Author Topic: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018  (Read 5092 times)

Offline al_557

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Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« on: January 02, 2018, 03:24:02 pm »
In on loan from Cambridge and on the 9 is Enviro 400 19614 (AE10BYD)
Pink Enviro 200 36045 (AE08NVV) hasn't moved from the same spot in the yard for nearly two months. It's parked with the withdrawn darts 34423 (KV53EYZ) and 34479 (PX53DKF)

Offline MIB

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2018, 01:31:21 pm »
I will be very glad if 36045 never takes to the road again as it haunts me wherever I go. I can guarantee that I will get a journey on it at least three times a week so the longer it stays inactive the better. I did see 19614 on 23 December but dismissed it as a horrible mirage whilst emerging from the pub.  8)

Offline al_557

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2018, 03:32:15 pm »
I think 36045 (AE08NVV) will see the road again. I can't see a 9 year old bus getting withdrawn unless there's a serious chassis defect with it

Offline 642EBD

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2018, 11:40:55 pm »
Can anyone tell me where printed timetables for Bedford Bus services can be obtained since the Tourist Office closed?  I had assumed that these were no longer being produced, but at a recent Luton O.S. meeting I came across leaflets for routes 1 and 7 dated 15th october 2017.   JP

Offline MIB

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2018, 12:53:00 pm »
I think 36045 (AE08NVV) will see the road again. I can't see a 9 year old bus getting withdrawn unless there's a serious chassis defect with it

I will settle for it being transferred away from Bedford which will be sufficient in keeping it away from me.

Offline al_557

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2018, 05:33:20 pm »
Trident 18417 (AE06GZO) is now back in service after a long time off the road and was on the 73
Cambridge Training dart 34422 (KV53EYY) was on the 6

Offline Tony

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 06:44:45 pm »
Can anyone tell me where printed timetables for Bedford Bus services can be obtained since the Tourist Office closed?  I had assumed that these were no longer being produced, but at a recent Luton O.S. meeting I came across leaflets for routes 1 and 7 dated 15th october 2017.   JP

Good question, i have the same problem in Cambridge after the travel office by Drummer Street closed....

Offline MIB

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2018, 12:56:32 pm »
Trident 18417 (AE06GZO) is now back in service after a long time off the road and was on the 73
Cambridge Training dart 34422 (KV53EYY) was on the 6

Yes 34422 was my chariot on the 6 after work yesterday. The previous day my bus to work was 18417. I haven't seen 18060 for a while so assume that is the reason why 19614 is with us but it seems odd to get a vehicle on loan when 18058 is in reserve rather than withdrawn.

I was late for work this morning as it was deemed that 34425 should park up rather than do the 6 so the driver change produced spare 22317 on the late running 0911 which then crawled along in a snail like manner that it took 7 minutes to reach Clapham Road where the driver gave up and called it a day so we got rescued by 34425. Once again I was forced to apologise to the boss for being late so what a marvellous swap of vehicle that was!

This follows the pantomime of trying to get home on the 9 on Tuesday when 18057 kept shutting down. There are times when I think Bedford has the shabbiest collection of vehicles beset with issues brought about by vehicles not built to last. I know I am biased but the olys and PS buses were so much more reliable than all this low floor cheap plastic.

Offline al_557

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2018, 03:34:14 pm »
Yes 34422 was my chariot on the 6 after work yesterday. The previous day my bus to work was 18417. I haven't seen 18060 for a while so assume that is the reason why 19614 is with us but it seems odd to get a vehicle on loan when 18058 is in reserve rather than withdrawn.

I was late for work this morning as it was deemed that 34425 should park up rather than do the 6 so the driver change produced spare 22317 on the late running 0911 which then crawled along in a snail like manner that it took 7 minutes to reach Clapham Road where the driver gave up and called it a day so we got rescued by 34425. Once again I was forced to apologise to the boss for being late so what a marvellous swap of vehicle that was!

This follows the pantomime of trying to get home on the 9 on Tuesday when 18057 kept shutting down. There are times when I think Bedford has the shabbiest collection of vehicles beset with issues brought about by vehicles not built to last. I know I am biased but the olys and PS buses were so much more reliable than all this low floor cheap plastic.

