Is Pensioner free travel forcing up prices?

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by philthetube, 10 Feb 2017.

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  1. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    How many "tourist" routes are we talking about here? Surely a tiny proportion of the nation's bus services. Councils directly run or tender out bus/tram/metro services in most of the world and that seems to work OK. Britain is highly unusual in making the council's role so minimal.

    I suppose buses are not considered an essential public service any more, so by that logic we don't need any public sector involvement. Fine, so let's have no more ENCTS, no more BSOG, no more funding for roadside furniture or bus stations.

    If deregulation is so great, services would be so attractive that operators would be able to run evening/Sunday services commercially and would have no need for council funding.
     
  2. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    In no way was I trying to say that there was a problem in not using them on sightseeing tours... I was thinking more of normal local bus services where councils are continuously trying to re-classify them as "tourist" routes...

    to make an example of a route that has already been mentioned on here:

    300 St Ives- Zennor- Land's End

    whilst I admit my experience of this route goes back a number of years and I don't know the current timetable arrangements....this was the situation when I used it... it was a normal local bus route which ran 2 or 3 times daily year round. During the summer there were 2 extra journeys put on (to cope with the increased patronage due to tourists) and furthermore on "fine" days it was operated with open toppers... a classic case of an operator doing everything it could to make a service profitable.. and I'm sure that had WN not done so the route would've discontinued in toto...

    Now as I understand the situation... Cornwall CC was having problems covering the cost of ENCTS payments so had a look at sneaky ways of saving itself money.... of course routes such as this were easy pickings because they did much to attract tourists...

    There was a similar situation here in Wales with a company I worked for... under the Welsh scheme excursions are exempt from the scheme.. we ran a weekly service Aberystwyth- Llandudno... it was registered as a local bus service... stopped at all stops along the route... had a normal coarse fare table... everything that made it a bus service except, due to the long distance it used a coach. Ceredigion, and Powys agreed to it being a local bus service and paid up... Gwynedd and Conwy councils declared it an excursion despite the fact that it fulfilled all the requirements for it being a local bus service... needless to say the councils argued until the operator could no longer afford to subsidise the service until such time as a determination could be made... and the service was withdrawn... of course for many of the areas the service travelled through Llandudno is the regional shopping centre and those areas no longer have a service on ANY day of the week that allows you to get there and back within a day!
     
  3. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    Oh dear Radamfi you really do labour under your rose tinted spectacles don't you? why would control by councils be the panacea for all the ills of bus industry? we tried that from 1968-1986 and what did we have then? oh yes an industry that was decimated by stagnation.... block grants to sustain a network that was unfit for purpose... loss making routes running every 10 mins cos half the council transport committee lived on that route... whilst profitable routes were running loaded to the gunwhales leaving people behind not getting a frequency boost... all to maintain the "network"

    Now I agree that deregulation threw the baby out with the bathwater... but the LAST thing we need is control of the bus industry being handed back to the local councils so it can become a political football again.... look at London Transport and the flip flopping of policy in the late 70's/ early 80's... and look at what is again happening... Livingstone/ BoJo/ Khan...

    when it comes to bus operation councils only know how to do one thing... waste money!

    oh and one last thing... this is a forum thread about ENCTS... so PLEASE stop posting about dereg/ rereg... if you want to have a debate about that then PLEASE start a new thread....
     
    Last edited: 18 Feb 2017
  4. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    But we didn't have privatisation and tendering then, so bus operations were very inefficient. So pre-1986 isn't a good comparison. Privatisation is a good thing, but it needs to be combined with proper regulation and organisation. If we had London style privatisation and tendering across the country at the same time as London, things might have turned out a lot better.

    You also ignore the fact that bus/tram/metro operations in most of the world continue to be ultimately organised by the local authorities. Sometimes the operations are directly operated, or tendered out, or sub-contracted, but the UK (outside London) stands virtually alone in the developed world with its form of deregulation.
     
  5. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    carlberry was talking about the ills of allowing councils "absolute power" so I was rebutting that.
     
  6. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    as I said before... if you want to have a debate about the pros and cons of council V operator control then open up a new thread... stop continually trying to turn THIS thread over to your particular hobby horse.
     
