Thursday, 18 August 2022
Wednesday, 17 August 2022
Alexander Dennis Limited has announced that it has new Plaxton Leopard coaches in stock for immediate delivery, meeting operators’ requirements for versatile vehicles that are ideally suited to school services as well as contract and private hire.
The new stock includes vehicles at lengths of 12.2m and 12.8m and gives operators a choice of 2+2 seating or high-density 3+2 seating for a total capacity of up to 72 belted seats.
Built on the reliable and efficient Volvo B8R chassis, a choice of I-Shift automated manual and ZF EcoLife fully automatic transmissions is available.
All newly-built Plaxton Leopard coaches are fitted with wheelchair lifts and destination displays, making them fully compliant with PSV Accessibility Regulations and ensuring they can be used on a wide range of work.
This is combined with the Leopard’s established benefits, including class-leading locker space, an inswing door that makes it easy to load passengers anywhere, and dual tracking for easy interior conversion which ensures outstanding residual value.
Simon Wood, General Manager New; Used Coach Sales at Alexander Dennis, comments:
“The Plaxton Leopard is Britain’s best value coach with its extremely versatile specification
that makes it ideal for school work and contract hires. The new stock we have coming off the
line is ready to join your fleet and start earning money straight away – just speak to your
sales manager to see how we can help you!”..
Tuesday, 16 August 2022
Monday, 15 August 2022
Sunday, 14 August 2022
Oxfordshire has been awarded £12.7 million of government funding for measures to get people out of their cars and back on to buses.
Earlier this year, Oxfordshire County Council was one of 31 successful applicants out of 79 to receive an ‘indicative allocation’ for its Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP). It followed the council’s bid for £56m from the government’s National Bus Strategy fund.
This £12.7m has now been confirmed by the Department for Transport and will support measures over the next three years, including cheaper fares for under-19s, new rural services, bus priority improvements across the county and proposed traffic filters to reduce journey times and support the introduction of new zero emission electric buses.
Councillor Andrew Gant, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Management, said: “In the context of a significantly reduced funding allocation nationwide, with only 40 per cent of BSIPs receiving any money, £12.7m represents a significant boost for bus users in Oxfordshire. It is welcome confirmation from the government that our approach to prioritise public transport is the right one.
“Effective public transport is key to many of our priorities as a council. Combined with many other measures we are working on with our partners, this funding will put us on a positive path to making bus travel more attractive and environmentally friendly than ever before.
“Supporting cheaper travel for young people, including the introduction of a £1 flat fare within Oxford as well as reduced fares for under-19s countywide, is a priority. We want young people to adopt sustainable transport habits which will then stay with them throughout their lives.”
Passenger numbers in Oxfordshire, which had been in decline between 2014 and 2019, were badly hit by the impact of the pandemic. Bus companies have also suffered from rising fuel prices, shortages of drivers, and uncertainty about financial support from the government.
The BSIP is one of a number of measures being brought in by the council and its partners, including the bus operators, other local authorities and major employers, to increase passenger numbers. Others include:A new combined parking and bus ticket coming later this year to the city’s five park and ride sites
A successful bid to the government to fund a fleet of 159 state of the art electric buses in a package worth £82.5m
Oxfordshire’s inaugural bus summit which was held in June to bring together a host of organisations to discuss how to improve public transport in the county
The launch of a campaign highlighting the economic benefits to encourage people to use buses in Oxfordshire to help combat the cost-of-living crisis
The creation of an enhanced partnership between Oxfordshire County Council and the bus operators to improve services.
Saturday, 13 August 2022
Morebus Introduces Bournemouth Open Top Services But Three Routes Lost Following Council Tender Exercise
Morebus, who stepped in at short notice to operate routes across the Yellow Buses network after the company announced it would stop its services last Thursday night said it was “disappointing” for passengers that BCP Council had awarded an emergency tender to another operator.
The local authority awarded a six-month contract for the 18, 33 and 36 routes to Yellow Coaches, which was bought by Hampshire-based Xelabus last week.
Meanwhile, Morebus announced it is launching a new route 12 from Sunday, August 14, until the end of summer, which will run open top buses between the beaches and coastline of Alum Chine and Hengistbury Head.
The operator was planning to introduce the open top service next year but the company have brought it forward.
Morebus stepped in at short notice to operate routes across the Yellow Buses network after the company announced it would stop its services last Thursday night. see here:
More than 100 former Yellow Buses drivers joined rival Morebus just a day after closure
Changes are also being introduced in a bid to improve the provision of some of these routes following teething issues and feedback.
Andrew Wickham, Morebus managing director, said: “I’m delighted to add new locations to our growing Morebus network.
“We’ll be adding the timetable for this route to our website and app shortly.
