Stagecoach North Scotland

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by overthewater, 5 Sep 2018.

  1. GusB

    GusB Established Member

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    Well, as the crow flies, the Black Isle isn't that far away. Maybe there's a plan to connect Nairn to Cromarty with one of those amphibious buses at some point in the future... :)
     
  2. Jordan Adam

    Jordan Adam Established Member

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    What you mean by that is a former Rapsons driver takes out a former D&E vehicle on the 5A, thinks it's the old 11, goes to Fort George and then drives in to the water "by accident". Call me nutty but it is to some degree believable. :lol:

    I think it speaks volumes when Tain based vehicles are coming down to Aberdeen for their 28 day check.
     
  3. GusB

    GusB Established Member

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    I can see the StagecoachNScot twitter feed now:
    "The 1700 service 20W from Nairn has been cancelled due to the bus sinking halfway across the Moray Firth. Apologies for the inconvenience."
     
  4. Jordan Adam

    Jordan Adam Established Member

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    Or (formatted exactly like this...)

    "The 1700 service 20W from Nairn has been cancelled due to the bus sinking halfway across the Moray Firth.

    An Engineer has been dispatched.

    This will also delay the 18:18 26 from Fortrose-Inverness

    Apologies for any inconvenience caused."
     
  5. Caleb2010

    Caleb2010 Member

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    But the tweet won't actually be tweeted until about 9 hours after the departure/sinking of the service!

    New timetable for Elgin area now on website! Addition of the 39 and retiming and what appears to be re-routing of the 36.

    Monday's to Saturdays it now appears to miss Craigellachie completely going straight to Aberlour, only then returning to Craigellachie to serve the village, before reversing again and continuing on to Dufftown, via Craigellachie Garage!. Either that or someone put the little blue arrows in the wrong place!

    Service is also losing a few journeys as predicted, with a couple of short journeys between Dufftown and Craigellachie, which would be ok if they connected with the new 39 but - they don't, well the one in the afternoon doesn't!

    The Sunday service is back, all 4 journeys of it! ☹️
     
  6. Jordan Adam

    Jordan Adam Established Member

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    Just for reference...

    https://www.stagecoachbus.com/servi...rticle?SituationId=ID-19/06/2019-16:45:46:179

    It's a shame they've failed to mention the 727 which will now serve TECA and run 24 hours a day from the same date!
     
  7. Whiteway215

    Whiteway215 Member

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    Probably not the place I should be asking about the Bristol LH but here goes! A driver once commented to me the LH had a 'Chinese' gearbox. Did that mean the gear lever had a different layout to select the gears than your normal manual gearbox?
     
  8. GregA

    GregA Member

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  9. Jordan Adam

    Jordan Adam Established Member

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    Highland journeys will probably be a Profile, Bluebird ones could be anything.
     
  10. Caleb2010

    Caleb2010 Member

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    Not the LH's I drove! they had normal everyday gearboxes.
     
  11. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Veteran Member

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    As an exiled North Easterner, been on plenty an LH. The London Transport ones were a breed apart in terms of gearboxes and braking systems. I'm sure there's a few other variants - think some East Kent ones had semi autos.

    However, standard LHs had 5 speed manual gearboxes and United/Tees/TMS had a lot of LHs from across the former NBC.
     
  12. smtglasgow

    smtglasgow Member

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    Don’t know enough about the Aberdeenshire changes to comment, but Stagecoach really don’t seem to know what to do with their Inverness town network. My brother has lived in Smithton for over 6 years and in that time the local services have been completely revised at least once a year, sometimes 2 or 3 times. Services have been renumbered and rerouted, destinations have changed, frequencies cut, increased, cut again with timetables so complicated that they’re simply a mess. The proposals for the 5 are almost wilfully obscure – a weird mix of 15 and 20 min frequency.

    No doubt it’s all about trying to squeeze more out of fewer vehicles, and I get that Stagecoach Highlands was making a loss in its last set of accounts, but I can’t think of another area where there are so many service changes which seem to throw everything up in the air hoping it all falls down in a better order. The Highlands are a tough operating environment, but Inverness itself is a growing city with a reasonably strong economy – it must be possible to develop an easier to understand network.