Bedford's situation isn't helped by the fact apart from X5 coaches it has the oldest fleet within Stagecoach East despite being a profitable depot.
The MAN's are fit for the scrap yard, the darts and solos are mostly very tired and need replacing. It's only the Enviro 400's and 63 reg Enviro 200's that seem to be reliable although some of the 06 reg tridents are still decent. Everything else breaks down all the time.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Stagecoach doesn't seem to care about Bedford

Offline MIB

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2018, 01:07:40 pm »
Bedford's situation isn't helped by the fact apart from X5 coaches it has the oldest fleet within Stagecoach East despite being a profitable depot.
The MAN's are fit for the scrap yard, the darts and solos are mostly very tired and need replacing. It's only the Enviro 400's and 63 reg Enviro 200's that seem to be reliable although some of the 06 reg tridents are still decent. Everything else breaks down all the time.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Stagecoach doesn't seem to care about Bedford


I think one issue with the failure rate is driver knowledge. There have been a number of drivers recruited in the last couple of years who haven't worked in the industry before so if their bus develops a fault they don't have enough experience to rectify it so the solution is to swap buses. When 18057 played up the other day shutting down in the bay, the driver went into the office to swap the bus, but the driver who came back with him must have encountered the problem before and sorted out the fault. So after 10 minutes of going nowhere we finally departed without the need to declare 18057 a failure and swap it thereby keeping it out on the road.

On Saturday I noted 53616 on an X5 to Cambridge which was ripped for 54307 when it got back for the onward leg to Oxford. I finally got 19614 on the 9 home so it can go away now.

Monday morning saw normal service resume with the 0847 and 0859 9's from my stop posted as missing. You always know once all the schools and offices are back at work that it is quicker to walk into town. This morning wasn't much better as the display screen at the bus station declared that the next 6 was not until 19 minutes time such is the 12 minute frequency claims in the timetable. As this meant I would be late for work again with another feeble excuse (to my boss) about no buses I opted to do 34422 on the 0915 51 to Clapham Road and walked from there.

Offline rm clippie

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2018, 07:37:54 pm »
another breakdown tonight 18057(AE53TZJ) on the 42.
under tow by buckdales at kempston hardwick .

Offline MIB

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2018, 12:49:10 pm »
another breakdown tonight 18057(AE53TZJ) on the 42.
under tow by buckdales at kempston hardwick .

Presumably it shut down again and this time the driver couldn't fix it. 18190 was on the 0932 50 this morning.

Still no end to the solo's withering me on the 9. 47438 took me home on Monday and 47441 last night.

Offline Spoddendale

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2018, 01:27:10 pm »
Notices and Proceedings number 2305 dated 10 January 2018 lists the following under
Section 3.5 – Cancellations of Existing Services:

PF0000459/206 CAMBUS LIMITED, 100 COWLEY ROAD, CAMBRIDGE, CB4 0DN Operating between Bedford and Gt Denham given service number 711 / 11 effective from 18 February 2018.

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Offline al_557

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2018, 06:39:22 pm »
Notices and Proceedings number 2305 dated 10 January 2018 lists the following under
Section 3.5 – Cancellations of Existing Services:

PF0000459/206 CAMBUS LIMITED, 100 COWLEY ROAD, CAMBRIDGE, CB4 0DN Operating between Bedford and Gt Denham given service number 711 / 11 effective from 18 February 2018.

David

Not really a surprise as it mostly carries fresh air and the 8 also goes to Great Denham as does Grant Palmer's 24. This should at least see a Solo get withdrawn. Never been a fan of them although they rarely stray off town services so I'm lucky on the 53

Offline al_557

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2018, 05:07:39 pm »
Trident 18424 (AE06GZW) broke down on Goldington Road whilst on the 5
Enviro 400 19706 (AE60JTO) has now moved to Bedford and was on the 1 today. I thought Peterborough were keeping this one

Offline AE51VFX (Jonny)

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2018, 01:26:05 pm »
Trident 18424 (AE06GZW) broke down on Goldington Road whilst on the 5
Enviro 400 19706 (AE60JTO) has now moved to Bedford and was on the 1 today. I thought Peterborough were keeping this one

19706 might be a loan has when went to Cambridge 19614 was back on the road of Cambridge.
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Offline katieloulou

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2018, 06:09:00 am »
The random visitors continue... Peterborough’s 34882 on the first 73 into Bedford this morning...

Offline al_557

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2018, 04:23:14 pm »
The random visitors continue... Peterborough’s 34882 on the first 73 into Bedford this morning...

