Nottingham 'Bus War'

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by trentside, 21 Sep 2010.

  1. trentside

    trentside Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    As some people might be aware, Nottingham based operator Premiere Travel have begun competing with TrentBarton between Nottingham-Radcliffe-Bingham and Cotgrave-Nottingham. Their latest service registration shows that they are to launch their next route on TrentBarton's high-frequency 'Indigo' corridor, between Briar Gate, Long Eaton and Nottingham.

    From the VOSA website:
    PB1021628/86 – PREMIERE TRAVEL LTD, TRENT WHARF, MEADOW LANE, NOTTINGHAM, NG2 3HR
    Registration Accepted
    Starting Point: Long Eaton
    Finish Point: Nottingham
    Via: Brier Gate, QMC
    Service Number: RED 4
    Service Type: Normal Stopping
    Effective Date: 14-NOV-2010
    Other Details: Monday To Saturday every 20 min Sunday every 30 min​

    TrentBarton have also registered another service between Nottingham-Cotgrave under their subsidiary company Midland General, which aims to compete directly with Premiere's Red2 service.

    All in all, the city and surrounding areas now seem to be facing a bus war between the two operators!
     
  2. Dai.

    Dai. Established Member

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    The good news is though, if there is a bus war there may soon be a price war.. Cheaper tickets for many!
     
  3. Jordeh

    Jordeh Member

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    I live very close to Briar Gate so I'm familiar enough with the Indigo service, not sure why Premiere are trying to compete though. 20 Minute frequency between Briar Gate and Nottingham is sufficient, as is 6/7 Minutes frequency between Long Eaton and Nottingham (And during Rush Hour, the Commuter Express eases things off). I can't see there being much demand for this, plus Trent Barton are quite reasonably priced and have excellent buses, however saying that I'll most probably just catch whatever comes first.

    Edit: Why couldn't they do Long Eaton/Briar Gate to Derby instead, there is far more demand for that, only 20 minute frequency and it's generally packed.
     
  4. TrainBrain185

    TrainBrain185 Member

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    That was the so called idea when Deregulation arrived. Wisdom now sees it being yet another flash in the pan...waste of time.
     
  5. Tom B

    Tom B Established Member

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    Precisely; in the few areas where competition exists, it usually finishes. We used to have competition between two companies in Doncaster; when one company sold out to First, the other was obliged to sell its operation - in the full knowledge that, if they didn't, First would come in with low fares and drive them off the road.
     
  6. ivanhoe

    ivanhoe Member

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    Premier Travel will be history in 12 months or they will go back to what they do best; the school run and park and ride. They are making an ass of the X99 Loughborough to Nottingham. Inappropriate buses and not too many fares taken for local Loughborough journies.
     
  7. ChathillMan

    ChathillMan Member

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    Whenever I have been to Derby/Nottingham i have been impressed with Trent Barton, Premier won't last long.

    If they want to really compete with them why don't they Launch a non stop service from Nottingham to Derby without the other city center stops in Nottingham, they would then have a USP
     
  8. Wyvern

    Wyvern Established Member

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    My experience of this sort of thing is that the incumbent company can no longer do the unprofitable out of hours and weekend services and it is left to the ratepayer to fund them.
     
  9. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That's right. on one of my old routes First operate commercially until about 5.30 after which the council tax payer funds four buses in the evening run by a different operator. Of course, the tickets aren't interavailable!
     
  10. shinkansen1966

    shinkansen1966 Established Member

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    Never understood how these 'bus wars' benefit passengers. I live in London where there's no bus wars and no competition. Just a unified bus service with a unified price structure (£1.20 with your Oyster card). Plus an easy to use web site.

    Seems to work fine. :)
     
  11. MCR247

    MCR247 Established Member

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    Because they all want the passengers, some will have cheaper prices. Like some bus companies can put the prices up, and people will still use them, but when competition comes along with a fare that is 60p cheaper, more people will use them. Thus saving pax money.

    On a similar note I think that YourBus will be around for a while with the Y36 because its competitor Nottingham City Transport, has a £1.60 adult flat fare, so they can't really adjust one route to try and eliminate the competition, whereas Trent Barton can.
     
  12. trentside

    trentside Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Regarding the Premiere vs TrentBarton situation, one thing that is critical is TrentBarton maintain a great deal of 'good will' in the area. Many people think of them very highly and continue to use their services, simply because they can expect an immaculately turned out bus with a good driver.

    My experience of travelling with Premiere is less satisfactory. Recently used one of their Nottinghamshire County Council contracted routes, and found it running 20 minutes late on both occasions. The vehicles were also less than clean. On one occasion the driver tried to tell me (in broken English) that my ticket was invalid (it wasn't). Complaints drew no satisfactory response.
     
  13. MCR247

    MCR247 Established Member

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    Last Friday, TrentBarton were handing out free evening posts, and sheets with new Cotgrave Connection prices and times :)
     
  14. 90019

    90019 Established Member

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    They tend to benefit customers whilst they're going on because they generally get improved service levels and reduced prices.
    However, as soon as one gives up or is forced out, service levels almost always drop and fares rise again, sometimes higher than what they were before.
     
  15. ivanhoe

    ivanhoe Member

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    Nottingham has probably the best operators in any of our cities outside of the 'smoke'. NCT and TB can see off one trick ponies like Premier. Noticable that the big boys have kept out. If only our cities had the same legislation as the ' smoke' then we could enjoy the same levels of services. That said, NCT and TB do a great job . Just go to Derby nearby and look at Arriva for a comparison!
     
