If you were setting up a new coach operation what would be your first route?

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Heinz57

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The majority of services would run from Derby. The first routes would be as follows...

Derby Uni* - Derby - Lincoln - Skegness
Derby Uni* - Derby - Scarborough - Whitby
Derby Uni* - Derby - London Heathrow

Further services would then include:

Ilkeston - Mansfeild - Lincoln - Skegness
Ilkeston - Derby - Birmingham - Bristol - Newquay** - St Ives**
Derby Uni* - Derby - Sheffeild - Leeds
Derby Uni* - Derby - Manchester - Manchester Airport
Derby Uni* - Derby - Cambridge
Derby - Derby Uni* - Birmingham - Cardiff - Swansea
Derby - Luton - Kent
Derby Uni* - Derby - Luton - London - Brighton (We're all going to Brighton!)
Derby - Milton Keynes - Oxford
Derby - Luton - High Wycombe - Southampton - Portsmouth
Derby - Birmingham - Bristol - Plymouth

*Term time only
** Summer only

My fleet would consist mostly of Plaxtons. Maybe not Premiers though because the ones trentbarton had on TransPeak did have the tendancy to snap in half (literaly)

I would have at least one departure along each route every day, two on most of them. During peak times there could be as many as four or five daily departures on routes to popular destinations such as Skeggy or Scarborough.
 
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Deerfold

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Operated by luxury double-deck coaches,
Brighton- Three Bridges- Gatwick- Croyden- Heathrow- Kingston- Hammersmith- Victoria Coach Station- The Shard- Tower Hill Station- Whitechapel (Royal Mint Street)- Limehouse DLR- Stepney (Mile End Road)- Shoreditch- Camden Lock- M25- South Mimms Services- Aylesbury- Leamington Spa- University of Warwick- Birmingham Airport/NEC- Birmingham- Wolverhampton- M6- Manchester Airport- Manchester City Centre- Rochdale- Todmorden- Halifax- M62- Leeds- York- A1- Darlington- Hewerth Interchange- Gateshead- Newcastle- Prudhoe- Carlisle- Glasgow (Buchannan Street). Would offer advance and walk-up fares between any two points. Would not accept Oyster Cards or any other Tfl tickets.

Wow! I thought the current London - Halifax service was convoluted (it's often quicker to get a coach to Leeds then spend over an hour on a local bus to Hx).

Who would this be aimed at?
 

VTPreston_Tez

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Maybe a long-distance high speed double deck coach service with breaks in the journey so people can get off, stretch their legs, and buy some stuff. Toilet on board of course and whatnot...
Glasgow Prestwick Airport - Glasgow Queen Street Station - Glasgow Central Station - Carlisle (unknown stop) - Lancaster Bus Station - Blackpool North Station - Blackpool Airport - Preston Weeton Interchange - Preston Station - Preston Bus Station - Wigan Bus Station - Warrington Central Station - Crewe Station - Stafford Station - Wolverhampton Station - Sandwell & Dudley Station - Birmingham Interchange - Cheltenham Bus Station - Bristol Airport - Bristol Temple Meads Station - Yeovil Pen Mill Station - Dorchester South Station - Weymouth King's Statue K7 - West Bay George Hotel - Bridport Bus Station - Lyme Regis Cobb - Axminster Station - Exeter Bus Station

I respect that the journey is quite dodgy but provides valuable express links between Glasgow and Exeter and as such is not designed to have people run the full route. I put the journey time at at least 20 hours including a few refuels where people can get off for a bit. It also provides a high speed bus between Dorchester/Weymouth/Bridport and Exeter/Axminster which is invaluable. The idea of serving a mix of stations allows the service to cater for a variety of people living in the areas served, such as a high-speed link to Warrington Central to many WCML locations and Dorchester South to Bristol faster than a Sprinter. (Hopefully) The service also serves 3 airports and possibly will also serve Exeter Airport. Dodging Manchester will also appeal to many customers it seems.
 

bluenoxid

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My core service would be Skipton to Rose Grove which would run via Barnoldswick to the outskirts of Colne where it would run to Boundary Mill then fast to Rose Grove.

This would be added to with

Horsforth Railway Station to Preston

Some services will extend to Failsworth Metrolink from Rose Grove.