 
34882 (AE06HAO) has been on loan to Bedford since late November.
34424 (KV53EZA) is now parked up with the withdrawn vehicles missing its front panel. Looks like this one has been withdrawn now
Pink Enviro 200 36045 (AE08NVV) remains parked there as well as it has been for a few weeks now


Offline MIB

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2018, 01:51:06 pm »

 
34882 (AE06HAO) has been on loan to Bedford since late November.
34424 (KV53EZA) is now parked up with the withdrawn vehicles missing its front panel. Looks like this one has been withdrawn now
Pink Enviro 200 36045 (AE08NVV) remains parked there as well as it has been for a few weeks now

It all seems odd to me that Bedford vehicles appear to be coming out of service and then we don't have enough buses to run a service. On Monday my 0847 9 into town evaporated so I had to endure 47341 12 minutes behind it carrying two loads. The next day the 0847 again vanished into thin air but at least the 0859 was 19893 to pick up the debris. This morning I decided to walk into town rather than hang around for the 0847 which might bother to run only to get to the bus station to find out from fellow passengers that two 6's in a row to Brickhill had not shown up. The 0911 did appear with 22317 but after further festering for the driver change we didn't leave until 0920 so I just about got to work in time.

It was good to see that Stagecoach were providing buses on the Strood to Gillingham rail replacements recently alongside their normal public services. Maybe Stagecoach Kent are flushed with vehicles so perhaps they could spare some for Bedford as our town is clearly still going short...

Offline TCD813

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2018, 02:33:05 pm »
It all seems odd to me that Bedford vehicles appear to be coming out of service and then we don't have enough buses to run a service. On Monday my 0847 9 into town evaporated so I had to endure 47341 12 minutes behind it carrying two loads. The next day the 0847 again vanished into thin air but at least the 0859 was 19893 to pick up the debris. This morning I decided to walk into town rather than hang around for the 0847 which might bother to run only to get to the bus station to find out from fellow passengers that two 6's in a row to Brickhill had not shown up. The 0911 did appear with 22317 but after further festering for the driver change we didn't leave until 0920 so I just about got to work in time.

It was good to see that Stagecoach were providing buses on the Strood to Gillingham rail replacements recently alongside their normal public services. Maybe Stagecoach Kent are flushed with vehicles so perhaps they could spare some for Bedford as our town is clearly still going short...

Bedford does seem to get the short straw out of the Stagecoach East group. Whereas Cambridge appears to bag the newest vehicles and the most management attention.

Is this simply because everything comes under Cowley Road? Or some other reason?
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Offline Steves

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2018, 07:44:24 pm »

It was good to see that Stagecoach were providing buses on the Strood to Gillingham rail replacements recently alongside their normal public services. Maybe Stagecoach Kent are flushed with vehicles so perhaps they could spare some for Bedford as our town is clearly still going short...

Rail replacement work in Stagecoach is very dependent on the management of the company.  If the rail replacement work was in the school holidays, they could have used the drivers and vehicles from that work.  Also, Stagecoach in the south had a rail replacement unit for South West Trains.  That may well still be running although the franchise was lost in August.  I don't know where the unit was based.

Stagecoach East have usually been reluctant to do rail replacement work even for their own franchises although that may have changed as the management changes.

Offline skyLink

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2018, 08:17:07 pm »
Bedford does seem to get the short straw out of the Stagecoach East group. Whereas Cambridge appears to bag the newest vehicles and the most management attention.

Is this simply because everything comes under Cowley Road? Or some other reason?

In a Nutshell, if the area doesn't make the megabucks why should they get the new buses. that's how its looked at. also im very sure there is / was an age limit on the citi 1 and park and ride. i know there is on the busway hence new busway buses so look out for the 10 plate busway scanias being kicked off busway when new order comes. Bedford's always been a dumping ground as it a vanilla  area everything ticks along no real megabuck service (not including X5)
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Offline SteveHFC

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2018, 10:01:46 pm »
Wasn't close enough to see fleetnumbers, but the 99 has had at least one bus on it instead of a coach on each of the last five days, whilst the X5 had a double decker on it tonight in Milton Keynes heading towards Oxford.

Offline MIB

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2018, 01:16:26 pm »
Bedford does seem to get the short straw out of the Stagecoach East group. Whereas Cambridge appears to bag the newest vehicles and the most management attention.

Is this simply because everything comes under Cowley Road? Or some other reason?


Maybe it is because Cambridge is a city and Bedford is just a town so the pecking order for new vehicles could be decided on that basis. Peterborough would also appear to be more worthy than Bedford if them are the rules.

 

Offline MIB

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2018, 01:40:17 pm »
Rail replacement work in Stagecoach is very dependent on the management of the company.  If the rail replacement work was in the school holidays, they could have used the drivers and vehicles from that work.  Also, Stagecoach in the south had a rail replacement unit for South West Trains.  That may well still be running although the franchise was lost in August.  I don't know where the unit was based.

Stagecoach East have usually been reluctant to do rail replacement work even for their own franchises although that may have changed as the management changes.