  7. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    Absolutely. In fact, let's go for market forces on all aspects of life. Road pricing, education paid for at point of use, healthcare charged at point of use..... I'm surprised Godwin's Law hasn't been invoked yet :roll: Alternatively, you can adopt a pragmatic view instead of being blinded by ideology.

    The world in which you believe bus services operate is exactly the problem - a world preserved in aspic, centrally controlled and not responsive to the changing world.

    As the evening economy has changed, whether that be because of the rise of television from the 1950s onwards through to the death of many a local pub now, bus services in the evenings are increasingly subject to lower demand. That ISN'T the fault of operators - it is a symptom of change. Conversely, you may not be aware that with the rise of Sunday trading, a great many Sunday services ARE now commercially operated and now have a better service than they have ever had.

    As Teflon has said, this is about ENCTS but I couldn't let this one pass.
     
  8. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    Sorry - I have probably just added to that :oops:
     
  9. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    lol that's ok... to paraphrase Theresa May at PMQ's I refer you to post #246 :D:D:D
     
  10. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    From the legislation...

    The ENCTS applies on eligible local bus services as defined by the Travel
    Concessions (Eligible Services) Order 2002 as amended by the Travel
    Concessions (Eligible Services) (Amendment) Order 2009.

    The 2009 Amendment Order explicitly excludes the following types of services from the mandatory concession:

    • Services on which the majority of seats can be reserved in advance of travel(such as coaches);
    • Services that are intended to run for a period of less than 6 consecutive weeks;
    • Services operated primarily for the purposes of tourism or because of the historical interest of the vehicle;
    • Bus Substitution (rail replacement) services;
    • Services where the fare charged by the operator has a special amenity element.

    To be honest, I'd have thought that the 300 as mentioned would've come under the realm of "primarily for the purposes of tourism" - a Summer only service operated by open toppers that serve a range of tourist attractions and over many roads that do not ordinarily receive a service, not year round links, and with relatively few local inhabitants.

    The 555 is clearly a service that runs all year round and serves a number of major settlements. It's primary objective is arguably to serve the local market though, of course, it does have a lot of tourist traffic and on a year round basis!
     
    Last edited: 18 Feb 2017
  11. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    Obviously the service has deteriorated since I used it at the turn of the century then... when I used it it was a year round operation that was enhanced during the summer season with the "extras" using open toppers
     
  12. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    What about suburban London? Evening services are well used there. Note I say "suburban" London, so to be comparable as possible to outside London. People have similar reason to go out in the evening in Uxbridge or Romford compared to towns outside London.

    Also a lot more places had Sunday service before 1986 compared to now. Sunday trading has only been permitted since 1994. Before Sunday shopping, people still travelled on Sundays to visit friends and family.
     
  13. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    You still don't get it? I can point to plenty of examples but, taking Teflon's words to heart, I'm not going to go off topic just so you can throw more chaff and divert this onto your personal manifesto.
     
  14. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    To be honest, the Penzance to Lands End is relatively decent with First 1. Between Lands End and St Ives, most of the route is covered by a mix of different services 16/16A and community bus 7 with some roads not served year round.

    However, still got to say it is very tourist orientated (though a cracking run)
     
  15. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    Now lets get one thing clear... London isn't a fair comparison with, say, St Albans... or Lincolnshire... or the outer Hebrides

    Try, for once, comparing like for like... look at route density/ frequency in West Midlands, or Liverpool, or Manchester, or Glasgow, or Newcastle... ALL deregulated environments with good route density' frequency... now you'll note they are all our bigger cities... and they are the ones that have the LEAST interference from the respective ita's... so where in hell do you think throwing billions of pounds away in those areas you would make any beneficial difference to the services by giving control to politicians?
     
  16. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    yet another victim of First's "network" reviews then... when I was last that way the 300 was the main service (IIRC ran 3 times daily as a through route all year round with shorts between St Ives and Zennor... with a one vehicle supplementary service overlaid in summer)
     
  17. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    If you note, I took great care in using "suburban" London as my example, as that is the most comparable place available. It would have been nice if there was somewhere else in Britain that I could use, but London is the only place in the UK where citywide network tendering exists. Uxbridge and St Albans might be reasonably comparable though as they are roughly equidistant from central London. St Albans arguably has a better train service. I suspect bus use in Uxbridge is somewhat higher!

