Trivia: Tightly timed Coach or Bus runs

cambsy

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I thought be interesting to hear of tightly, or impossibly timed Coach or bus runs, i know a few down my area, which Tiverton and Exeter:

NatIonal Express
————————-
404 Taunton to Bridgwater and vv, 20 mins , with 10 mins Taunton-North Petherton,
106 the same as above,
404 around Torbay, both ways, think it has Totnes Paignton 12 mins,
404 around Bristol and bath and Chippenham,

Stagecoach
——————
55 etc Tiverton-Exeter which is about 35 mins and often seems run bit late,

The above runs can be done to timetable, but are very tightly timed, so need driver, to drive hard nosed, to keep to time, the worst I would say is Taunton-North Petherton , which at 10 mins, would be hard pushed to do in a car, let alone a coach.

Are there runs Coach or bus drivers dread doing, because they are really hard pushed to keep to the timetable? Or does one just chill out and get there when one gets there?
 
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R

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I would never " dread" a run which was too tightly timed, if this was the case it was the companies problem, not mine.

A pet hate of mine is drivers who hoof round to keep time, you won't get any backing from the company in the event of a complaint, or worse still, an accident. I can understand new starters wanting to show they can manage, but we had drivers who had been there years who still did it.

Arriva once tried to discipline me for deliberately running late on a route that was notorious for tight timing. The geniuses who had made the rota had put a legally required break of exactly 30 mins at the end of that run, come in late and your next run was covered. Only a fool would hammer it.

I offered to go round with an instructor driving and if he drove the way we were told to and brought it in on time, I would accept the bollocking. Matter dropped.
 

danm14

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24 Jun 2017
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Bus Eireann Expressway 100X after 5:30pm.

It's given 30 minutes to travel the roughly 22 miles from Dundalk Bus Station to Drogheda Bus Station, serving all stops (which effectively means hail and ride). This is exactly the same amount of time as it's given before 5:30pm to do the same journey non-stop via the M1 motorway, which is just about doable. The non-motorway route (100) before 5:30pm is given 55 minutes.

The best part of the timetable is:

Departs Dundalk Institute of Technology at XX:35, arrives Castlebellingham at XX:40. Just over 6 miles in 5 minutes in a bus limited to 100km/h on a road limited to 80km/h.
 

ChrisC

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Nottinghamshire
I thought be interesting to hear of tightly, or impossibly timed Coach or bus runs, i know a few down my area, which Tiverton and Exeter:

NatIonal Express
————————-
404 Taunton to Bridgwater and vv, 20 mins , with 10 mins Taunton-North Petherton,
106 the same as above,
404 around Torbay, both ways, think it has Totnes Paignton 12 mins,
404 around Bristol and bath and Chippenham,

Stagecoach
——————
55 etc Tiverton-Exeter which is about 35 mins and often seems run bit late,

The above runs can be done to timetable, but are very tightly timed, so need driver, to drive hard nosed, to keep to time, the worst I would say is Taunton-North Petherton , which at 10 mins, would be hard pushed to do in a car, let alone a coach.

Are there runs Coach or bus drivers dread doing, because they are really hard pushed to keep to the timetable? Or does one just chill out and get there when one gets there?
Interesting that this thread should appear now especially as it refers to Stagecoach in the Exeter area.
I have just yesterday returned from a holiday in Devon and Cornwall where I did lots of travelling around by bus. One route that I used was the Stagecoach 9A between Exeter and Lyme Regis. I was quite looking forward to this journey but ended up really pleased to get off the bus in Lyme Regis after travelling at very fast speeds for large parts of the journey. The section between Sidmouth and Seaton was particularly bad for this with the double decker hurtling along bendy and hilly roads. It was just as bad on the return journey and was not a pleasant ride. The bus was not running late but would not have kept to the timetable if it had travelled at a more normal speed.

I had just spent a week in Cornwall using a First Kernow 7 day ticket and don’t recall experiencing any unduly fast driving.
 
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Dai Corner

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Several decades ago now, but didn't a Plymouth coach operator get into trouble for producing schedules that couldn't be met without exceeding speed limits (or something like that)?
 

embers25

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The old 404 from Plymouth to Totnes journey time was impossible but now it gets 10 more minutes. It always ran late as far as Bristol Airport and on time from there by avoiding the Bridgwater Services stop. It also went very speedily on every other section and was a lot of fun to ride on! The new route is gets 10 more mins to Totnes plus it gets the same time to Bath as before but bypasses Bristol Airport. That seems odd given it was the busiest stop.
 

