Stagecoach Group (General Discussion re Stagecoach buses, Megabus, MagicBus etc)

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by tbtc, 10 Jan 2018.

  1. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    Rather than take the FirstGroup thread off-course, I thought I'd start a thread specifically for Stagecoach, as they are under a lot of the same pressures as First, but Stagecoach cuts don't seem to attract the same level of attention.

    It's Barnsley's turn at the end of this month - https://www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/servicechanges/ - a number of local services (the old Yorkshire Traction "TownLink" routes) getting trimmed - mainly ten minute services becoming every twelve minutes but with some differences.

    For example, Royston goes down from a ten minute service (2x57 + 4x59) to every fifteen (2x57 + 2x59). The X65 (Barnsley - M1 - Meadowhall) that was introduced in the summer is halved in frequency (60 minutes).

    But at least it's a town that has seen some investment in new vehicles and some new services (as well as the X65 there's the hourly X10 to Leeds, the night bus N66 in a town significantly smaller than many cities that can't sustain night buses), so not as bleak as some places.

    I thought that the busy First thread probably warranted a "general" Stagecoach one (rather than just about Barnsley!)...
     
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  3. overthewater

    overthewater Established Member

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    That is a bit of a surprise.

    http://www.passengertransport.co.uk/2018/01/souter-partners-with-flixbus-in-poland/

     
  4. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    Stagecoach are a bit smarter at introducing these sorts of changes. It's always a subtle change, it's always because of "traffic congestion" and it's always a gradual change so you don't notice it at first. In Newcastle one set of routes have gone from 8bph to 4bph. First would make the change all in one go and then wonder why they have such a poor reputation, Stagecoach did it gradually over about a year, moving from 8bph to 6bph and then to 4bph.

    You'll probably see the same in Barnsley. Nobody notices a 12 minute wait compared to a 10 minute wait, and nobody notices a 15 minute wait compared to a 12 minute wait. But you've cut your PVR quite dramatically by the end of it.
     
  5. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    True.

    They've come up with a good excuse for a cut they are making in Manchester:

    http://www.manchestereveningnews.co...hester-news/x92-non-stop-bus-service-14138461

    ...that's a much better way of getting the media to write a positive spin than just "we are axing it because not enough people use it".

    First could learn a lot in the dark arts!
     
  6. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    A simple change of number to something that doesn't include the numbers 1, 9 or 2 would seem to me to solve the 'problem':o
     
  7. robertclark125

    robertclark125 Established Member

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    Then again, Stagecoach are very good at trying to innovate, and giving things a lot of time, learning as they go along, and if something doesn't work, and they end the idea, they also learn why it didn't work. It means things aren't a total failure, knowledge is never lost.

    Stagecoach publicity to try and tempt people onto the buses also seems a lot better, and has some good ideas taken from the railways of long ago. Think Network Southeast!
     
  8. Dentonian

    Dentonian Established Member

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    Presumably, keeping the "92" after the X made people aware it was an A6 service. As for an underlying reason (if there is one), its far more likely to be that it isn't possible to stick to the running time, rather than relatively poor loadings.
     
  9. AWK

    AWK Member

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    There's nothing on that page about cuts to the 57/59, and they don't appear on a summary list of the changes displayed by the PTE in Barnsley Interchange. As far as I know they're not changing.

    The X65 is only being reduced on a Sunday, it remains as-is on a Saturday (and on a weekday, though only runs weekdays in the school holidays).

    The reductions from every 10 to every 12 are on services 6, 11 and 32 and I think save 3 vehicles (1 from each service).

    AWK
     
  10. Dentonian

    Dentonian Established Member

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    Not that simple in practice. Certainly not in a "captive market" environment. Irrelevant of payment method, a 20% cut in service will - initially at least - mean 20% more passengers boarding the remaining buses. This results in a further deterioration in punctuality, much greater chance of missed connections and increased potential for overloading, especially mid morning. In the longer term, a few passengers will decide not to tolerate the increase in their overall journey times and less chance of a seat. Especially, as fares will still keep rising. That in turn, means more cars on the route; and so it goes.........
     
  11. GaryMcEwan

    GaryMcEwan Member

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    Has Cumbernauld just got 10932 (brand new E400) on loan from Ardrossan or is it there to stay? I know Cumbernauld are 1 down on their PVR at the moment, but have the got anything else in the tank (pardon the pun) if it does head back to Ardrossan?
     
