Will X5 (Stagecoach) Bedford to Oxford service ever return to 2 services per hour?

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CBlue

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I hope so. They appear to be dragging their heals and wanting to do the bare minimum.
With the upheaval every bus and coach business has experienced over the past year I'm hardly surprised they're being cautious about increasing service levels - especially as ridership has yet to return to anything approaching normal on most services. It's a commercially operated service, and as much as I'd rather see an increase in service frequency too, Stagecoach are under no obligation to do so unless it pays its way and can be staffed effectively.
 

Megafuss

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I hope so. They appear to be dragging their heals and wanting to do the bare minimum.

This is the same company that at the start of lockdown made the conscious decision to terminate the X5 at Buckingham instead of Bicester and therefore denying essential journey to Oxford by changing to the S5! (Later introduced)
 

cnjb8

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About 3 or 4 X5 Elites are being swapped for South West E400MMCs. A lot more MMCs have appeared on the route recently.
 
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Ianno87

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Wow, that is a downgrade. Bus seated? Gold standard would be OK I suppose but the loss of the toilet is bad.

The toilet is less of an issue now the route is only Bedford-Oxford (so ~2 hours for anybody doing end to end).
 

overthewater

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The question has to be, does the route not justify the cost of getting Panoramas, and thus are these deckers the only way forward to increase capacity?
 
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Bletchleyite

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The toilet is less of an issue now the route is only Bedford-Oxford (so ~2 hours for anybody doing end to end).

True, though there was always time to use the one at Bedford due to the long layover.

Yes I believe.

No, just regular Stagecoach MMCs from South West and Bedford's existing allocation.

Quite a downgrade. Giving up for when East-West Rail kills it dead?
 
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CBlue

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It's a shame they're downgrading from coaches to bus seated E400 MMCs. The ex-Peterborough MMC's at least had high back seating to the newer standard Stagecoach spec in use at the time, along with the pair of new to Bedford 69 platers.

Bedford depot have struggled with availability of the Elites ever since they took delivery. I imagine they found what is effectively a long distance touring coach an absolute nightmare to operate on a service which is half local bus route half regional express! Volvo's i-shift gearbox can be temperamental if drivers abuse it, and certainly some drivers at Bedford never seemed to master the technique of driving them properly. Add to that the "legendary" Plaxton build quality* and you have a recipe for disaster.

*East took delivery of some E400 Scanias around the same time to Gold spec that were built at Scarborough. They started rattling and falling apart within weeks!
 
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TheGrandWazoo

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It's a shame they're downgrading from coaches to bus seated E400 MMCs. The ex-Peterborough MMC's at least had high back seating to the newer standard Stagecoach spec in use at the time, along with the pair of new to Bedford 69 platers.

Bedford depot have struggled with availability of the Elites ever since they took delivery. I imagine they found what is effectively a long distance touring coach an absolute nightmare to operate on a service which is half local bus route half regional express! Volvo's i-shift gearbox can be temperamental if drivers abuse it, and certainly some drivers at Bedford never seemed to master the technique of driving them properly. Add to that the "legendary" Plaxton build quality* and you have a recipe for disaster.

*East took delivery of some E400 Scanias around the same time to Gold spec that were built at Scarborough. They started rattling and falling apart within weeks!
Interesting as the Elites are now coming up to 7 years old - older than the vehicles they replaced. Be interesting to see what they do with East-West rail allegedly on the scene in a couple of years.
 

Aictos

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Nice to see this service has finally returned to 2 services per hour/every 30 minutes.

Just to point out that they've been operating a half hourly service for a few weeks now indeed I used it in July to travel to MK they were operating a half hourly service so it's not a recent thing.

Pity about the downgrade though of the vehicles but guess that's progress?
 

CBlue

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Are the South West E400MMCs still able maintain the speed and timetable of the X5 coaches?
The ex-Peterborough 67 plate E400MMCs on the 905 don't seem to have any trouble keeping to time between Cambridge and Bedford which includes two long stretches of dual carriageway running at 62mph.
When the coaches ran the full length of the route I found they were horribly sluggish on the stopping sections. The E400s should offer faster boarding and better acceleration with little difference in the speeds they can achieve.

A shame however that some plusher 'deckers couldn't have been sourced!
 

cnjb8

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It would be fine as Gold spec, or has Stagecoach now completely abandoned that?
Yes it’s been abandoned completely. They also said they’d retain the X5 livery but that must be scratched with the MMCs replacing the Elites
 

GusB

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As we have established that the X5 is now back to running at a two bus per hour frequency, this thread will terminate here.
 
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