In response to “Bus Franchising, The Debate Continues”

I’m writing this article in response to a recent post on Steve’s brilliant ‘Bus and Train’ blog.

The post discusses how a franchised system could benefit the passengers of Norfolk and Suffolk, how the operating landscape has developed over the years and how rural and vulnerable passengers are being increasingly left behind by commercial operators.

Before reading my response to Steve below, you must read his article.

I, respectfully, disagree

I, respectfully, disagree with pretty much everything you’ve written Steve. But then again, isn’t that what the internet’s here for?

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Exploring the North Norfolk coast on Coasthopper

During the penultimate week of Stagecoach’s tenure in King’s Lynn, I explored the Coasthopper route all the way through to Wells-next-the-Sea and Cromer.

The stalwart of the North Norfolk coast transport network, the Coasthopper services are a tourist attraction in their own right – even featuring on road signs in the region.

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Giving the Green Light to Green Line’s demonstrators

Green Line has been home to a wide array of demonstrators the past three months.

In preparation for a brand new fleet to enter service later this year, Reading Buses have been trialling all of the latest and greatest vehicles the industry has to offer.

I’ve had the pleasure of travelling on most of these vehicles and have summarised my thoughts on them below.

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Reading’s original premier route has just levelled up

The talented folks at Reading Buses were very busy over the Christmas period – setting up the new Green Line operations; filling in the gaps in First’s Slough network; and adding many new buses to their fleet. One route to gain new buses was the originalĀ Premier route: the Purple 17, which runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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Does competition work with buses?

Are there enough passengers to support long-term, sustainable competition between bus operators? I doubt it. Even if there are enough passengers, is head to head competition beneficial for passengers?

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My Lake District trip – Glenridding & Aira Force

The village of Glenridding sits at the southern end of Ullswater, the second largest lake in the Lake District. It’s accessible by Stagecoach’s route 508; the Saturdays only route 208; and the Ullswater Steamer ferry. I opted to travel on route 208 from Keswick, as this bus starts in Carlisle as route 73. These routes offer some of the best views I have ever witnessed – some what impressive given the route is the operated by Solos!

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Exploring the Lake District in all its beauty…

I began my 7 day extravaganza at the tail end of the hottest June week in over 30 years, hotly anticipating basking sunshine and glorious vistas. So confident of hot weather was I that I left my house wearing shorts. Cut to the penultimate day of the trip where it’s raining so hard I had to, sadly, abandon my plans. But that’s enough about my weather woes.

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Exploring Southampton & North Hampshire by bus

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Enjoying Basingstoke’s rebranded bus network

A couple of Wednesday’s ago I went to visitĀ the Stagecoach empire in North Hampshire – including sampling their newly relaunched bus network in Basingstoke, the subject of today’s blog post.

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