Was this sort of practice commonplace pre-deregulation with jointly operated routes?

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by 175mph, 10 Jul 2019.

  1. 175mph

    175mph Member

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    (By jointly operated, I mean two bus operators within the national bus company).

    Last week, I spoke with a guy who said that up until 1990, he was a bus driver for EYMS and can remember the pre-deregulation days. He often did the jointly run 350 route which similar to how it is jointly run by Stagecoach and EYMS now, was jointly run by Lincolnshire and EYMS.

    He told me that if ever a bus he was driving on the 350 route broke down, if it was on the south side of the Humber, Lincolnshire would send out another bus he would then drive even though he was an EYMS driver.

    Was this sort of thing a common occurrence pre-deregulation where in such situations such as breakdowns, drivers would sometimes end up driving other companie's buses as long as those companies were under the NBC group?
     
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  3. GusB

    GusB Established Member

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    I think jointly-operated routes were fairly commonplace before de-regulation, and not necessarily limited to National Bus Company or Scottish Bus Group companies. One route in my part of the world was Elgin - Aviemore which was jointly operated by Highland and Northern Scottish. I think Inverness - Aberdeen may also have been jointly operated at one time.

    None of my sources are to hand at the moment, but I'm sure I recall that there was joint operation between Western SMT and either Cumberland or Ribble on Dumfries to Carlisle. West Coast Motors and whichever SBG company had the Oban depot (Midland, I think) also ran a joint route at one point.

    Before Citylink routes went over to private contractors, if there was a failure in another operator's territory, the local operator would have been expected to provide a replacement vehicle.

    There were also the "bucket'n'spade" expresses which ran from various places to the likes of Blackpool, where demand was such that vehicles (and drivers) could be summoned from all parts of the group.
     
  4. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    The 14, ancestor of today's 184 between Manchester and Uppermill, was a three-way split between Manchester and Oldham corporations and the North Western company until all three became part of Greater Manchester PTE.
     
  5. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    When London Transport was split up in 1970 the Country Bus side remained nationalised, but the Central Bus side was taken over by the Greater London Council. It might therefore be thought that the previous arrangement with Green Line coaches that red buses could be substituted in cases of breakdown would fall by the wayside, and perhaps it did, officially. However there are documented cases with photos of red bus subs from, for example, Edgware garage and even evidence that some broken-down coaches were actually dealt with at the red bus garage. Common sense sometimes overrules dogma, although not so much now, unfortunately!
     
  6. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Veteran Member

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    There were absolutely loads of jointly operated services and yes, different firms covered each other’s breakdowns. As an illustration.... United Auto and Northern operated the following jointly

    X1/X10 Middlesbrough to Newcastle
    X3/220 Sunderland to Bishop Auckland
    X5/231 Newcastle to Hartlepool
    722/723 Darlington to Newcastle
    721 Newcastle to Crook
    230 Hartlepool to Sunderland
    308 Newcastle to Blyth
    X20 Bishop Auckland to Newcastle

    United Auto also operated jointly with Cumberland (prev Ribble) on the 685, East Yorkshire on the 121 and 122, West Yorkshire on the 36 and 56, Lowland Scottish on Berwick locals.

    Absolutely hundreds of examples especially when larger firms were carved up ready for privatisation.

    Also, you’d have them covering breakdowns on National Express AND private hire. A Northern VR broke down on a school trip to Lightwater Valley theme park and a United VR was despatched from Ripon and used by the Northern driver and then repatriated from Chester me Street
     
  7. ag51ruk

    ag51ruk Member

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    Trent and Derby City Transport (now Arriva) operated a number of routes jointly in Derby - they charged the same fares, although Trent gave change and DCT were exact fare.

    At deregulation, the routes to some of the "nicer" areas (Mickleover, Allestree) went to Trent, and the rest to DCT

    Edit: sorry, didn't spot the stipulation that this was only for two NBC companies
     
    Last edited: 10 Jul 2019
  8. oldman

    oldman Member

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    There used to be three buses a day on the Dumfries-Edinburgh route, jointly run by Eastern and Western Scottish. As I recall, the two buses did three journeys each and swapped ends every day, but the drivers on the evening runs swapped over at Biggar to get home and so drove both company's buses.
     
  9. DunsBus

    DunsBus Member

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    Mention of Berwick reminds me of the various SOL/United joint services between Edinburgh and Newcastle, which lasted until 1981. SOL also ran the Edinburgh-Dumfries service jointly with Western SMT and an Edinburgh-Perth service jointly with Alexander (Fife).
     
  10. padbus

    padbus Member

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    Standerwick used to run a summer service between Blackpool and Oxford. The coach arrived in Oxford during the afternoon and was parked overnight at the City of Oxford garage ready to return the next day. City Of Oxford were suffering severe vehicle shortages at the time and it was not unusual to see the Standerwick coach operating local services during the evening peak.
     