Connecting operators would be challenged to provide bulk discounts on tickets and I would be looking at whether I could be added as an operator
 
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Deerfold

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Various interesting services being proposed - but little in the way of reasoning why you'd provide them. Who are they aimed at? Why would they not fail?

Or are they just fantasy, providing journeys you'd find useful?


Connecting operators would be challenged to provide bulk discounts on tickets and I would be looking at whether I could be added as an operator

What does this mean?
 
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BestWestern

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It would be interesting if somebody could finally make a success of a route encompassing Portsmouth - Southampton. Various operators have tried it over the years, from So'ton Citybus back in the dark ages, then First Hampshire after the takeovers of So'ton and Provincial, Tellings Golden Miller, and most recently Go Ahead's BlueStar operation. Many of these efforts have involved considerable branding, TGM allocated decent coaches and BlueStar tried double deckers, but nobody has ever seemed able to attract the right level of custom. Stagecoach even tried running an 800 a few years back, which stretched as far as Bournemouth if I recall correctly, that didn't work either. Yet go the other way and the 700 to Brighton does incredibly well. There must be a winning formula out there somewhere, perhaps extending the route elsewhere or even running less directly.

With regard to mainstream routes, I rather feel that the market has been 'spoiled' now by the likes of Megabus and Greyhound. When even the bargain basement runs are operated with top-end coaches boasting all mod cons, there really is very little space for any competition. Shame really.
 

tbtc

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Various interesting services being proposed - but little in the way of reasoning why you'd provide them. Who are they aimed at? Why would they not fail?

Or are they just fantasy, providing journeys you'd find useful?

Fair point.

If I were running a coach service I'd be looking at:

Places without (decent) long distance train services
Places closed to Motorway junctions (to avoid city centre traffic etc)
Places that aren't linked by fast trains

For example, local to here there's Rotherham (120,000) and Barnsley (75,000), both close to the M1, neither have London/Airport train services, neither have Megabus services (?)...

however the National Express service to London (http://www.nationalexpress.com/destinations/timetables/560.pdf) means Barnsley/Rotherham passengers have a slow journey between Meadowhall and Junction 29 of the M1 due to the coach going into central Sheffield and central Chesterfield. For me, there's little point in the coach trying to compete for the Chesterfield - London market - the town has two London services an hour (and its smaller than Rotherham which has none).

Going down the M1 you've got some decent looking "hubs" close to the motorway junctions:

  • East Midlands Designer Outlet (with connecting TrentBarton buses to Mansfield/ Sutton/ Alfreton etc)
  • East Midlands Airport (the actual airport, not the Parkway station some distance away)
  • Fosse Park (with connecting Leicester buses 10, 11, 40, 50A, 104 and 140)
  • Milton Keynes Coachway (connecting services into MK and also the Stagecoach X5 for "middle England"). Milton Keynes and Leicester are on different "lines" out of London, so there's no decent rail alternative

I reckon you could run an M1 service via the Designer Outlet, Airport, Fosse Park and MK Coachway for the same (combined) time disruption you'd get by serving Sheffield/ Chesterfield, so you could link some new markets without competing with rail.

Maybe you'd start this service at Bradford and run via Leeds (to get some city traffic at the northern end)
 

telstarbox

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From Rotherham and Barnsley it's easy to get to Meadowhall Interchange (the only Megabus stop for Sheffield). Also going into town centres slows down coaches significantly - eg the NX London to Sheffield route which runs via Chesterfield.

As you say motorway stops (Reading Calcot, Sheffield Meadowhall, MK Coachway) etc are the way to go. Was trying to think of a good place on the M6 to connect to Manchester - Knutsford is well-located but has poor connections with just an hourly stopping train.
 

tbtc

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From Rotherham and Barnsley it's easy to get to Meadowhall Interchange (the only Megabus stop for Sheffield). Also going into town centres slows down coaches significantly - eg the NX London to Sheffield route which runs via Chesterfield.

As you say motorway stops (Reading Calcot, Sheffield Meadowhall, MK Coachway) etc are the way to go. Was trying to think of a good place on the M6 to connect to Manchester - Knutsford is well-located but has poor connections with just an hourly stopping train.

I was trying to go for somewhere near a motorway that links places not served by the existing coach/train services - maybe with a big city at each end (since there's not a time penalty if you're not going both in and out).

For example with the M62 you could serve the retail park at Birstall (IKEA, buses to south Leeds and Kirklees), J32 (buses to Castleford/ Pontefract, the ski slope development etc) - the kind of market that train/coach isn't catering for.

