Anglia & Thames Valley Bus Forum

Cambridgeshire, Norfolk & Suffolk => Cambridgeshire, Norfolk & Suffolk - Independent Bus Operators => Topic started by: Palatine One on October 07, 2017, 05:44:52 PM

Title: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: Palatine One on October 07, 2017, 05:44:52 PM
This new operator of service 7A between Babraham P&R and Whittlesford appears mainly using an ex-Stephensons ALX200 Dart still in their livery complete with "eyelashes" around the headlamps and a rather scrappy set of vinyls across the destination glass. Not exactly high quality.

However today in use was Andrews Y853GCD, an ex-Brighton Dennis Trident.
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: Stamford on August 04, 2018, 11:56:47 PM
Two former Abellio London E200s, LJ56VSX/VSY, have arrived via Ensign. At least one, still in red livery, has been in use on services 31 and 75.
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: skyLink on August 05, 2018, 08:57:53 AM
They also have a ex first 52 plate solo.

For a tiny company there trying hard. Good luck to them.
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: cesar on August 05, 2018, 03:48:20 PM
I am sorry to say that running buses in various 'as acquired' liveries without proper destination displays is not 'trying hard'. It is the result of tendering at a low price and then trying to run at an even lower cost in order to try and make a few bob......
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: alanv on August 05, 2018, 05:08:54 PM
The time scale was such that I suspect that a vehicle from Ensign was the easiest option.
As the contract is I assume only until next April when the responsibility passes from the County Council to the Mayor, short term thinking rules.
Also with councils like Northamtonshire and East Sussex axing non mandatory sending the future prospects are not bright.
As an aside does Cambridgeshire have a joint venture with Northamptonshire regarding the My Bus Trip app which provides passengers with free direct access to real time bus information via their mobile phones.
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: skyLink on August 06, 2018, 12:24:32 PM
I am sorry to say that running buses in various 'as acquired' liveries without proper destination displays is not 'trying hard'. It is the result of tendering at a low price and then trying to run at an even lower cost in order to try and make a few bob......

No worse than the "new whippet " then really.

But fair play taking the huge financial risk to give people a life line of a bus service.  And they seem to be getting passengers numbers up.
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: cesar on August 06, 2018, 08:35:46 PM
No worse than the "new whippet " then really.

But fair play taking the huge financial risk to give people a life line of a bus service.  And they seem to be getting passengers numbers up.

It's not a 'huge financial risk' if they tender a reasonable price..... It's their bid - no one is forcing them to quote that price!!
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: skyLink on August 06, 2018, 09:50:20 PM
It's not a 'huge financial risk' if they tender a reasonable price..... It's their bid - no one is forcing them to quote that price!!

Okay bud chill your beans. 
 I depends how you work out your quote by not just the route price but takeings of passengers.  And so forth. And being able to invest in better buses ie there new e200s with said profit. Also keeping in financial standing with the traffic manager.  And so forth. I'm going to leave it there as I feel I could say the sky is blue and you say it's yellow.
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: bristolsrus on August 07, 2018, 05:46:57 PM
On a slightly different topic now, has anyone seen any of the ex Whippet  Caetano bodied Dennis Dart SLF's lately ?    I know they sold one on, but I think that leaves them with two still in the
fleet.

Cheers

Chris
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: Cheltonian on August 11, 2018, 07:16:49 PM
They also have a ex first 52 plate solo.

EO02NFJ as seen at Trumpington Park & Ride today

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cheltonian1966/43076495575/in/dateposted/
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: Palatine One on August 19, 2018, 08:31:12 AM
Working destination equipment and something approaching a consistent livery would be nice to see. You could be forgiven for thinking that the 7A and 31 are joint run by First and Ensignbus at the moment with that Solo and E200 running around.

Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: HughT on August 19, 2018, 08:41:10 AM
I take your point. But I have a friend who lives in Newton and who is totally dependent on the bus service (topped up with the occasional lift - otherwise a taxi). She couldn't care about the livery - she's just delighted that the County Council managed to find an operator prepared to take on the contract. And that she still has a bus to take her to hospital and/or the shops in Great Shelford. (And remember, when Whippet gave up the 18 there were no takers originally for the contract, until A2B eventually stepped in...) Yes, smarter, newer vehicles would be nice, but at least these services are still operating.
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: cesar on August 19, 2018, 02:38:51 PM
The lack of destination equipment is actually breaking the law under PSVAR too.....
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: L951MSC on September 17, 2018, 05:32:30 PM
https://www.flickr.com/photos/busnutolly/43833233035/in/datetaken-public/

now re-painted into temporary livery (ish) and PSVAR compliant. No pleasing some people!!!
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: John Wakefield on October 13, 2018, 01:43:45 PM
Good luck to Brian Clifford and his fledgling A2B Bus & Coach. he has stepped into the breach left by Whippet after they left Cambs County Council in the lurch by cancelling tendered services at a very short 1 months notice. Luckily A2B were able to step in at 2 days notice (it took time for CCC to re tender) and take on the 31 and 75 services.
Whippet I might add did not help matters by removing timetables and bus stop flags from these routes leaving passenger in a dilemma as to whether the services were still running.
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: gc_bus on October 14, 2018, 07:54:46 PM
Well done A2B for stepping in at such short notice :-)
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: John Wakefield on October 15, 2018, 12:31:46 PM
A2B Fleet

