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Trivia - new/current route suggestions

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Simon75

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What services would suggest be a good idea on to improve or introduce.

Up until a few ago D&G ran a one a day. Nantwich to Wrexham service, which due to cuts was withdrawn. Would be great to reintroduce (currently you have to via Chester)
 
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Llandudno

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Bring back the X67 Lincman!

Lincoln-Newark-Mansfield-Chesterfield-Tideswell-Stockport-Manchester

Used to run about every 2 hours pre 1986

or..
L1 Cymru Coastliner
Chester-Rhyl-Llandudno-Bangor-Caernarfon

Every hour, 7 days a week until 11pm pre 1986
 

markymark2000

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What services would suggest be a good idea on to improve or introduce.

Up until a few ago D&G ran a one a day. Nantwich to Wrexham service, which due to cuts was withdrawn. Would be great to reintroduce (currently you have to via Chester)
That bus used to fill up as well from Nantwich. I did a trip on it and counted around 25 on at Nantwich, no one else on the rest of the journey. It was a good route but it was the concessionary fare to Wrexham as it was specifically timed to make people pay and on the return it was actual passes. If elderly people were made to pay the £3 return, it would be viable. The issue though comes from the fact it has to be in the concessionary scheme and there may be an issue with you paying a driver to sit in Wrexham for a few hours.
There isn't much scope for it to increase it's numbers either since the route is very rural. from Farndon through to Wrexham as well you have the Stagecoach bus providing an adequate service.

It's one of those routes which would be fine if you could exclude concessionary passes.
 

Llandudno

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That bus used to fill up as well from Nantwich. I did a trip on it and counted around 25 on at Nantwich, no one else on the rest of the journey. It was a good route but it was the concessionary fare to Wrexham as it was specifically timed to make people pay and on the return it was actual passes. If elderly people were made to pay the £3 return, it would be viable. The issue though comes from the fact it has to be in the concessionary scheme and there may be an issue with you paying a driver to sit in Wrexham for a few hours.
There isn't much scope for it to increase it's numbers either since the route is very rural. from Farndon through to Wrexham as well you have the Stagecoach bus providing an adequate service.

It's one of those routes which would be fine if you could exclude concessionary passes.
Not so sure 25 pax @ £3 per head return for such a long journey could be considered financially viable?
 

NorthOxonian

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Good idea for a thread. I'm no expert and all three of these ideas could be huge flops, but I think these are some routes which could do well, especially given population shifts and changes in why people travel (with leisure becoming relatively more important as work from home rises).

Firstly, I'd bring back the X88 from Oxford to Northampton, running as an hourly service (previously it was every 2 hours). This would be done by merging one of the four S5 buses per hour (the one which terminates in Bicester town centre) and the 505 (Bicester - Brackley), then extending to Northampton. With significant population growth all along the route, and particularly at Bicester, I think this service would be much more successful this time around.

I'd extend route 50 from Chipping Norton to Oxford on summer Saturdays only, and market it heavily as a tourist route. With destinations such as Shakespeare's birthplace, pretty Cotswold towns, Blenheim Palace, and Oxford, there's a lot to see and do along the route.

One final thought - we're seeing an increase in active travel, so why not try to start routes appealing to that market. Saturday services between cities with a lot of cyclists and nearby scenic countryside, with buses with extra cycle space, could be a good idea. For example, fom Oxford, you might have a route heading to the Chilterns or south into the Berkshire downs. To improve takings on those routes, I'd also consider extensions to High Wycombe and Newbury, meaning you're taking people from Oxford into the country and then people from those towns into the city as well.
 

TheGrandWazoo

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My pessimistic, cynical nature ;) is always a bit guarded about services from the past being resurrected. For example, Bristol to Gloucester disappeared in the mid 1990s, and whilst Stagecoach did try to bring it back, sometimes the world has just moved on. Rail is much better now and there are other societal changes.

One I've mentioned on the TrawCymru thread has been the Carmarthen - Llandeilo - Llandovery route (280/1) that runs every 90 mins using two vehicles; it is tendered but wondered with the TC funds available whether it could be made hourly?