    Funnily enough, hidden away within these proposals are some modest improvements - reintroducing a bus to Nairn through Cawdor re-establishes an old Highland Omnibuses route from back in the day – but they’re not doing themselves any favours in Inverness.
     
  13. Jordan Adam

    Jordan Adam Established Member

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    You're right, the Inverness network seems to be totally revamped every year, with regular changes. Personally i'd hate to live there. Stagecoach NScot have a habit of doing mass service cuts in order to aid fleet replacement and this to me looks like they're back at it again. iirc the 5's extended to Nairn are existing school services that have been merged to offer a through service.

    There is money to be made in the NScotland region but Stagecoach are rather stabbing themselves in the back. I'm not shocked the Bluebird profits have dropped so much given the sheer level of cuts. Yes there's been a decline in bus use, but the level of cuts doesn't accurately reflect the decline and rather over exaggerates it. Many of the routes out of Aberdeen that have seen vast cuts now have capacity issues.
     
  14. GregA

    GregA Member

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    One of the new double deckers, perhaps? :D
     
  15. GusB

    GusB Established Member

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    It's just a pity that they couldn't continue the Ardersier service through to Nairn as well - it seems a bit ridiculous that anyone currently wishing to travel between these two points has to take two separate buses, with the earliest opportunity to change being at Tesco at Eastfield Way, and only then if you take the 10 from Nairn. It's possible to take the 11, alight at the airport and then walk down to the Ardersier road, but it's not ideal for those with mobility issues. I believe the 5A will be diverting to the airport when the changes take place, which will make things a bit easier.
     
  16. Jordan Adam

    Jordan Adam Established Member

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    You know what they say, anything can happen!
     
  17. GregA

    GregA Member

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    They would certainly be more suitable than some of the other buses Elgin has!
     
  18. Whiteway215

    Whiteway215 Member

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    Thanks for that. What were they like to drive though? They always sounded very noisy to me and not what you would want on a busy town service with loads of stopping and starting!
     
  19. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Veteran Member

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    LHs were designed for rural work to replace Bristol LS vehicles and main operators were those with large rural operations like United, Crosville, Western National. They were loud and spartan with iffy ride quality.

    However, they were used on urban work in the North East as they returned astonishing fuel economy. Seem to recall 15-16 mpg on rural work though less in town.
     
  20. Jordan Adam

    Jordan Adam Established Member

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    Note: I've replied in this thread so as to not go off topic in the FirstGroup thread.

    I do understand how hard North Scotland is operationally. However there's no excuse for some of the vehicles they put out on the road. Additionally the Aberdeenshire section isn't that difficult, the fleet is just past it.

    There may be vehicles being repainted, but the quality of said repaints is very poor and they don't sand down vehicles prior to repaint, they just paint straight over the previous coat. Excluding the Perth Hybrids which recently came up it's near impossible to find a NScot vehicle without a dent, scratches or dodgy paint on it.

    Internal dust is a long standing issue, even the old V-DSA Man's on the 59 (7+ years ago) and the Olympians were always covered in dust inside. The amount of times i've accidentally put my arm on the window ledge and then got covered in dust is unbelievable. I've never seen as much dust on a bus as i do on NScot vehicles.

    We're not even touch on the appalling fleet maintenance. And unreliability with pretty much all routes.

    53316 is 11 years old and never had a full repaint (just a partial front one to remove stone chip damage), yet it looks much fresher than vehicles painted even as recent as 3 years ago.

    As i say, the main issue is the fact they don't sand vehicles down properly, they just paint over the previous coat.
     
  21. Morayshire

    Morayshire Member

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    Just got email from Stagecoach today telling me of the above. How nice of Stagecoach to tell me as the email arrived after 6pm and therefore too late for todays Union Square drop in consultation session which finished at 5pm. What a coincidence eh?

    Just as well I have this thread as one of my watched threads and had already spread the news around!
     
