29 November 2009

October Review

We blogged 25 times during October, in a month dominated by National Express' potential sale/merger and the Competition Commission looking into two of Stagecoach's recent acquisitions and deliberating on one.

1st: We started the month by reviewing a time when the sun shone and temperatures reached 30C; no, not 2006, but last August.

2nd: Transport Secretary Lord Adonis admits that the East Coast rail franchise will be in public ownership for the foreseeable future.

4th: We exclusively reveal plans for a new-look website that Stagecoach is developing and give details of the latest LEYTR magazine's contents.

5th: With the likelihood of Stagecoach acquiring National Express' rail franchises at this time, we look at how the number of operators running the UK's rail franchises has dropped significantly since privatisation.

6th: Potentially it was the biggest thing to hit the rail fare scene in decades, but a lack of funding meant the innovative SplitFare website had to close.

7th: Contributing writer 'The Stig' lightens our mood with his new-look Tube map.

8th: London Mayor Boris Johnson lays down minimum standards for his city's taxi drivers.

11th: BBC's Panorama plan to air a programme looking at how Ryanair rose to the giddy heights with which it is blessed today; however, Ryanair's press machine - fearful that it is to be a white-wash - went into overdrive.

12th: David Cameron admitted that under his Conservative government, the free national concessionary scheme in England would definitely continue unaltered.

13th: With his bus/coach tie collection approaching the 800 mark, the identity of one eludes one of the editors. Can you help?

14th: We look at Panorama's 'Why Hate Ryanair' programme, now that it's aired. Was it really 'BBC propaganda'?

16th: London Mayor Boris Johnson outlines price rises across TfL, with bus fares being hit worse with 12.7% rises in some cases.

17th: The Cosmen Consortium walked away from the planned purchase of National Express; official reasons were given but was there more to it?

18th: Virgin Trains gave us an exclusive: their best-ever punctuality performance.

19th: BUSES magazine is 60 years old and celebrated in style by arranging a special rally at the Wroughton Airfield near Slough; we visited and reviewed the day.

20th: One of the Editors undertook a Euston-Glasgow return trip along the recently-upgraded West Coast Main Line in style thanks to Virgin Trains. Read the prelude here, with a link to the main article on the LEYTRavels site.

22nd: Our latest Quotes of the Week concern the aviation industry; one offers a quirky comparison between high-speed rail and air, t'other is about Ryanair's boss and will make you smile.

23rd: Bus industry trade mag routeone upload their weekly publication online for free - something London's highest-selling newspaper has done recently. Will it work?

24th: If Robert Mugabe ran inter-city bus services in Zimbabwe...

25th: The Competition Commission clear Stagecoach's purchase of Eastbourne Buses, in something of a surprise about-turn. Does this bode well for their impending decision in Preston?

26th: We review Glasgow's Subway network.

27th: Trust the Americans to corner the market in Tube-style shower curtains!

29th: Stagecoach reveal the despite not being able to get its hands on parts of National Express via the Cosmen Consortium, it has approached NX with a view to a merger.

31st: Quite simply: does striking work?