Author Topic: Stagecoach CAMBRIDGESHIRE happenings 2018  (Read 11663 times)

Offline dwarfer1979

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Re: Stagecoach CAMBRIDGESHIRE happenings 2018
« Reply #90 on: November 08, 2018, 08:47:41 AM »
The problem with monopoly's is that they 'call the shots', and only run services that suit them, put up fares as no competition etc etc. There is a Monopoly's Commission who are supposed to keep this in check. 
Problem with  bus services is they are not like shops, where if you dont like the prices or services then you go some where else, you cant do that with bus services.
As for franchising, the services are be paid for from the fares, its just that they will all go into a central fund and the profitable routes will subsidise the unprofitable. The LA are not using public funds to run the services as with the current system where they only take on and fund the unprofitable services that the likes of Stagecoach dont want to run.
There should be no or little top up required by the LA if system was run efficiently and not for profit. Any profit would be ploughed back into the system to fund other routes. It works in London so why not Cambridge?
There appears to be a combination of short-term memory, rose-tinted spectacles and a confusion of terms repatedly coming up in this debate.  Franchising or Contracting is never 'not-for-profit', the operators providing the service are all profit making entities aiming to still make a similar level of profit, contracting just removes much of the risk from the private operator and passes it to the taxpayer, the difference in profit margin between London operators and provincial deregulated ones is that most London operators lease buses over the life of the contract they are bought for (as they have no guaranteed work beyond that time) whilst provincial ones tend to buy them as the work lasts as long as they want to run in so in the former the cash comes out before the publicly announced profit figure is calculated whilst in the latter in comes out of the 'profit' announced.  If anything resembling a 'not-for-profit' operation is expected what is meant is municipalisation where the council buys and operates the service, this will cost 10's of millions to set up (as the council will have to buy the business as a going concern including all assets rather than just compensating for lost earnings on route goodwill as a minimum on franchising - though any sensible authority will pay extra to ensure access to sites/vehicles for a smooth transition).

Also can I point out that bus services weren't operated entirely off their income before deregulation & privatisation, the councils provided large amounts of funding to operators but it wasn't transparent on what it was for and the whole thing was open to abuse by monopolistic operators (often state owned) who could demand any amount of money as no one could compete.  It is well known that the NBC regularly went to local councils demanding large sums of money or they would withdraw all services, they did it in North Norfolk and when the council refused they decimated the network and it took more than a decade of deregulation to remotely recover.  So pre-deregulation non-commercial journeys were being supported by local government funding it just wasn't obvious to anyone inside or outside the industry that this was the case, once deregulation meant services/journeys were better accounted for Local Authorities could decide exactly what they valued as important and what wasn't worth continuing to fund in a clearer manner.

Any argument that relies on any level of UK government being efficient would appear to fly in the face of reality, all levels of UK government are renowned for their inefficiency and poor procurement and project management skills.  The low level officers may be competent (but in regards to public transport many would be out of their depth if they had to handle the sort of network planning and contract management that proposed franchising schemes require) but they are hamstrung by an inefficient system that gold plates everything and struggles to find best value, the London contracting system is a good example costing millions in subsidy to run in the one city in the world that running a commercial system should be easiest given how pro-public transport and 'anti-car' the entire set up and road system are there.

Any proposals like franchising are going to need more money (to pay for the greater levels of administration & cover the general inefficiencies that come from local government interference), be less responsive to customers (local government has never been good at the concept of choice, you may have a marginally better bus service level but it may not take you where you want to go because a bus service is a bus service and ticks the box from a council viewpoint) also because politicians respond to 'voters' (or at least the vocal minority/papers that purport to represent them) rather than the passengers who use the service who may not directly or at all elect the politician in question and slower to respond (councils simply don't make decisions quickly, or at all, unless forced by artificial outside deadlines and don't react quickly to requests for changes or improvements).  Unless a lot of extra money is coming in, when there would be a case for government to have greater control over how that is spent, something that no one in power seems to remotely be suggesting at any level then greater government interference is just going to make things work.