  12. markydh

    markydh Member

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    They are? They’ve been very much a standstill and just rake in the profits operation in the north east for years. There’s been one or two service punts but it’s been very ‘as you were’ until the swingeing cuts last year.
     
  13. Paul Sidorczuk

    Paul Sidorczuk Veteran Member

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    Not being from the Greater Manchester area, it does seem to me that Stagecoach have at least attempted to introduce fleets of new "eco-buses" there in recent years
     
  14. Dentonian

    Dentonian Established Member

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    Certainly, Stagecoach are better than others in this respect - even if they don't seem to use them as supposedly intended! First's Investment record is appalling and to turn round and say they will only invest in areas with proper bus priorities now is a bit rich, given there has been no meaningful investment in GM (and I dare say many other areas) for a decade! Arriva are even worse, given they shipped their only hybrids out to Birkenhead and replaced them with slightly older single deckers (Euro 5?). In saying that, Arriva are only a minor player in GM bus wise. Other ops also have a seemingly poor record, but for more understandable reasons; Rosso have obviously had to keep a close eye on the bottom line to be fair to their shareholders (Rossendale tax-payers), and that looks like it will change now that Transdev have completed the acquisition. Rotala's fleet looks a bit cobbled together for now - how many different variatons of Optate Solos are there? (lol) - but presumably, they are waiting for Franchising or at least some sort of Reform before adding quality to the quantity.
     
  15. Dentonian

    Dentonian Established Member

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    I had to laugh when I read that Stagecoach Manchester had won Best city operator again last year, and it referred to innovative new services! I could only think of one fully commercial service to fall in that category (24 Stockport-Salford Quays) and it was deregistered before the Awards ceremony. But overall, Manchester is now no better than North East (or anywhere else), with loyal, long-term captive markets suffering whilst they fight a bus war out in Salford, Swinton and Walkden.
     
  16. bungle965

    bungle965 Established Member

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    I am still a little wary of Rotala as I have seen their operations in the West Midlands in the form of Black Diamond, and they certainly leave allot to be desired, one hopes that I will have had no cause for concern and that they will become a well run/managed operation.
    Bringing it a bit back onto topic having read through the forthcoming changes on GMCA's website, allot of the changes by Stagecoach are actual improvements with earlier and later buses on their commercial services! Certainly makes a change of the constant cuts that I am used to seeing.
    https://l.messenger.com/l.php?u=htt...imNGEYwG9Xr10uxNtCVKGJllWtHLE9l040b9HeN__gcig
    Sam
     
  17. Dentonian

    Dentonian Established Member

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    Presumably, you are talking about the ones in Wigan/Leigh which seem to be mainly running buses back in service to Bryn, rather than running dead. I was thinking of more fundamental cuts recently. As I alluded to on another thread, cuts along Reddish Road in 2015 saw service 317 (2bph) withdrawn and partially replaced by diverting service 7, which itself is less attractive as it diverts away from the main road to serve Portwood Tesco and 328 & 374 (5bph) combined into a new 329 (2bph). This led to the trunk 203 (itself losing the odd journey at the end of each peak) become even less punctual as each had to pick up more passengers with no extra running time. This meant standing loads (incl. the elderly) and bunching of 3 never mind 2 buses arriving in Stockport together, and that's at 1030-1100, not just around 0900. Things seem to have slightly eased now, but that might be because the journeys I now catch are different to what they were and I seem (fortunately) to catch a 203 and find we later catch up to a 7 or 329 (or both) that has cleared the way for us. Either that, or the bus hasn't been delayed getting to my stop by a crew relief at Hyde Road.
    Exact on time arrivals are still very rare, though.
     
  18. bungle965

    bungle965 Established Member

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    No I was thinking about the 143, 192, 203, 205 and 250 which are all receiving either earlier or later buses.
    Unfortunately I am not as clued up on the South Manchester services as I am with North, so I cannot comment on your findings.
    Sam
     
  19. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    And in Manchester. And in South Yorkshire. And in Liverpool.

    I genuinely don't know where Stagecoach get this reputation for innovation from. Stagecoach generally do the basics relatively competently, but innovative? Nah. Not by a long way.

    First (e.g. Overground, Greyhound) are more innovative...they just don't follow anything through.
     
  20. Dentonian

    Dentonian Established Member

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    Those are from 8th April, and are TFGM tenders. Although, those services are currently 100% Stagecoach - and apart from evening 205s are 100% commercial - there is no guarantee Stagecoach will win the tenders. I hadn't looked at the details, but I'm surprised any tender on the 192 can be justified as it is virtually a 24/7 service, anyway. And unfortunately the link has now disappeared, so I can't check details of the others either! I've just got a message suggesting it was posted via Facebook, which I don't subscribe to.
     