  11. Tom B

    Tom B Established Member

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    I've seen two occasions where a bus from Potters Bar garage has broken down in the vicinity of Holloway garage - both owned by Merriment - and then been towed back to PB!

    I'd have thought that it would make more sense to send out a spare bus from Holloway, have repairs done there, and a swap back happen when the original bus is fit for use again. Less staff time wasted etc?
     
  12. Bus Lightyear

    Bus Lightyear Member

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    Former SBG companies Fife and Midland shared some routes

    14 Dunfermline-Alloa-Stirling-Kilsyth-Glasgow
    23 St Andrews-Kinross-Alva-Stirling

    This arrangement lasted a good few years after both companies were acquired by Stagecoach and Firstgroup respectively.

    Midland and Kelvin shared

    27 Falkirk-Kilsyth-Glasgow
    37 Falkirk-Cumbernauld-Glasgow
    39 Stirling-Cumbernauld-Glasgow

    And of course both these companies were both taken over by Firstgroup.
     
  13. Smethwickian

    Smethwickian Member

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    Pre-internet days all NBC garages and offices would have had copies of a national directory of NBC depots and contact numbers which could offer mutual assistance, replacement vehicles, breakdown trucks etc. Beyond local arrangements on joint services, help could be found by any driver away from home territory on excursions, tours or hires, and drivers would undoubtedly be authorised and insured to drive other NBC operators' buses and coaches provided under those circumstances.
     
  14. Statto

    Statto Established Member

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    Was a few in Merseyside, the Bootle/Netherton routes from St Johns Lane were joint MPTE/Ribble services.

    309/319/329 Southport-St Helens-Warrington was Ribble/Crosville/MPTE joint service.

    89 St Helens-Speke was joint MPTE/Crossville service, Crosville gave up their share of the route to Ribble when Crosville moved the Liverpool depot, Ribble ran the service with buses from Wigan depot, however they interworked the 89 with the 352/362/372 to avoid mose dead millage
     
  15. 90sWereBetter

    90sWereBetter Member

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    Between 1974 and 1976, Eastern Counties and Lowestoft Corporation ran all the local bus services together as a joint agreement. It was a precursor to the municipal being bought outright by the NBC in late 1977.

    For a while this meant Corporation buses could finally be found operating in the west side of town, the municipal having spent the first 70 years of existence more or less rooted to the Yarmouth Road corridor. (for some reason they were never allowed to expand into Eastern Counties territory, which is why the municipal never had more than 20 buses in their fleet).
     
  16. quarella

    quarella Member

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    Express West was a coach service that ran in the early eighties from Bristol to Haverfordwest. It was operated jointly by South Wales Transport, National Welsh and Bristol Omnibus, with Crosville joining later with services to Cardigan and Aberystwyth. According to Jonathan Isaac's book on South Wales Transport due to a shortage of coaches SWT sometimes sent a Leyland National bus instead and at least one journey didn't operate when a National Welsh driver refused to take it forward.

    An unusual joint working in the Welsh Valleys is mentioned in one of my books but not able to hunt for it at the moment. The 2 companies involved ran it for 3 month periods.
     
  17. randyrippley

    randyrippley Established Member

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    Years ago I caught the overenight Penzanze-Aberdeen National Express between Manchester and Lancaster
    The coach was in National Express livery, with a Western National operators plate. The headrests were branded Royal Blue. The driver between Manchester and Lancaster was from Midland Red. The replacement driver at Lancaster was from Scottish Express. A Ribble inspector supervised arrival / departure. And I was told that the on-call standby replacement in the event of breakdown on this leg of the journey was from Lonsdale Coaches, not even a National company (and before they were taken over by Lancaster City Transport). Usual "hot standby" from memory was ANA4T or one of its sisters, I've no idea how often it was actually called out, but apparently when it did go out it was liked by the NE drivers because it was remarkably rapid..........
     
  18. alangla

    alangla Member

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    Think these survived till well after the millennium being shared by First Glasgow Cumbernauld and First Edinburgh Larbert. Was there possibly also something going towards the Stirling area shared between Cumbernauld and Bannockburn? The equivalent services these days are all First Scotland East
     
  19. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Veteran Member

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    There was the X52 service from Aberystwyth to Swansea that was operated by Crosville and SWT in the mid 1980s.