Offline cesar

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Re: Stagecoach CAMBRIDGESHIRE happenings 2018
« Reply #91 on: November 08, 2018, 08:33:28 PM »
There appears to be a combination of short-term memory, rose-tinted spectacles and a confusion of terms repatedly coming up in this debate.  Franchising or Contracting is never 'not-for-profit', the operators providing the service are all profit making entities aiming to still make a similar level of profit, contracting just removes much of the risk from the private operator and passes it to the taxpayer, the difference in profit margin between London operators and provincial deregulated ones is that most London operators lease buses over the life of the contract they are bought for (as they have no guaranteed work beyond that time) whilst provincial ones tend to buy them as the work lasts as long as they want to run in so in the former the cash comes out before the publicly announced profit figure is calculated whilst in the latter in comes out of the 'profit' announced.  If anything resembling a 'not-for-profit' operation is expected what is meant is municipalisation where the council buys and operates the service, this will cost 10's of millions to set up (as the council will have to buy the business as a going concern including all assets rather than just compensating for lost earnings on route goodwill as a minimum on franchising - though any sensible authority will pay extra to ensure access to sites/vehicles for a smooth transition).

Also can I point out that bus services weren't operated entirely off their income before deregulation & privatisation, the councils provided large amounts of funding to operators but it wasn't transparent on what it was for and the whole thing was open to abuse by monopolistic operators (often state owned) who could demand any amount of money as no one could compete.  It is well known that the NBC regularly went to local councils demanding large sums of money or they would withdraw all services, they did it in North Norfolk and when the council refused they decimated the network and it took more than a decade of deregulation to remotely recover.  So pre-deregulation non-commercial journeys were being supported by local government funding it just wasn't obvious to anyone inside or outside the industry that this was the case, once deregulation meant services/journeys were better accounted for Local Authorities could decide exactly what they valued as important and what wasn't worth continuing to fund in a clearer manner.

Any argument that relies on any level of UK government being efficient would appear to fly in the face of reality, all levels of UK government are renowned for their inefficiency and poor procurement and project management skills.  The low level officers may be competent (but in regards to public transport many would be out of their depth if they had to handle the sort of network planning and contract management that proposed franchising schemes require) but they are hamstrung by an inefficient system that gold plates everything and struggles to find best value, the London contracting system is a good example costing millions in subsidy to run in the one city in the world that running a commercial system should be easiest given how pro-public transport and 'anti-car' the entire set up and road system are there.

Any proposals like franchising are going to need more money (to pay for the greater levels of administration & cover the general inefficiencies that come from local government interference), be less responsive to customers (local government has never been good at the concept of choice, you may have a marginally better bus service level but it may not take you where you want to go because a bus service is a bus service and ticks the box from a council viewpoint) also because politicians respond to 'voters' (or at least the vocal minority/papers that purport to represent them) rather than the passengers who use the service who may not directly or at all elect the politician in question and slower to respond (councils simply don't make decisions quickly, or at all, unless forced by artificial outside deadlines and don't react quickly to requests for changes or improvements).  Unless a lot of extra money is coming in, when there would be a case for government to have greater control over how that is spent, something that no one in power seems to remotely be suggesting at any level then greater government interference is just going to make things work.

Very well put!!


Offline alan

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Re: Stagecoach CAMBRIDGESHIRE happenings 2018
« Reply #92 on: November 09, 2018, 11:05:50 AM »
Extremely well put!
In the early 70s in East Anglia the municipal undertakings were Gt Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Ipswich, Colchester & Southend. From my fading memory I think only Southend (a conservative run council) came anywhere near to breaking even financially, the others made huge losses subsidised by the tax payer one way or another. The three National Bus Companies Eastern Counties, Eastern National & United Counties were hardly models of efficiency, quite the opposite demanding huge support from the public purse through various ways & means & it was not always clear what the money was for; plus of course they also benefited from the new bus grant for vehicles used on only 50% of their mileage on stage work. They certainly leaned on independents & were big & powerful enough to usually win. Before National Travel they introduced the odd 10p fare on many of their express services thus making them stage services. I doubt if many passengers knew or took advantage of those 10p fares but I bet it helped with the Fuel Duty Rebate claims for stage carriage services! Most National Bus Companies I seem to recall also said that one in five of their vehicles was an "Engineering Spare". I wonder how that compares with Stagecoach or Arriva today???? Maybe vehicles are more reliable now or maybe not!