Before @Bletchleyite nips in, an improved Snowdon Sherpa network with decent marketing and connectivity wouldn't be a bad thing. That might also benefit from some resurgence in the domestic holiday market. Similarly, we've seen First introduce more open toppers in Cornwall, North Somerset and Dorset so perhaps a few other places that might also justify some similar moves?
 

43055

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L1 Cymru Coastliner
Chester-Rhyl-Llandudno-Bangor-Caernarfon

Every hour, 7 days a week until 11pm pre 1986
Which is still possible just as 4 routes now which have different frequencies.

I agree with @TheGrandWazoo about a improved Snodonia network.
 

markymark2000

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Not so sure 25 pax @ £3 per head return for such a long journey could be considered financially viable?
£75 per day. It's a 6 hour duty (from departing the depot to arriving back at the depot) if the bus only does the 89. D&Gs wages aren't high either and as D&G don't pay breaks, the wages wouldn't be too high. You could probably break even on £75 for it. Fuel would be for running the bus for around 2h 30.

Before @Bletchleyite nips in, an improved Snowdon Sherpa network with decent marketing and connectivity wouldn't be a bad thing. That might also benefit from some resurgence in the domestic holiday market. Similarly, we've seen First introduce more open toppers in Cornwall, North Somerset and Dorset so perhaps a few other places that might also justify some similar moves?
What you are forgetting is that you need an innovative bus company to try out this sort of thing. Wales doesn't really have any innovative companies who want to have commercial buses. The operators are just there to help the managed decline.
 

TheGrandWazoo

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What you are forgetting is that you need an innovative bus company to try out this sort of thing. Wales doesn't really have any innovative companies who want to have commercial buses. The operators are just there to help the managed decline.

Sorry - I should clarify....Snowdon Sherpa was something that can be done by the National Park and Gwynedd Council. I was thinking more on the lines of a Moorsbus (NY Moors) rather than Stagecoach (Lakes)

The open topper comment was not tied to Wales but a national comment e.g. First adding to their one O/T in Great Yarmouth, for instance.
 

Llandudno

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Which is still possible just as 4 routes now which have different frequencies.

I agree with @TheGrandWazoo about a improved Snodonia network.
The L1 was, of course limited stop and operated before the A55 was built and took 3.5 hours end to end.
Not sure if many people travelled end to end though!

Yes, you can still travel using various Arriva buses to get from Chester to Caernarfon, but you are probably looking at the best part of five hours now!

£75 per day. It's a 6 hour duty (from departing the depot to arriving back at the depot) if the bus only does the 89. D&Gs wages aren't high either and as D&G don't pay breaks, the wages wouldn't be too high. You could probably break even on £75 for it. Fuel would be for running the bus for around 2h 30.


What you are forgetting is that you need an innovative bus company to try out this sort of thing. Wales doesn't really have any innovative companies who want to have commercial buses. The operators are just there to help the managed decline.
The employers cost for a 6 hour day would be at least £75 (more likely £80-£90) then add in £20 fuel, before adding in the cost of the bus. I guess if a school run could be bolted on before and after the trip from Nantwich to Wrexham then it would need to take at least £100 to break even. Then, of course on weekdays during school holidays there is no school run to prop it up.
 
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markymark2000

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The L1 was, of course limited stop and operated before the A55 was built and took 3.5 hours end to end.
Not sure if many people travelled end to end though!

Yes, you can still travel using various Arriva buses to get from Chester to Caernarfon, but you are probably looking at the best part of five hours now!


The employers cost for a 6 hour day would be at least £75 (more likely £80-£90) then add in £20 fuel, before adding in the cost of the bus. I guess if a school run could be bolted on before and after the trip from Nantwich to Wrexham then it would need to take at least £100 to break even. Then, of course on weekdays during school holidays there is no school run to prop it up.
D&G drivers aren't on 12.50ph. They are on (to quote a post on another forum), barely above minimum wage and upto 1 hour of a break isn't paid. Based on £9ph for 5 hours (6 hour duty and take out 1h unpaid break) is £45. Plus £20 fuel is £65.
 