    But if you want to look at the big cities you mention, those are precisely the places that have lost the most patronage since deregulation. Cities of those sizes in, say Germany, would have very well organised and integrated bus/tram/metro networks.
     
  18. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    :lol:I see so you lose the argument so you change the argument... your argument was that giving control to politicians would improve services with better coverage/ frequency.... I point you to places with comparable population density (therefore providing a like for like comparison) suddenly... of course in those areas comparable services are being provided at lower cost in the deregulated environment free of political interference... so suddenly you are talking about passenger numbers... well... here's a simple fact of life... if there wasn't the passenger usage to support the services do you think that Stagecoach First Arriva et al would be running those services?

    seeing as though I have blown your argument out of the water at this point I refer you back to my post #246
     
  19. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Eh? Surely patronage is what counts? Bus mileage shot up after deregulation despite huge numbers of passengers being lost. Despite the loss in passengers, the government claimed that the increased mileage meant that deregulation was a success.

    Some of the most widely respected and heavily used public transport networks have quite a sparse network. For example, if you look at the Zurich network, there's only about 30 or so routes in a place the size of Bristol. But because of the high level of integration and good reliability, patronage is very high. Zurich is widely recognised as one of the world's best transport networks.
     
    Last edited: 18 Feb 2017
  20. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    oh for Gods sake... what is the point of having any discussion with you... you blatently ignore ANYTHING that contradicts your world view...but here goes...

    YES mileage shot up after dereg (something to do with 3000 minibuses perhaps)

    YES patronage is what counts... but up until now you have been arguing that your blinkered ideas will increase the PROVISION.... strange how you now want to argue that provision will lead to patronage.... especially seeing as though you have just stated that provision shot up at deregulation but your contention is that dereg is a failure because patronage plummetted.... just what IS it you are arguing? no don't answer that....

    the FACT is PROVISION is comparable in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Glasgow, Newcastle et al as it is in SUBURBAN London... you argued it is worse... it blatently isn't.... then you say oh but it's patronage that counts... well I argue that no self respecting highly profitable operator such as Stagecoach, Go Ahead Arriva or First would provide the PROVISION if there wasn't the PATRONAGE for them to make a PROFIT out of doing so... it's called sound business economics!

    FACT when given similar operating conditions a deregulated environment gives the same provision as a regulated environment AT MUCH LOWER COST

    NOW at this point I will say one last time... this thread is about the effects of the ENCTS... stick to the subject in hand... IF you want a debate about regulation v dereg then open a thread on the subject. If you continue to try hijacking this thread for your hobby horse I will have no other recourse than to put a complaint into the modulators!
     
  21. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    Agreed.

    Arriva used to run a Summer weekend services between Liverpool South Parkway and Speke Hall with no intermediate calling points. If Merseytravel argued that was a tourist route it would be difficult to object.

    However, there is a route which runs 363 days a year between Manchester Airport viewing park, Manchester Airport station and Quarry Bank Mill. If the route terminated at Quarry Bank Mill you could argue that was a tourist route but it continues to the village of Styal (which has very few trains stopping there) and Wilmslow so the route as it is couldn't really be defined as a tourist route.
     
  22. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    You didn't say before so it sounded like your argument was that it's illegal for them to fund the use of ENCTS passes on services which they weren't required to, so if the open top tour allowed ENCTS passes one year it was a route they legally had to accept ENCTS on.
     
  23. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    When was that? I did have a check in one of the Great British Bus Timetable from early 2000 and it had reference to a summer only 15 from St Ives and Lands End
     
  24. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    1999... did say it was a long time ago.. and it may not have been numbered 300 at the time... but there was DEFINITELY a through service St Ives-Zennor- Sennen Cove- Lands End that ran throughout the year with open toppers in summer
     
  25. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    Wonder if that might have been the last hurrah? That said, the GBBTT did have the odd issue ;)
     
  26. Paul Sidorczuk

    Paul Sidorczuk Veteran Member

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    I take it that you refer to the service 200. That service serves a large part of the Lacey Green in Wilmslow that has no other bus service and it also stops at the Styal women's prison.
     
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