07 April 2009

March Review

We blogged 23 times in March and have detailed the subjects covered in a post-by-post summary below:

1st: It was the start of the month that Stagecoach in Lincolnshire and EYMS chose to unveil their new FastCat livery and branding that replaced Service 350 between Scunthorpe-Barton-Hull, with an improved frequency.

2nd: Following one of the Editor's trips to northern Scotland, an account is written that shows a tendency for a free-for-all in livery and vehicle allocations in the Far North between Stagecoach and Citylink; we mused on whether Stagecoach's stake in the latter was facilitating this practice.

4th: We report on a cracking deal for the best bus/coach industry trade magazine, CBW, costing just £1 per issue!

5th: Wrexham, Shropshire & Marylebone Railway are the first open-access rail operator to admit that the recession is having a negative effect on its business and that it has decided to withdraw some journeys from its timetable.

6th: Lothian Buses announced success from selling some if its fleet on Ebay; we look at other novel ways operators have chosen to 'sell' their business, though not in quite such a literal manner.

9th: We review the West Highland Line between Fort William and Mallaig on a bright yet wet late-February day.

10th: In the throws of the worst recession in living memory, the Office of Fair Trading cause a stir in the bus industry by signalling their intention to undertake a full inquiry into the industry.

11th: At last, Transport for London release information detailing the true cost of replacing the Capital's bendy bus fleet with low-floor deckers.

12th: We report on a David vs Goliath story with a not-so-happy ending.

13th: One of our members took a trip to Sheffield by National Express and reported a rather unusual, as well as humorous, announcement made by one of his drivers. We also use the entry to link to our five-star YouTube clip of a Veolia Birmingham driver's coach announcement

14th: Stagecoach announce their new Megabusplus venture: a truly integrated transport initiative.

15th: Last year we brought you the Graffiti Train, today we brought you the Poo Train.

16th: It's one of the largest bus rallies in England, and it's also the first 'biggy' of the year; we drop a reminder of the impending Cobham Rally.

17th: The TSSA Union go to the press about National Express East Coast's intention to ban train spotters from all its stations once automatic ticket barriers are in place. NXEC immediately jump to the defensive, calling the Union liars. Who do you believe?

19th: First's UK Bus operation has chosen to give all its workforce mandatory customer service training; their decision to do so was based on one of their director's visits to a Sainsbury's store where he made an interesting observation. Others within the industry are quoted with their views on whether bus services should sign-up to a minimum standard of customer service.

We also quash a supposed age-old fact about the Forth Rail Bridge.

23rd: We link to the Office of Rail Regulation's annual Station Usage Figures, detailing which are the busiest stations in rank order. This always proves a very interesting subject.

24th: National Express choose to remove its coach timetable guide from not only the public arena, but also prevent its drivers and ticket agents from getting their hands on a copy.

25th: Stagecoach East Midlands send us official photos of their FastCat launch in Scunthorpe town centre.

26th: Having been made aware of some grammatical errors on a specific rear-end advert on Stagecoach buses in Peterborough, one of our members tracks the offending vehicles down and tells us all about it.

27th: One of the largest UK airports chooses to follow the lead of smaller ones and offer a fee to jump the security queues there.

28th: The DfT closes loop-holes that were contained within the Concessionary Free Travel Scheme in England. We report on one of the biggest casualties: National Express no longer has to accept concessionary passes for free travel on some of its services.

For February's summary click here. January's summary can be found here.