“We’re also making some minor adjustments from Sunday, August 28, to our routes 1, 1a, 1b, 2, 4, 5 and 5a - following initial experience and feedback, and some issues where buses departed late during our first few days. To do this, we’ll be adding two more buses into the cycle.
“All this has required an investment of more than £200,000, as we are determined to provide the most punctual and reliable services.”
Mr Wickham said the established M1 and M2 routes, between Poole, Westbourne, Bournemouth, Royal Bournemouth Hospital (m1) and Southbourne (m2), will have extra resources to ensure there is sufficient capacity. This change is coming in from Monday, September 19.
On not being awarded the three Yellow Buses routes, he said: ‘We were pleased to step in at short notice to operate the 18, 33 and 36 bus services, tendered by BCP Council. This will continue until Saturday 13 August, with another operator running these routes from Monday 15 August.
“It is disappointing that passengers on these routes will no longer enjoy the low price day and weekly tickets that enable travel across the entire Morebus network in Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch - but we very much hope to operate these routes again in the future.”
Yellow Coaches will be running the 18, 33 and 36 from Monday, August 15.
The 18 runs between Broadstone and Bournemouth via Branksome and Canford Heath. The 33 travels between Alum Chine and Christchurch, serving Bournemouth town centre, Boscombe, Royal Bournemouth Hospital and Southbourne. The 36 operates between Branksome and Kinson, via Bournemouth town centre, Talbot Heath and Wallisdown.
BCP Council said it was "very grateful" to Morebus who stepped in to run these three routes on a temporary basis since August 6.
A local authority spokesperson said: “This was to enable a tendering process to take place and following this Yellow Coaches have been appointed to operate the three services from August 15 for the next six months. The operator was chosen as they offered best value for the council. Timetables for all three services are unchanged.
“These three services are highly valued by the local community. For many residents they are the only bus available for essential trips to the shops, hospital and medical appointments, plus are well used by school children and students too.
“The council therefore provides funding to keep these buses on the road and we are pleased that Yellow Coaches will now be operating the three routes for the next six months on our behalf.”
Friday, 12 August 2022
Stoke on Trent to plan the following trip, all for less than £26 each. The morning started off badly as
trains around Birmingham were cancelled or delayed due to theft of signalling wire so the first part
of the day used the same route as planned but later trains which meant any time for coffee / photo
breaks were lost until after lunch. I’ve left the original timings in for completion
The itinerary below shows what units we actually had, although there is more to see including 195,
325, 508, 769. TPE 802 units and freight locomotives if you keep your eyes peeled. The itinerary
includes the through platforms at Manchester Piccadilly as well as things like the Ordsall curve.
Arriving back at Crewe for the 17.11 service which was listed in on line timetables we found it didn’t
actually run, although a train to Piccadilly did run every hour except this one. So, we decided to take
a trip back to the airport and return to make use of the ranger rather than stay at Crewe. Other
options were considered but we decided they were too tight for us to catch our train back to
More about the Cheshire Ranger can be found here
B'ham 07.52 - Stoke 09.01 – class 350
Stoke 09.01 - Crewe 09.25 same train
Crewe 09.50 - Chester 10.10 – Avanti Voyager
Chester 10.15 - LLS 10.58 via Hooton; Birkenhead -class 507
LLS 11.27 - Man Airport 12.52 via Warrington Central; Oxford Road - class 323
Man Airport 12.59 - Piccadilly 13.21 - class 319
Piccadilly 13.30 - Salford Crescent 13.42 – class 331
Salford Crescent 13.57 - Victoria 14.02 – class 150
Victoria 14.40 - Chester 15.56 via Warrington / Oxford Road – class 185 and class 175
Chester 16.35 - Crewe 16.54 Avanti Voyager
Crewe 17.11 - Piccadilly 17.46 via Sandbach – not done see below
Piccadilly 18.15 - Stoke 18.51 - not done see below
Crewe 17.17 – Manchester Airport – and return – class 323
Crewe 18.52 – Stoke on Trent – class 350
Stoke 19.21 - B'ham 20.28 - same train
LLS = Liverpool Lime Street
A TPE 185 unit will take us to Manchester Oxford Road from a rather dark Manchester Victoria station
Thursday, 11 August 2022
Scotland’s Pathway to Zero Emission Buses is the result of the work done by the Scottish Government-led Bus Decarbonisation Taskforce, of which Alexander Dennis is a member alongside key industry stakeholders, bus operators, technology partners and financiers.
Alexander Dennis is pursuing an aggressive new product development agenda for zero emission buses including new battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell models. The agenda includes an exciting new product aligning to the pathway’s plans to increase the supply of smaller zero emission buses. The investment in engineering further underpins the company’s commitment to domestic manufacturing.