With Manchester you have the Airport and the Trafford Centre by motorways but I can't think of anywhere off the M6.
 

bluenoxid

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What does this mean?

Eurrgghhh.That is what you get when the phone goes off for work.

What I meant was that I wanted to add the coach service to the rail network ticketing systems. So if someone buys Skipton to Manchester, I would get a chunk of the revenue.

I also want to take advantage of the operators by bulk buying their tickets and demanding a discount for bringing passengers to their services (Metrolink/Northern Rail). For example, I would be looking to Skipton - Leeds/Horsforth - Leeds/Failsworth - Manchester Centre

It's tough to say whether the service would win.

What I think the full service has for it is

Rose Grove is due to get a new service to Manchester. There is a lot of traffic passing through the area but modal shift is lost by the scenic tour of Burnley, Nelson and Colne.

Boundary Mill is a popular destination for shoppers so by serving the door, the service will gain shopping traffic.

Barnoldswick is a sizeable settlement that would benefit from more services to Skipton and beyond Colne. The lack of parking at Colne and the poor service from Colne hinders rail development at the moment. The coaches would by pass all of these problems.

Horsforth is close enough to Leeds to be cheap travel. The new turnback should see a service boost for the station that could help it avoid service disruptions. It is close to Leeds Bradford so it would offer the fastest service to Leeds Bradford Airport. By serving Leeds Bradford, the service offers a direct link for a swathe of the area. I would also be looking into seeing what deals could be made with local taxi firms en route so that passengers can meet coaches with their luggage. If the service would prove popular, a DRT style format could be created for the route serving a large area.
 

150222

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Wow! I thought the current London - Halifax service was convoluted (it's often quicker to get a coach to Leeds then spend over an hour on a local bus to Hx).

Who would this be aimed at?

Mainly to provide more links to more places. Also serves local journeys. It is not intended for end-to-end passengers however there are cheaper tickets availible if you have time. Also I'm not aware of any long distance coaches which serve Southwark Towers/The Shard.
 

Jonny

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Kielder to Tyneside (Kielder being a nice but remote destination in Northumberland with very poor public transport) - two possible routes each of which presents detour options:

1 via Bellingham, Wark, Chollerford (Roman Wall), Wall*, Acomb*, Hexham (stops for town centre and/or railway station, circular loop?), A69 fast
2 via Otterburn, A696, Belsay, Newcastle Airport

Start/Terminus could be Newcastle City Centre (bus stations or Central Station), Gateshead Metro Centre, etc...

* - yes there are places called that in Northumberland, and that's the one I mean.
 

aformeruser

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Was trying to think of a good place on the M6 to connect to Manchester - Knutsford is well-located but has poor connections with just an hourly stopping train.

There would be other problems with Knutsford than just the frequency of the train.

1. Speed of the service. In addition to being most stops, the train takes a long route via Stockport.

2. No good place for coaches to stop near the station. Selwyns run a work shuttle between Knutsford station and Barclay's Radbroke Hall site, when their coach is stopped outside the station it causes a huge queue of traffic to build up.

The M6 to Manchester problem is an issue with traffic in general, hence the plans for the A556(M).
 

OMGitsDAVE

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My routes would be fairly short, really. They would operate overnight, and connect towns to events/stages.

METRO RADIO ARENA* - NEWCASTLE COACH STATION - SUNDERLAND CITY CENTRE (for Empire) - SEAHAM - HARTLEPOOL - STOCKTON ON TEES - MIDDLESBROUGH

SUNDERLAND STADIUM OF LIGHT* - SUNDERLAND CITY CENTRE (for Empire) - SEAHAM - HARTLEPOOL - STOCKTON ON TEES - MIDDLESBROUGH

Currently, it proves difficult for people to get home after major events. On nights where events are not taking place, the coaches would start in the centre of the city. I would say services run at 2-hourly intervals at night, with the first leaving each end at 9PM, and the last at 5AM, therefore not affecting public services.

During the day, I would run a service from:

DARLINGTON - DURHAM TEES VALLEY AIRPORT - STOCKTON - MIDDLESBROUGH
and
NEWCASTLE AIRPORT - NEWCASTLE COACH STATION - SUNDERLAND - HARTLEPOOL - STOCKTON ON TEES - MIDDLESBROUGH
 
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