  21. Cesarcollie

    Cesarcollie Member

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    Magic Bus? Little & Often? Taxibus? Mega bus? The Ferry service in Scotland (I forget where).
    Greyhound was an existing operation purchased by First. Overground was just a brand for a high frequency urban network - Stagecoach have similar. I would contend Stagecoach are generally better at investment, better at the basics, better at innovation, better at following things through - and I recollect independent research says their (bus) fares are generally lower.
     
  22. bungle965

    bungle965 Established Member

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    Apologies here it is.
    https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&s...FjAAegQIARAB&usg=AOvVaw0EK3gS6SSUXyBbxD7ibQme
    Sam
     
  23. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    Magic Bus was a way of driving competition off the road, and generally disappeared once that had been achieved. As for Little and Often, weren't we doing that in the 80s with the bread vans?

    Stagecoach are often better at the basics (although up here in the north east they're certainly not) but that's not really innovation.
     
  24. Dentonian

    Dentonian Established Member

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    Thanks. To summarise, the 143 & 192 are commercial changes from the end of this month. The others (plus some South M'cr/Trafford services) are tenders yet to be awarded to start in April (presumably the 8th). I wonder if TFGM are administering these on behalf of a third party, as they seem to be very specific. The 203 could just as easily be numbered 201 as it simply an earlier journey along the A57 within Manchester's borders. The 205 is slightly stranger, as it means Dane Bank gets an earlier bus on a Sunday than it does on Saturdays! I wonder if there is a typo on these sheets; either the timing (maybe the 0700 is Sat & 0755 Sun) or the routing (possibly Gorton to Manchester only - again running solely within the city boundary. Maybe the City Council are the ultimate paymasters...
     
  25. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    Seeing a common or garden "beachball" single decker on Chesterfield's X17 yesterday, rather than the usual Stagecoach Gold E400, got me thinking...

    ...are Stagecoach still increasing "Gold"?

    My UK-wide knowledge isn't great, but they've not expanded it on any routes around here - the X17 E400s are still the first batch for the route (i.e. after the conversion to "Gold").

    Are they adding additional routes elsewhere, or are "Gold" buses being painted into "beachball" livery when no longer young enough for a flagship route? Is this a concept that hit a "ceiling"?
     
  26. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    As far as I can recall, Stagecoach is converting a route around Chippenham (55 ?) to Gold very soon. There is also a new bus order for Gold single deckers to convert the busy 48 route out of Coventry.
     
  27. iantherev

    iantherev Member

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    Two trunk routes in the Rhondda Valley went over to Gold in December.
     
  28. bungle965

    bungle965 Established Member

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    I was thinking that when the new high spec buses were introduced on the X2 (Liverpool to Preston) that would have been the ideal candidate to be branded as a 'Gold' route however when the buses came they were simply in standard livery.
    Sam
     
  29. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    Indeed, the Swindon to Chippenham service moves to Gold standard on 18th February and the 48 from Coventry to Nuneaton and Leicester (et al) is due to move. The 120/130 going roughly from Treorchy via Porth to Pontypridd and through to Caerphilly have been converted. Also, the 471/2 in the Wirral were also moved to Gold - all these with new fleet.

    However, there have also been some cascaded Golds as well during 2016/7 with Chester getting ex Leamington Solos to convert a couple of local routes whilst new Gold fleet for the Aldershot 1 and Gloucester 94 allowed the cascade of the relevant fleet (2008/9 vintage) to convert the 97/98 (Cheltenham to Glos back road route) as well as the Gloucester to Stroud/Quedgeley routes.

    Certain places are more prevalent for Gold routes. West, Oxfordshire and Midlands have numerous routes, whereas Scotland has one (aside from Citylink) and North East has none at all. Yorkshire, like Kent or East, haven't extended it so much - a lack of suitable candidates?
     
    Last edited: 4 Feb 2018
  30. Paul Sidorczuk

    Paul Sidorczuk Veteran Member

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    When visiting Manchester, I have noticed that Magic Bus services have been running for a considerable time period. Bearing in mind what you say above about Magic Bus services, can someone explain to me why these Manchester-based services are still running.
     
  31. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It’s used as a means of differential pricing, a bit like First and Standard classes, sort of. Though that wasn’t the original intention of it.
     

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