  16. shinkansen1966

    shinkansen1966 Established Member

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    Or we could do what happens here in London. Take whole sodding lot out of private hands and run by the council. One operator, susbidised fares, universal tickets and smart cards.

    Councils spend enough has it is on the running bus services that the private sector choose not to. Don't see why the private sector should be allowed cherry pick profitable routes. Bus services are a public service requiring standards and planning.

    If the private sector was so good at running bus services, they would have halted the decline in bus use. Instead, over the last 25 years, passenger numbers have decline. In some cases by two-thirds (in the instance of South Yorkshire). Rural services have been abandoned and councils have had to dig deep to protect routes which would have been axed. Look through your local timetable and see who many services are 'supported by x council'. Sunday and evening services would be non-existant without council support.

    Public transport is not some supermarket style commodity. Even in capitalist US, most town and cities have municpal bus services provide their council. Not the calamitous arrangments here.

    London is one of the few cities which has actually bucked the decline in bus use. Why? A standard universal service with easy to understand flat bus fares. One organisation arranging service, city wide smartcard, GPS on every bus telling you which stop is next. It's an easy to use, high quality public service. Not like the colourful dross you get in some UK towns with elderly buses in cheerful liveries with strange fares, random timetables and names like "Glen's Travel offering you upto 10 min service to Bigstown Shopping Centre".
     
  17. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    An excellent post! Great that you;ve pointed out the US way - I have travelled in Seattle, San Francisco, Vegas, Chicago and Alberquerque and found the public transportation (buses, trams) provided by the local council to be comprehensive, reasonably priced and clean. They were also well used, and not only by the poorer sections of society. And all this in the land of the automobile!

    In contrast, in the UK, we seem to have abandoned the idea of public transport for all, and seem to see buses and trains as inferior to the car. In reality, we nedd comprehensive and affordable public transport as well as cars, so that people have a genuine choice. Too often, outside of London at least, people feel they have to get a car because of the price or availability of the lcoal buses and trains. Helped, of course, by the relocation of many shops and offices to out of town retial parks often poorly served by bus.
     
  18. 90019

    90019 Established Member

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    I prefer the system in Edinburgh, with the main operator being council owned, but with private companies operating as well.

    Lothian provide the main service in the city, First provide extra services, a mix of competing and slightly different routes, there are also smaller companies like Nordi and E&M Horsburgh providing services on a few other routes, though they're not that frequent.
     
  19. MCR247

    MCR247 Established Member

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    Thats what it is like in Nottingham with the council owning 83% of NCT, and Trandsev owning 17%. Trent Barton and NCT get on well these days, with Trent Barton providing more longer distance bus routes, and NCT doing more shorter ones with exceptions obviously
     
  20. Heinz57

    Heinz57 Member

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    The new route won't last long against the indego. Every 6 mins on a modern bus with leather seats vs every 30 mins on what will probably be a bog standard bus.

    Plus on top of that, TB have competative fares, frio, zig zag, mango and about a million other special tickets.

    Many small indapendant companies have gone up against Trent Barton. Most of them have failed. It's only realy Felix that hasn't. Simply because there route (The Black Cat, formaly the 12) operated between Ilkeston and Derby long before trent moved in on that route. And now they work together along there - Accepting each others return tickets and frios and so on.
     
  21. starrymarkb

    starrymarkb Established Member

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    Trent Already do so, Red Arrow every 10 mins. Stops only at the QMC (and then only really to keep it legally as a bus service rather then coach)
     
  22. trentside

    trentside Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Further to the above, it now appears that the Red4 may actually follow the Rainbow 4 route to Stapleford, and then divert via Briar Gate, to Long Eaton. Even so, TrentBarton are still providing a Nottingham-Stapleford service every 10 minutes, combined with the less frequent 15/21 services, there is still an equally frequent service through Stapleford and Sandiacre.
     
  23. WillPS

    WillPS Established Member

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    Bring back Nottingham Omnibus!
     
  24. gordonthemoron

    gordonthemoron Established Member

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    the trouble with having all these extra buses into Nottingham is that Parliament Street is already chocca with buses and this is making things worse
     
  25. MCR247

    MCR247 Established Member

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    I don't think the Red4 will use parliament street but I do agree with what you are saying :)
     
  26. trentside

    trentside Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    It depends whether they decide to route the Red4 via the 'City Loop' or not! I know the Red1 and Red2 both run around Colin Street, Fletchergate, then onto Victoria Centre and Parliament Street. Their argument for this is providing passengers with more convenience, and also to stop their routes looking like carbon copies of other operators. In reality, the time it takes to go around the Loop, you may as well get the Trent bus to Friar Lane and walk it!
     
  27. starrymarkb

    starrymarkb Established Member

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    That lasted a long time - Red 4 is withdrawn this month, Barginbus (Wellglade) raise prices in response!
     
  28. trentside

    trentside Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    While the Red4 may be gone, there is also now competition between Nottingham and Loughborough as Kinchbus has started running hourly on the route, competing with Premiere's half hourly X9 service. Fares on the Kinchbus route are £1 single and £2 return.

    Premiere recently stated on their Facebook page that further expansion plans were on hold because of the current "situation".
     
  29. Jordeh

    Jordeh Member

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    Not sure what to make of this to be honest, I live in Sandiacre on the route of all the buses so I thought it was great. 6 Trent Barton buses per hour, 3 Bargain buses per hour and 3 Red Fours per hour. So 2x more service and 4x cheaper faires is surely a good thing but the Wellglade Group/Trent Barton just appear to have stopped all competition in it's tracks and then raised prices. I don't like to see business practises like that.

    http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/n...ted-route/article-2999663-detail/article.html
     
  30. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Are you sure? What happened in places like Darlington?
     

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