Offline Steven Knight Media

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Re: Stagecoach CAMBRIDGESHIRE happenings 2018
« Reply #93 on: November 14, 2018, 11:53:49 AM »
Cambridge Reserve Fleet Tridents 18337 and 18339 transferred to North Scotland
Enviro 200s 36041/42 now at Cambridge (ex Bedford)

Offline John Wakefield

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Re: Stagecoach CAMBRIDGESHIRE happenings 2018
« Reply #94 on: November 16, 2018, 08:04:07 PM »
Another example of how Stagecoach are not customer friendly.
I went to board a City 7 at Pampisford, White Horse today, the bus was in the stop awaiting time to depart back to Cambridge. I went to board but the driver said he did not pick up at that stop, the first stop being opposite Sawston Medical Centre some 400 yards down the road. When I questioned him as to why he said I would not be insured as it was not a scheduled stop on that service (I would add that it IS a stop on the service from Pampisford Village!)
So the City 7 does not pick up at the White Horse Pub at London Road, Pampisford on the journeys which terminate there, although the bus waits there for around 10 mins before starting its journey back to Cambridge.
The White Horse stop in a designated bus layby/stop with an adjoining shelter it would make good sense to start the service from there, that would avoid a 400 yard walk to the Medical Centre Stop were there is no shelter.
The White Horse was always the southern terminus of the 103 in Eastern Counties days so why not now? if its an insurance issue then surely all it needs is for the White Horse stop to be included on the timetable.

Offline Steves

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Re: Stagecoach CAMBRIDGESHIRE happenings 2018
« Reply #95 on: November 17, 2018, 09:13:40 PM »
Another example of how Stagecoach are not customer friendly.
I went to board a City 7 at Pampisford, White Horse today, the bus was in the stop awaiting time to depart back to Cambridge. I went to board but the driver said he did not pick up at that stop, the first stop being opposite Sawston Medical Centre some 400 yards down the road. When I questioned him as to why he said I would not be insured as it was not a scheduled stop on that service (I would add that it IS a stop on the service from Pampisford Village!)
So the City 7 does not pick up at the White Horse Pub at London Road, Pampisford on the journeys which terminate there, although the bus waits there for around 10 mins before starting its journey back to Cambridge.
The White Horse stop in a designated bus layby/stop with an adjoining shelter it would make good sense to start the service from there, that would avoid a 400 yard walk to the Medical Centre Stop were there is no shelter.
The White Horse was always the southern terminus of the 103 in Eastern Counties days so why not now? if its an insurance issue then surely all it needs is for the White Horse stop to be included on the timetable.
Seems to be an excuse that drivers generally use for not allowing passengers to board or alight where they are not supposed to.  You can understand this at traffic lights etc and I am pretty certain that is the reason for it.

I would bet that if you asked about it (and managed to get a response), Stagecoach would say that not extending the service officially to the White House is to allow extra time for reliability.  Whoever is there now is fixated on reliability to the exclusion of customer service.

Offline John Wakefield

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Re: Stagecoach CAMBRIDGESHIRE happenings 2018
« Reply #96 on: November 26, 2018, 04:24:22 PM »
Just heard back from Nigel Tarrant (Commercial Manager, Stagecoach East)
They will be making the change in the new year so that passengers are able to board and alight at the White Horse stop. This won't happen until the end of January keep an eye on Stagecoach website for the date of the change.


Offline chris johnson

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Re: Stagecoach CAMBRIDGESHIRE happenings 2018
« Reply #97 on: December 17, 2018, 10:28:39 AM »
27847 doing the 7s from Saffron Walden today
this photo is a 53 reg Trident what I'm on and its 18058 yes it is Chris johnson

Offline chris johnson

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Re: Stagecoach CAMBRIDGESHIRE happenings 2018
« Reply #98 on: December 17, 2018, 02:11:56 PM »
Plus 27851 doing 7s today around Saffron Walden
this photo is a 53 reg Trident what I'm on and its 18058 yes it is Chris johnson

Offline chris johnson

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Re: Stagecoach CAMBRIDGESHIRE happenings 2018
« Reply #99 on: December 20, 2018, 11:29:03 AM »
10:30 bus broke down in Saffron Walden is 27846 and they sorting it out now and 11:16 is lovely ride to Cambridge is 21226 good treat before Xmas
this photo is a 53 reg Trident what I'm on and its 18058 yes it is Chris johnson