I am not aware of Stagecoach doing any rail replacement work in Bedford but the vehicles do appear to have displays stating rail replacement on them. Stagecoach Kettering buses have appeared in Bedford on rail replacement duties whenever Kettering to Bedford rail work is on. In fact Corby orange tridents have also appeared on them.

From what I gather Stagecoach Kent have been involved on rail work at weekends for the past few months. It is a shame they were not involved when they had the PS's and Olys but there you go they waited until they were 100% low floor before getting involved.

The point I was trying to make is that Bedford don't appear to have enough vehicles to provide the advertised daily service yet other areas have enough buses to do rail work alongside normal services. I have reported before where only 2/3 buses are on route 9 when 4 are required to run the advertised service and last week I referred to two consecutive 6's not running which meant a 36 minute gap in an advertised 12 minutes frequency over that route. If Bedford don't have enough vehicles to cover all services then more vehicles should be drafted in permanently rather than just loans if some of the existing fleet are being stood down like 18058, 18060 and some of the Darts. There always has to be more vehicles then diagrams and not the other way around so I don't understand why tridents are in reserve and then not getting used when there is a shortage. If they don't work in a shortage what is the purpose of them going mouldy on the depot?

Offline dwarfer1979

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2018, 08:57:02 am »
The point I was trying to make is that Bedford don't appear to have enough vehicles to provide the advertised daily service yet other areas have enough buses to do rail work alongside normal services. I have reported before where only 2/3 buses are on route 9 when 4 are required to run the advertised service and last week I referred to two consecutive 6's not running which meant a 36 minute gap in an advertised 12 minutes frequency over that route. If Bedford don't have enough vehicles to cover all services then more vehicles should be drafted in permanently rather than just loans if some of the existing fleet are being stood down like 18058, 18060 and some of the Darts. There always has to be more vehicles then diagrams and not the other way around so I don't understand why tridents are in reserve and then not getting used when there is a shortage. If they don't work in a shortage what is the purpose of them going mouldy on the depot?
Are you sure it is a shortage of vehicles and not the much more common shortage of drivers?  As you say Stagecoach tend to have a reserve of buses knocking around that can be pulled out when needed but it is much harder to cover a shortfall in driving numbers from elsewhere in the company as they still won't know where the routes go.

Offline MIB

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2018, 01:15:14 pm »
Are you sure it is a shortage of vehicles and not the much more common shortage of drivers?  As you say Stagecoach tend to have a reserve of buses knocking around that can be pulled out when needed but it is much harder to cover a shortfall in driving numbers from elsewhere in the company as they still won't know where the routes go.

As I am just a user of services and not a Stagecoach employee, I can't be certain what the issue is. There has been an influx of new drivers over time and the fact we are being loaned vehicles, with a number seemingly off the road, makes me suspect it is vehicle shortage. I did mention a few weeks ago that the newer drivers are failing vehicles probably from a lack of experience of identifying a fault so a bus is taken off the road until a fitter can look at it. The experienced drivers can often sort the problem out themselves and keep their vehicle out in traffic.

The difference between the bus industry and rail is that if there is a shortage of drivers on rail and services are cancelled they come clean and say it is because of train crew shortage. I'm not aware of any Bedford service updates saying bus services are not running owing to lack of drivers. No doubt on the other side of the coin it would probably be too embarrassing to admit not having enough buses to run the advertised service which is why I suspect that could be the problem. But it is all conjecture on my part as I am not in the job so to speak.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 01:17:00 pm by MIB »

Offline al_557

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2018, 04:07:59 pm »
Been told by a friend within Stagecoach that Biggleswade outstation is to close on 10th March with all services to be operated from Bedford from that date

Offline MIB

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #28 on: January 24, 2018, 12:58:41 pm »
Been told by a friend within Stagecoach that Biggleswade outstation is to close on 10th March with all services to be operated from Bedford from that date

Thanks for this info. I lost interest in Biggleswade outstation once the budgies left never to return.

Once again, despite what the screen stated in the bus station, there was no 0911 6 to convey me to work this morning. The 0923 6 rolled in late with 47351 so I was late for work again after a rancid 20 minute fester. I couldn't even escape on the 0915 51 as that went missing too.

19108 produced for the 0932 50, 19892 did the 0915 81 and 19699 was on an inbound 51. I still haven't seen 19706 on my travels.

Offline Suzy Scott

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Re: Stagecoach in Bedford happenings 2018
« Reply #29 on: January 24, 2018, 02:37:46 pm »
Regarding the short notice cancellations, BABUS committee members meet a few times a year with Stagecoach, GP etc. to try to represent our members! See www.babus.org.uk if you need more information!!!