06 May 2009

April Review

April saw 29 far-reaching blog entries. Below is the summary:

2nd: We report how Britain's next high-speed rail line is expected to extend north of Birmingham at the behest of Transport Minister Lord Adonis.

3rd: We spot another online gem, snapped overground this time. The effect is certainly not lost!

4th: Success at National Express East Coast, who bow to pressure and resume offering American Express cardholders payment this way.

5th: The world's longest guided busway is on course for completion on time (to its modified timescale) and within its horrendous budget. But where is it and what settlements does it link?

6th: Having travelled on the new Volvo B9R coaches operating Service X5 (Oxford-Cambridge) for Stagecoach, we were shocked to see most seats without what we thought were mandatory seatbelts. The picture we uploaded today shows that, while difficult to see, seatbelts now appear fitted.

7th: Read our March Review here.

8th: Sheffield's voluntary Quality Bus Partnership breaks down and a tit-for-tat argument ensues between First South Yorkshire, Sheffield City Council and South Yorkshire ITA.

9th: We provided you with numerous statements from someone you'd think was the spokesperson for the Green Party, but oh no, prepare to be shocked!

10th: Transdev look set to clear-the-board in both Edinburgh and Nottingham with the forthcoming/proposed extension to the tram networks in the respective cities. In Edinburgh the company will be merged with council-owned Lothian, while in Nottingham this has taken place for many years, with a 35/65 share in the business there.

11th: If you're not from London, we summarise precisely what this 'Crossrail thing' is; just how enormous the project is; and how costly is it likely to be (plus the major benefits of the system).

12th: A commercial manager contacts us with his thoughts about why certain transport PR consultants permit poor grammar when designing campaigns to be displayed for all to see on his vehicles.

14th: Following a shunting accident in Wembley, Virgin Trains announce Class 90 traction is to return on the West Coast Main Line.

15th: Stagecoach face competition in their home city from a relative unknown; and the competition has echoes of Stagecoach's tactics in the 90s.

17th: We've shown vidoes of Manchester's rising bollards before; however today they were in the news for all the wrong reasons.

18th: A new contributor gives us his thoughts on how, despite the age of Virgin's Class 90 locos and Mk3 carriages, the trains' acceleration will assist with the grueling schedule the company's Pendolinos have become capable of attaining.

20th: With growth on some routes reaching 36%, we report on how it really is not grim up Northern's way.

21st: We spot a whisper that would suggest the Dunn family is to re-enter the bus business in Nottingham with a new venture.

22nd: Following the recent bad publicity surrounding Manchester's bollards, we report on how, as a result of a bus driver's scare-mongering, "Bollard Training" is being offered to drivers of the city's free shuttle buses.

23rd: For the second successive year, we attend the UK Coach Rally in Brighton.

24th: We have two entries today: to celebrate St. George's Day, Ipswich Buses offer a somewhat unique offer; while Stagecoach goes topless in Skegness.

25th: Fancy a boring qualification? We explain how this is possible!

26th: Even if you visit London only once a year, we explain how we find the Oyster Card used in the city exceptionally simple to use and how it always offers the best fare for the journeys taken.

27th: It seems incredible to think that less than 6 months after January's price hikes on the trains, May sees yet more.

28th: We blogged thrice today: firstly we link to the first Transport Minister in living memory to keep a blog as he travels around the country using a Railrover ticket; secondly a fascinating review of a form of transport hitherto omitted from this blog - motorcycles; and thirdly we are pleased to announce the re-opening of one of our area's local rail lines.

29th: Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon announces BSOG reforms, but it has a sting in its tail for the smaller bus operators.

30th: We hear a worrying whisper from Optare.