  22. GusB

    GusB Established Member

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    I had an interesting experience on one of the 68 plate E200s today. Having dropped the car off for a service earlier, I'd walked into town and had a wander around for a while, before deciding to get the 11 back up the road to Lochloy from the bus station in Nairn. I bought a return because I knew I'd be going to collect the car later on. I went down to the stop for the return journey and we sat there for almost half an hour while the driver awaited a return call about a yellow light that had appeared on the dash.

    The driver was very apologetic and explained that a colleague of his had continued with a similar light illuminated and ended up exacerbating the fault to the point that it cost thousands to repair, therefore he didn't want to take any chances. Fair enough, I suppose, but I'd have thought that drivers would be given basic training on the various warning lights that may show. I also thought that a yellow light was more of a caution and that it would be safe enough continue in service until such time as the issue can receive attention. I'd have just walked if I'd known we'd be sitting there for so long.
     
  23. GregA

    GregA Member

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    The new service 39 between Elgin and Aviemore should have started on Monday. Has anyone used it yet? What vehicles are they using on it?
     
  24. Jordan Adam

    Jordan Adam Established Member

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    It actually started on the 28th. Bluebird have been using one of the Elite's branded for the 10 while Highland have been using literally anything from a Solo to a E200 to a Profile, although 47182 tends to be the regular.
     
  25. Jordan Adam

    Jordan Adam Established Member

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    This could spell trouble for the future of Stagecoach in Caithness...

    https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/highlands/1794190/new-operator-to-tackle-far-north-route

     
  26. Megafuss

    Megafuss Member

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  27. Jordan Adam

    Jordan Adam Established Member

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    Stagecoach only operate 4 full runs per day (3 Saturdays). Just that one proposed run per day could easily cause them bother if it picks up.

    Under Rapson's the X99 was a Citylink route as the 958. There was also a variant that connected with the Ferry to Orkney as a 958E.
     
  28. GusB

    GusB Established Member

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    I assume the vehicles mentioned in the above quote are the Elite Interdecks? On my last visit to Raigmore I noticed that they were using these on the X99. Weren't they also getting complains on the Buchan services as well for their "inaccessibility"?
     
  29. Jordan Adam

    Jordan Adam Established Member

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    Indeed they are the Interdecks. Pretty much every local service (Non-Megabus) that uses them in Scotland has had complaints, the Buchan examples have had the staircase rebuilt to make them more accessible but i can say from personal experience that they're still a bit of a pest. The real main issue in the case of Buchan is that the 60, 63, 67 and 68 all have hail/ride sections, so you have to go down the stairs while the vehicle is moving to signal to the driver where you want off. This was not an issue with the previous vehicles.

    In my opinion Interdeck's should've never been bought for anything other than Megabus or other Megabus-esque services. Thankfully the X7 examples should be getting replaced in 2020, while the Buchan examples will be up for replacement in 2021, another issue the interdecks will present is what to do with them once they're done on the X7/Buchan services as due to restrictions on the Forth Road Bridge they're no use in Fife. And their size prevents them from doing most other coach routes in North Scotland.
     
  30. GregA

    GregA Member

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    Ah, well it certainly gets a variety of vehicles, doesn't it!

    The article mentions that they have been running one of the rail replacement services between Huntly and Dyce; this got me thinking about the use of rail replacement bus services in general.
    I don't know if this is the case for everywhere but from my experience, rail replacement services always use big 50 (or thereabouts) seater coaches, even for short runs like Inverurie to Dyce or Aberdeen. Surley vehicles like the new XLBs which Lothian have would be better suited to this type of work?
    • The XLBs have 100 seats in them which means you'd need fewer buses to operate the rail replacement service
    • Boarding and alighting times could be reduced by using both doors at the same time (in my experience tickets are usually not checked on boarding the rail replacement service)
    • The XLBs are low-floor which would make it easier for mobility-impared people, or parents with prams, to board the service
    I'm not suggesting that Lothian make their XLBs availabile for hire as rail replacement buses, but more that these types of vehicles would be more suitable. Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?
     

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