Llandudno

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I would be surprised if D&G or in fact any bus operator in the UK is paying less than £10 per hour, plus you need to add on the employers on costs, NI contributions and pension contributions.
 

markymark2000

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I would be surprised if D&G or in fact any bus operator in the UK is paying less than £10 per hour, plus you need to add on the employers on costs, NI contributions and pension contributions.
You can be surprised but it's the reality of independants.
With the other costs, ok, i'll give you that. Still could break even.
 

86247

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Back in the late seventies the L1 was every hour Chester to caernarfon with a couple of short runs to flint, Rhyl , or Llandudno.when i started to do buses regularly it was one through journey caernarfon to Chester and all other journeys were Chester to Rhyl only. If you were trying to do it today you would have to get 5 services to get there.
10 Chester- Holywell
11 Holywell- Rhyl
12 Rhyl- Llandudno
5/X5 Llandudno- Bangor
5 Bangor- Caernarfon
 

Ianno87

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Bring back the X67 Lincman!

Lincoln-Newark-Mansfield-Chesterfield-Tideswell-Stockport-Manchester

Used to run about every 2 hours pre 1986

Is that the ancestor of the Manchester-Chesterfield X67 that ran for many years until a few years ago (latterly as the TM Travel 67). Always thought it was a bit of an oddity of a route...
 

Contains Nuts

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You can be surprised but it's the reality of independants.
With the other costs, ok, i'll give you that. Still could break even.

Is there any point in a commercial operator running anything to break even? Realistically a bus operating a school with something in the middle Monday to Friday should return at least £70k per year to be worth doing, but even at that price you would need some better paying buses working longer days to cover the overheads of running the depot.

Driver’s wages isn’t really anything worth debating (at least not on this thread anyway). If a company didn’t pay enough they wouldn’t be able to retain drivers. The majority of bus operators in the UK pay the going rates for the areas they run in and many smaller operators offer benefits not usually available at the big groups like flexibility of working hours or part time hours.

To get back on topic, given the choice of former routes to reinstate I would choose a D&G one - the Thursday-only 15B from Newport to Stone via Norbury Junction, High Offley, Eccleshall, Stafford and Hilderstone. Two hours and ten minutes end-to-end and most definitely a day out in its own right rather than a means of actually going somewhere.
 

markymark2000

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Is there any point in a commercial operator running anything to break even? Realistically a bus operating a school with something in the middle Monday to Friday should return at least £70k per year to be worth doing, but even at that price you would need some better paying buses working longer days to cover the overheads of running the depot.
If it was a regular bus, I would fully agree but it's a small route between schools which merely keeps a driver happy. Also running it only 1 maybe 2 day per week (as it ran previously) means that you wouldn't be expecting anywhere near 70k per year. It's ok to break even on some routes as long as you have other routes making enough to cover the depot costs and the route isn't variable (the passengers need to be consistent though of course). Cut back slightly on the shopping time and cut Farndon and Holt along with making times more realistic (less buffer time), you could maybe get it down even further so more can be done either side of the service. Nothing major but it helps reduce the overall costs on wages.
 

hst43102

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I think that the old National-style long-distance bus routes were a nice idea, such as the X96? from Shrewsbury to Northampton via Birmingham and Coventry.
 

Llandudno

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Is that the ancestor of the Manchester-Chesterfield X67 that ran for many years until a few years ago (latterly as the TM Travel 67). Always thought it was a bit of an oddity of a route...
Yes it was, the Lincoln bit was the first to get chopped, followed a few years later by the Mansfield section.
Bizarrely it was extended to Liverpool for a short period in the 1980s, a place then, that no one wanted to visit, unlike now, as Liverpool is one of the visited tourist destinations in the UK!
 

TheSel

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What services would suggest be a good idea on to improve or introduce.

Up until a few ago D&G ran a one a day. Nantwich to Wrexham service, which due to cuts was withdrawn. Would be great to reintroduce (currently you have to via Chester)
Not a new idea! Please see below - Crosville's Wrexham - Nantwich timetable from 1965

1604578606630.png
 

TheSel

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Yes it was, the Lincoln bit was the first to get chopped, followed a few years later by the Mansfield section.
Bizarrely it was extended to Liverpool for a short period in the 1980s, a place then, that no one wanted to visit, unlike now, as Liverpool is one of the visited tourist destinations in the UK!
Indeed it was. Please find below a copy of the 1987 timetable, and below that, an example of the vehicles used - East Midland Alexander bodied Leyland Tiger 44 - A44XHE - leaving Litton (in the Peak District) working the 1315 Mansfield to Liverpool journey on Saturday 12 November 1988.