    The drivers swapped vehicles en route so the vehicles did the full service but the drivers didn’t. It was known for the SWT vehicle to be used in Aber on local services on occasion
     
  20. RT4038

    RT4038 Member

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    The United Counties Omnibus Company had numerous examples of joint services (not all at the same time):
    With Eastern Counties
    265 Peterborough-Corby
    266 Peterborough-Kettering
    409 Peterborough-Northampton
    230/1 Peterborough-Ramsey-Huntingdon
    171/2 Huntingdon-Ely
    428 Cambridge-Bedford
    With Midland Red
    319/565 Market Harborough-Rugby
    With City of Oxford
    121 Oxford-Bletchley
    131 Oxford-Bedford
    338 Oxford-Northampton
    With London Country
    44 Luton-Stevenage
    With London Transport
    359 Aylesbury-Amersham

    The services in Luton & Dunstable were 'jointly' worked with Luton Corporation under the name 'Luton & District Transport'
     
  21. Bus Lightyear

    Bus Lightyear Member

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    The 39, which became the X39, may well have been Bannockburn as the GRT spec Mercs ran on it quite often.
     
  22. Bus Lightyear

    Bus Lightyear Member

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    https://www.flickr.com/photos/57727...NPt-8orror-YDJakF-XCup4g-6EP7Xg-qLx5k3-crktW9
     
  23. Stan Drews

    Stan Drews Member

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    The 23 was still shared (1 working each) between Stagecoach (St.Andrews) and First (Bannockburn) into the 00s, when First eventually decided to withdraw. It wasn’t unusual for buses to be loaned from the other operator if breakdowns occurred at the ‘away’ ends. It usually meant free rides, or booklet tickets though, and a gentleman’s agreement that the bus would always be returned that night!
     
  24. Wirewiper

    Wirewiper Member

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    I know the original question was about NBC companies, but joint working arrangements were common between municipal operators, especially in the conurbations in the Midlands and North of England (mainly the areas that went on to become the Metropolitan Counties).

    Manchester and Ashton-under-Lyne had a rare example of jointly-operated trolleybus routes. They would rescue each others' trolleybuses if they developed a fault and would also substitute for each other, so a Manchester crew could find themselves working on an Ashton trolleybus and vice-versa.

    The SHMD (Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley & Dukinfield) Board was also nominally involved as a couple of the routes operated into their territory, but The Board decided that the small number of trolleybuses they would need could not be justified economically. Instead a deal was brokered whereby Manchester and Ashton would operate SHMD's share of the trolleybus routes, whilst SHMD would be given sole tenure of the 21 bus route which operated from Dukinfield into central Manchester. SHMD was also responsible for maintaining the trolleybus wiring within its territory.
     
  25. Darklord8899

    Darklord8899 Member

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    IIRC Midland Scottish and Fife Scottish used to jointly run the 23 or 24 (Stirling - Dollar - across Fife where exactly I forget - St. Andrews)

    Also post deregulation didn't First East Scotland and West Scotland jointly operate the old 37 Falkirk to Glasgow service?? Which may have co run before deregulation..... my memory is hazy on exact details

    .....I also have hazy recollections of joint workings of services of around the Monklands area to Glasgow or western Environs of greater Glasgow (Central Scottish/Midland Scottish/Kelvin Scottish or KCB (Kelvin Cenral Buses after Central and Kelvin were merged)
    .
     
  26. Great_Western

    Great_Western Member

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    At least since the sixties, Cardiff Bus and Newport Transport have jointly operated route 30 bettween the two cities. This continues to this day, being the last jointly operated municipal bus service in the UK. The variety on this route is also interesting, given both operators throw on anything from Newport's knackered ex London darts, to Cardiff's long wheelbase Enviro 400 MMC's seemingly at random.

    Another interesting one in this area was the X14 bettween Newport and Bristol which was jointly operated by Stagecoach red & white and First WofE until a few years ago. This is likely a legacy from NBC, it was certainly a shared route for as long as I remember.
     
  27. LAIRA

    LAIRA Member

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    The 128 between Torquay and Plymouth was jointly operated. In the summer DG would run up to 10 dupes in the morning to bring holiday makers to Plymouth. The buses would then run dead back to Torquay and Western National would have to find a similar number of buses in the afternoon to take the holidaymakers back again. Sometimes that could be quite a struggle to achieve
     
  28. Man of Kent

    Man of Kent Member

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    None of the Western routes into Carlisle were joint operations, but they did use the Ribble (subsequently Cumberland) garage in Carlisle. Most of what survives is operated by Stagecoach North West rather than Stagecoach West Scotland, including the 79/179 from Carlisle to Dumfries.
     
  29. Man of Kent

    Man of Kent Member

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    At one time the 729 between Brighton and Tunbridge Wells was operated by Arriva, Stagecoach South Coast Buses and Brighton & Hove. I think it was one bus each from Arriva and B&H, and two from Stagecoach: the sale of the latter's Lewes area operations to B&H changed the balance and eventually Arriva withdrew too.
     
  30. Bus Lightyear

    Bus Lightyear Member

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    I mentioned this in an earlier post.

     
  31. Bus Lightyear

    Bus Lightyear Member

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    I'm sure Stepps and Kirkintilloch had to loan buses to Fife and vice-versa to complete the journey in the event of a breakdown.
     

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