Offline chris johnson

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Re: Stagecoach CAMBRIDGESHIRE happenings 2018
« Reply #100 on: December 20, 2018, 11:59:55 AM »
27855 on the 7s to pampisford
this photo is a 53 reg Trident what I'm on and its 18058 yes it is Chris johnson

Offline chris johnson

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Re: Stagecoach CAMBRIDGESHIRE happenings 2018
« Reply #101 on: December 20, 2018, 12:31:21 PM »
27846 been fixed and just left from addenbrooks hospital for Saffron Walden
this photo is a 53 reg Trident what I'm on and its 18058 yes it is Chris johnson

Offline chris johnson

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Re: Stagecoach CAMBRIDGESHIRE happenings 2018
« Reply #102 on: December 20, 2018, 12:35:14 PM »
27846 been fixed and just left from addenbrooks hospital for Saffron Walden plus 21228 for pampisford
this photo is a 53 reg Trident what I'm on and its 18058 yes it is Chris johnson

Offline chris johnson

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Re: Stagecoach CAMBRIDGESHIRE happenings 2018
« Reply #103 on: December 20, 2018, 12:44:53 PM »
27854 on 7 to sawston

Is it single decker bus day on citi 7  :D ;D ::)
this photo is a 53 reg Trident what I'm on and its 18058 yes it is Chris johnson

Offline John Wakefield

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Re: Stagecoach CAMBRIDGESHIRE happenings 2018
« Reply #104 on: December 20, 2018, 04:13:53 PM »
I have noticed more single deckers on the 7 lately, presumably passenger number are dropping,

Offline chris johnson

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Re: Stagecoach CAMBRIDGESHIRE happenings 2018
« Reply #105 on: December 20, 2018, 05:10:17 PM »
Maybe as heading home on 27854 got about 16 seats left
this photo is a 53 reg Trident what I'm on and its 18058 yes it is Chris johnson

Offline TJWPSV

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Re: Stagecoach CAMBRIDGESHIRE happenings 2018
« Reply #106 on: January 14, 2019, 08:43:11 PM »
Does anybody know the current whereabouts / status of the open top Tridents which were displaced from the Cambridge City Sightseeing service last summer, please? All disappeared off the Stagecoach fleet cards at that time, seemingly without 'comment' (i.e. no movement to reserve or disposal), but as far as I can see, none have been reported elsewhere or surrendered their 'cherished' registrations and 17079 / 17274 / 17275 remain taxed [17078 / 17099 / 17276  are SORN].

Offline chris johnson

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Re: Stagecoach CAMBRIDGESHIRE happenings 2018
« Reply #107 on: January 14, 2019, 11:08:40 PM »
all of Sightseeing buses of the old one out of disposal or gone by now when i was in Cambridge back in November there was 1 up in the yard think it was 1727? ones and not sure what happen to the overs
this photo is a 53 reg Trident what I'm on and its 18058 yes it is Chris johnson

Offline dennisdart

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Re: Stagecoach CAMBRIDGESHIRE happenings 2018
« Reply #108 on: January 15, 2019, 10:03:25 AM »
Does anybody know the current whereabouts / status of the open top Tridents which were displaced from the Cambridge City Sightseeing service last summer, please? All disappeared off the Stagecoach fleet cards at that time, seemingly without 'comment' (i.e. no movement to reserve or disposal), but as far as I can see, none have been reported elsewhere or surrendered their 'cherished' registrations and 17079 / 17274 / 17275 remain taxed [17078 / 17099 / 17276  are SORN].

According to the Steve Knight fleet allocation for January all the Trident open toppers are delicensed for disposal and are shown
as being located in Ely along with several others.

Offline TCD813

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Re: Stagecoach CAMBRIDGESHIRE happenings 2018
« Reply #109 on: January 17, 2019, 04:09:54 PM »
All posts to Stagecoach CAMBRIDGESHIRE happenings 2019 now.

You can still click on the 'Quote' button, then copy-and-paste into Stagecoach CAMBRIDGESHIRE happenings 2019 if there's something to which you wish to reply.

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