1604589624231.png

1604589666349.png

1604589592554.png

Interestingly operated from the Wrexham end, not the Nantwich end. Thursday was (is still) Nantwich market day - though I think allowing 7 hours there is a bit excessive !
Didn't Nantwich depot close in 1962, though?
 
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Ken H

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How about a decent service in t'Dales. I look at the old United and West Yorkshire services in Wensleydale, Wharfedale and Ribblesdale in the 1960, and compare to today. And the Dent/Sedbergh/Kirkby Stephen/Shap area of Cumbria have almost nothing
To be fair, Transdev do their best with Grassington and Pateley Bridge
 

Llandudno

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Indeed it was. Please find below a copy of the 1987 timetable, and below that, an example of the vehicles used - East Midland Alexander bodied Leyland Tiger 44 - A44XHE - leaving Litton (in the Peak District) working the 1315 Mansfield to Liverpool journey on Saturday 12 November 1988.

View attachment 85479

View attachment 85480

View attachment 85478


Didn't Nantwich depot close in 1962, though?
This X67 timetable was almost its parting shot, once you start running different timetables on different days of the week it is a slippery slope. Most of the route was withdrawn before the Trafford Centre opened and before free travel for pensioners was introduced by Gordon Brown. It’s possible with free passes and operating, say on Saturdays only via Manchester (and MUFC) to the Trafford Centre it may have survived.

Chesterfield Transport operated a Saturday only service 467 between Chesterfield and Manchester on Saturdays in the run up to Christmas for a couple of years (1987/8) and regularly needed duplicates.

It wasn’t helped by the opening of the Hazel Grove chord which enabled an hourly train service from Chesterfield to Stockport, Manchester and Liverpool to commence operation, followed by the reopening of Mansfield railway station, which provided connectivity to the rail network.
 

Simon75

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Didn't Nantwich depot close in 1962, though?
[/QUOTE]
Yes but only 4 miles from Crewe

Reinstating the X18 Hanley to Sheffield
 

TheGrandWazoo

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How about a decent service in t'Dales. I look at the old United and West Yorkshire services in Wensleydale, Wharfedale and Ribblesdale in the 1960, and compare to today. And the Dent/Sedbergh/Kirkby Stephen/Shap area of Cumbria have almost nothing
To be fair, Transdev do their best with Grassington and Pateley Bridge

Bus services in Wensleydale..... They are actually better now (in some respects) than at deregulation, after the swingeing cuts of 1981, but worse in others.

  • Leyburn to Bedale
    • It was just three daily return journeys from Leyburn to Northallerton - morning for schools/workers, mid pm schools, later pm workers plus a couple of Leyburn to Bedale runs on Tues/Fri for Bedale market
    • Is now five return daily journeys (M-F) from Leyburn to Bedale using a council minibus but only off peak
  • Leyburn to Ripon
    • It was two journeys per week (Thu/Sat) for Ripon market days
    • Now 3 - 4 journeys per day
  • Leyburn to Richmond
    • It was 5 journeys per day (M-F) and 4 on Saturday
    • Now 6/7 journeys per day (but now only off peak)
  • Leyburn to Hawes (via Aysgarth)
    • It was a mix depending on market days of 2-4 journeys per day including schools
    • Now a community minibus with about 5 journeys but you have to pre-book in certain villages
  • Leyburn to Hawes (via Redmire)
    • It was a mix depending on market days of 1-3 journeys per day including schools
    • Now a community minibus with about 4 journeys but you have to pre-book in certain villages
When the Rural Bus Challenge funding came out in the early 2000s, the routes did get massively uplifted to 1960s levels but when austerity struck, they were dropped back. Arguably better than in 1986, though off peak for the pensioners but not so great during peaks.
 
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