm not sure if the 18 will just run between the bus station and the top of bathwick hill all day or just during the hours around the torch coming through?)
I don't <( The website suggests that the service will cease between 1400 and 1600, and otherwise run round at Cleveland Walk. I can't imagine for one moment that the service will fall short at 0800 or 2300!

Suspending the 18 is a massive gamble in my opinion - there must be some alternative available. During periods of snow it's run via Wells Road before now, so why can't they do that?

Wessex Connect have said nothing at all about it from what I can see.
You expect any different? :lol: None of their websites appear to have been changed at all this year!

Also, is the sale or Firsts north devon operations still going ahead? I'd assume so considering even my girlfriend knows about it (shes from ND). Hopefully stagecoach won't use it as a chance to hike the fares.
I've heard nothing to suggest otherwise.
 

WelshBluebird

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First's view was that most passengers on the 8 didn't travel beyond Oldfield Park (if not the centre), making the route somewhat pointless. The drivers on the other hand are mostly of the opinion that they have made a mistake - it puts unnecessary pressure on the 10. One journey (I forget which) in the evening often left people behind; last year, deckers were a common sight in the morning. Overall, I believe the U10 should be doubled in frequency, giving two buses an hour between Coronation Avenue etc and the University, and four between Southdown as a whole and the University.
I kind of feel sorry for the older people who use services like the 10. Most of the day its a quiet "local" bus, and for a few small periods in the day it goes crazy!

In regards to the U10, the problem is that nearly all the demand for that is when lectures finish. So if you are going to run two an hour, you are probably talking running one at about 15 minutes past an another at 25 minutes past. Anything else around the clock would seem pointless to me.

I don't <( The website suggests that the service will cease between 1400 and 1600, and otherwise run round at Cleveland Walk. I can't imagine for one moment that the service will fall short at 0800 or 2300!
Yeah I can't imagine that either. I'll be heading up to campus at around 11am I think, and I don't fancy standing around oldfield park waiting for a bus that isn't coming. In reality I will probably walk into town anyway.

Suspending the 18 is a massive gamble in my opinion - there must be some alternative available. During periods of snow it's run via Wells Road before now, so why can't they do that?
Not too sure about why it can't run to oldfield park during the day (I haven't looked at the full map for where the torch will go exactly), but during the times it is suspended, the torch will be coming from the university down bathwick hill. So it will be a bit chaotic there!

You expect any different? :lol: None of their websites appear to have been changed at all this year!
True. May just be safer to do as I said above, just head into town and jump on there. Glad I don't have an exam on that day (I finish on Friday - and am supposed to be revising now!).

I've heard nothing to suggest otherwise.
It defiantly seems a bit odd. I hope stagecoach will keep firsts route (or at least make it so some of their services from Bideford to Barnstaple avoid East-the-Water).
 

Ivo

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With regards to the Torch Relay, I will ask tomorrow. Whether I get a response or not is another matter...

Random thought: I wonder if you and I have ever travelled on the same bus? It's not as though I've never travelled on the U18 (:oops:)...

I kind of feel sorry for the older people who use services like the 10. Most of the day its a quiet "local" bus, and for a few small periods in the day it goes crazy!

In regards to the U10, the problem is that nearly all the demand for that is when lectures finish. So if you are going to run two an hour, you are probably talking running one at about 15 minutes past an another at 25 minutes past. Anything else around the clock would seem pointless to me.
I think the best solution is to cut the 10 frequency to every 15 minutes, and then merge it with the 18 (not via the Loop), with all journeys operated by deckers where possible and alternate journeys terminating in the city centre. (Weesex can keep the Loop for all I care.)

I would then ditch the U10. You are correct in suggesting two close journeys together, and I have even proposed the same for the SPA1! Sooner or later the remaining bendies will leave Bath (I am led to believe it won't be this summer though, although up to three may leave), and while I think the 18 will be OK - especially if we can get around the low bridge on the Loop, as my plan above does - the SPA1 will have problems. Its frequency cannot easily increase, but we can't run deckers! Solution? A short run every hour between Newton Park and Twerton via Newbridge.
 

heart-of-wessex

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I hope they still do an Peak First Day South West, I've got one before but this link

http://www.firstgroup.com/ukbus/bristol_bath/tickets/bath/firstday.php

suggests it's £7.00 off peak only, but a Family one is restricted to off-peak, and the senior one is £6.10 for pre-0900. No mention of the peak price for an FDSW, though if there is one I'd guess it's not that expensive.

Not getting up at 5am for the 0605 to find out I can't buy a Peak FDSW!
 

Ivo

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I think part of the point is that seniors would usually have an ENCTS pass, making such a thing worthless. They could present the card to receive the price shown.

I would be massively surprised if one could not use the ticket before 0900. If anything, I would consider complaining...
 

Ivo

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Seen in Bath today was ex-Plymouth Volvo Eclipse YJ07 WFV (69253). Nice to get a modern vehicle from elsewhere for once :lol:
 
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heart-of-wessex

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Apparently, according to the driver on the 234 today, the FDSW is £7 and valid before 0900. I said I'm sure it costs about a pound more pre-0900, but was adamant that it is £7 irrelevant..I doubt it somehow and shall see in the morning!

Had a shock as we left the Town Hall at Trowbridge to see a Marshall dart on the 260!! No idea if it will stick on it tomorrow, might see in the evening on the return, but I forget what the 260 does in the evening. I know it changes to 263, but I think it's different stock on the 263, and whatever is on the 260 ends up on the 234 evening turns...I think...
 

Ivo

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Not sure about the 234 evening turns, but most 263s are formed of whatever happens to turn up from Bath on the 265 (so almost always an Eclipse).

One thing that might interest you a bit is that I saw that another steppy Dart on the 231 one today, and an older MPD. On the other hand, the usual haunt for steppy Darts - the 36 in Bristol - had an interesting mix of ex-Capital Tridents and the traditional steppy Darts...

I think I saw a steppy on the SPA1 as well, which I was not impressed by! <(
 

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