SCH117X

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Some of Connexions (Harrogate Coach Travel) timetabling raises an eyebrow or two.
Between Knaresbrough and Harrogate in the morning peak Transdev give their workings 25 mins compared to 20 mins normally while Connexions give all their workings 18 or 19 mins.
 

Cheshire Scot

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Several decades ago now, but didn't a Plymouth coach operator get into trouble for producing schedules that couldn't be met without exceeding speed limits (or something like that)?
I recall something similar being reported in the Highlands many years ago.

On another tack, having crawled through the Bristol area on the M5 more often than I have been able to drive through at a reasonable speed it has struck me there must be a number of scheduled coach routes which traverse this stretch. If the timetable is planned to expect a delay but it is one of the apparently rare occasions when there is a clear run then the coach will have to wait time at the next timing point. Alternatively time it for a clear run and just take the delay which may have a knock on effect on next work for the coach and or the driver, and deliver passengers to their destinations later than planned. Does anyone know which practice is used?
It must also impact on the many HGVs which often will be heading for a timed delivery.
 

PeterC

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No names - no pack drill. My local bus has a rambling route taking in a housing estate and several small villages. Long term roadworks mean that time is regularly lost in the morning peak with minimal recovery time until later in the day.

At quiet times drivers will make up time on the outbound journey by omitting any diversions that don't have passengers on board.

Friends from London suffer serious culture shock, especially when the passengers greet the driver by name.
 

Eyersey468

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The 48 that EYMS used to run in Hull several years ago was impossible to keep to time. It went from the centre of Hull to Maplewood Avenue off Willerby Road and running time was 1 hour for the round trip, but often the bus just got later and later throughout the day and a run ended up being dropped.
 

TheGrandWazoo

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The bus service up Swaledale used to take 50 minutes from Richmond to the main village in upper Swaledale of Gunnerside. That was in the days of Bristol LHs and the like. It had reduced slightly by the time Arriva pulled out in 2006 and has been trimmed further so that it now takes 40 minutes by either Arriva (Summer Sundays Dalesbus 830) or the more usual Little White Bus community minibus. However, the afternoon LWB run at 1740 takes only 30 mins to do the 16.8 miles - an average of 33.6 mph on some very narrow roads!!
 

route101

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I recall the night services on the First Glasgow network having shorter running times than the day services.
 

Mwanesh

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On the Megabus M34 at one time we were given 20minutes between Birmingham and Coventry in rush hour. It was always late so they changed it.Cardiff to Newport 15 minutes which is impossible
 

Stan Drews

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I recall the night services on the First Glasgow network having shorter running times than the day services.
I’d be very surprised if that wasn’t the case in any city with both night and day services! Traffic levels tend to be a bit quieter in the middle of the night.
 

richw

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I had just spent a week in Cornwall using a First Kernow 7 day ticket and don’t recall experiencing any unduly fast driving.
Kernow timings are pretty spot on for driving at a comfortable pace. Certain enthusiasts complain that drivers in Cornwall don’t thrash enough. ‘Thrash’ is unnecessary and not required when driven well On a well timetabled route, let alone not being good for the bus.
 

318266

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A few years ago, the Garelochhead Coaches/Wilsons of Rhu 316 from Coulport to Helensburgh used to be about 45 minutes - average of 30mph on windy old coast roads. Often would be rather late - causing you to miss the train from Helensburgh! Now the route is times at 52mins, a bit better but by that point I had moved away to somewhere with much better railway connections. (Though the old Solo's would try their hardest down past Faslane!)
 

galwhv69

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Some of the TfL "N" (Night) routes can be pretty tight. Rarely use these, but when I do they always provide a nice quick journey to keep up with the schedule
 

Scotrail314209

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McGills 38 can be very tightly timed down Paisley Road West, as that’s normally every 5 minutes the drivers need to floor it to prevent bunching.
 

SteveHFC

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Stagecoach East service 99 between Luton Airport and Milton Keynes used to be so tightly timed, it was impossible to keep to the timetable in a car without stopping anywhere.
 

Stan Drews

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McGills 38 can be very tightly timed down Paisley Road West, as that’s normally every 5 minutes the drivers need to floor it to prevent bunching.
Is it? It’s the same running time as First’s 9. In fact, depending on how much time you allow for Hope St to the bus station, there’s an argument to say the 9 might actually be a minute less?
 

dan5324

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What you’ll find with national express timings in particular is that less busy stops will have minimal running time to get to, so that extra padding time can be added between the second to last stop. And last stop, usually London so services will be on time or even early, even if they have run late to most of the other stops.
 

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