Alexander Dennis shared their plans at the last meeting of the Bus Decarbonisation Taskforce at its global headquarters in Larbert, where President and Managing Director Paul Davies hosted fellow taskforce members to launch the pathway with Scottish Government Minister for Transport, Jenny Gilruth.
The launch event was supported by Alexander Dennis customers First Bus and Stagecoach, who brought their new, zero emission Scottish-built buses to the event.
President and Managing Director Paul Davies said: “We have been leading the transition to zero emission mobility for a number of years now, doing what we do best, which is investing in innovation. I am delighted to confirm today we are stepping this up further with our extended plans for new product development.
“We pride ourselves on bringing leading products to market that are designed and built in Britain, which allows us to retain our position as innovative leaders of the ZEvolution, the transition to zero emission mobility. Making new product development commitments at this time is an investment into the future through an attractive product line up that will continue to attract orders and underpin jobs in bus manufacturing.”
Wednesday, 10 August 2022
The line up has been confirmed for the full list up of visiting locomotives, LNER A4 'Sir Nigel Gresley' No. 60007, BR Standard 5 No. 73156 and No. 85 Taff Vale Railway Class 02 will be visiting for this hugely popular event.
During the four days services will call at Pickering, Levisham, Newtondale Halt (by request), Goathland, Grosmont and Whitby stations.
Tuesday, 9 August 2022
I can reach the bus stop in less than 5 minutes. Unfortunately the Stagecoach app cannot be relied upon to give an accurate waiting time!"
Roger's report on how the services have been immediately rescued by the skills and expertise of the Go South Coast team can be read here
Monday, 8 August 2022
Imberbus has grown from a five-vehicle event in 2009 to one that now links various villages on Salisbury Plain, including the famous abandoned settlement from which it takes its name. It predominantly employs AEC Routemasters, with the Wrightbus New Routemaster also appearing.
Support is received from numerous bus operators from both within London and outside the capital, and in 2019, Imberbus raised almost £25,000 for charities by utilising 28 vehicles.
What is planned for Imberbus 2022:
A summary of the timetable can be downloaded by clicking here and a full colour Event Guide will be available on the day.
Departures approximately every 15 minutes from Warminster Station to Imber from 9.45am onwards;
Buses serving Tilshead, New Zealand Farm Camp, West Lavington, Market Lavington and Brazen Bottom twice an hour throughout the day;
Buses twice an hour to Chitterne until early afternoon;
One morning and two afternoon journeys running direct between Warminster and Chitterne (not via Imber);
Most journeys operated by at least 2 vehicles;
Imber Church open for viewing and refreshments from 10am to 6pm;
Refreshments available from Caspers Cafe on platform 1 of Warminster Station and at the village halls in Tilshead (all day) and Chitterne (until 2pm).
The newly refurbished Market Lavington Museum will be open again in the Old School House next to the village church and will be serving cream teas until 5pm;
A small transport sales stall will also be available inside Tilshead village hall.
The routes that the buses will take can be seen on the map below (please click on it to see a larger version in PDF format). As usual, buses will connect at the Gore Cross interchange, so that passengers could easily travel to/from all points of the network.
How much does it cost to travel on Imberbus ?
To enable visitors to explore the services in an affordable way, an all day ticket at a cost of £10 per adult is available.
Imberbus operates as an ordinary local bus service, so there is no facility to pre-book or to pay in advance – just turn up and pay the conductor on the bus in cash (payment in £5 or £10 notes or £1 and £2 coins is always appreciated and there are cash machines available in Warminster town centre for those that needed them).
That date now coincides with a planned rail strike and Readybus has agreed to provide a day excursion from Hammersmith. This year will represent the first time that coaches have been used to transport visitors to the event.
The operator is charging £30 per person, including an Imberbus ticket, and says it will add duplicate vehicles should demand require.
Sunday, 7 August 2022
Crosskeys Travel has been providing private hire transport across Kent for over 40 years for day trips, short excursions or coach tours.
The operator has a long-standing relationship with Alexander Dennis, having purchased a number of Plaxton coaches over the years, but this is the first brand new Alexander Dennis bus the company has taken delivery of.
The new Enviro400 bus is 11.5 metres long and is fitted with seat-belted high-back seats, wood-effect flooring, USB charging points and CCTV. It has entered the fleet together with a second, similar vehicle acquired from a previous operator.
Crosskeys Travel Managing Director Alan Johnson said: “This new bus is a great addition to our fleet and will afford our customers even more options when deciding on the perfect hire vehicle for their occasion.”
Alexander Dennis Regional Sales Manager Mark Taylor added: “It’s been great working with Alan and the team to deliver their first new Alexander Dennis bus and we look forward to working with them again in the future.”
Saturday, 6 August 2022
The Bristol Vintage Bus Group held their event at Brislington Park & Ride on July 31st after a gap of 6 years, Ken jones was there to record the event.
BVBG website here