A2B fleet appear to currently be as follows:
KX57FMF
EO02NFG
LK03NKM
LJ56VSY
SN03WMP
NA52AWF

MX54KYN and YX60DXA are on SORN so look withdrawn
LJ56VSX is untaxed so looks withdrawn
LX51FGG scrapped 10/17

Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: L951MSC on October 16, 2018, 05:28:12 PM
NA52 AWF is one of the smartest vehicles currently serving Cambridge...it's very shiny indeed!

https://flic.kr/p/29cwrfA

Perhaps it's also fair to point out that since A2B were awarded the contract, the 75 service from Wrestlingworth - Orwell - Cambridge has seen a huge growth in patronage...so much so I believe SN03 WMP was actually bought to cope with the extra pax onboard, what with it being such a large vehicle. Whippet never seemed to manage to make this service work but the peak journey's both directions often see a full bus now...proof it can be done and long may it continue.
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: barryb on October 16, 2018, 10:02:59 PM
I'm sure we all wish them only luck; which anyone trying to set up a bus operator in today's environment needs plenty of!
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: Spoddendale on October 24, 2018, 11:20:17 PM
ADL Enviro200 KX57 FMF was working service 7A through Sawston on Wednesday 24 October 2018.

David
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: John Wakefield on October 26, 2018, 11:27:19 PM
Sadly this 7A service despite a change of route to Trumpington P&R from Babraham Road is not seeing an increase in passengers.
Whittlesford residents in particular pushed for these changes but dont seem to be patronising it. Likewise its not attracting passengers to Waitrose from Sawston, Stapleford & Shelford despite the City7 not going through Trumpington so involves a transfer (and wait) for the Stagecoach 25 (Trumpington, Great Knighton, Addenbrookes circular), or walk from Addenbrookes Road. To make matters worse it does not pick up or set down between Gt Shelford (Tunwells Lane) and the P&R due to 'bulling tactics' by Stagecoach who threatened the Cambs County Council with cuts to the Citi 7 if stops were served along Shelford Road and Trumpington Road including Scotsdales garden Centre.
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: steve on October 27, 2018, 07:19:38 PM
To make matters worse it does not pick up or set down between Gt Shelford (Tunwells Lane) and the P&R due to 'bulling tactics' by Stagecoach who threatened the Cambs County Council with cuts to the Citi 7 if stops were served along Shelford Road and Trumpington Road including Scotsdales garden Centre.

Really? That's appalling, on Stagecoach's part. So much for a competitive bus market. Did they really think they'd loose that much business?

Perhaps if they appeared to be making any effort to run punctual buses people may be more inclined to use them. Better to concentrate efforts on things like that than petty disagreements like this.

Cutting the citi 7 any more would be shooting themselves in the foot. Again.
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: cesar on October 27, 2018, 08:12:14 PM
Nothing to do with Stagecoach really. Local authorities are not allowed to fund supported services which compete with commercial operations - 1985 Transport Act and subsequent legislation. Not only would it potentially undermine commercial routes, but would be an improper use of public funds.
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: steve on October 28, 2018, 09:57:30 AM
Nothing to do with Stagecoach really. Local authorities are not allowed to fund supported services which compete with commercial operations - 1985 Transport Act and subsequent legislation. Not only would it potentially undermine commercial routes, but would be an improper use of public funds.
But surely common sense should prevail. Routes like the 7A only exist, and are funded by the LA, to serve communities that commercial operators don't. There are always going to be overlaps with commercial routes on a small number of bus stops.

Although the funding source is different, look at how the U overlaps with commercial routes between the station and Addenbrooke's - and actually competes because of it's frequency.

A prime example of how the current network doesn't serve the market well. Operators and local authorities should work together to enable more passengers to use the bus rather than engage in tilt-for-tat arguments that just confuse people.
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: John Wakefield on October 28, 2018, 10:11:41 AM
But surely common sense should prevail. Routes like the 7A only exist, and are funded by the LA, to serve communities that commercial operators don't. There are always going to be overlaps with commercial routes on a small number of bus stops.

Although the funding source is different, look at how the U overlaps with commercial routes between the station and Addenbrooke's - and actually competes because of it's frequency.

A prime example of how the current network doesn't serve the market well. Operators and local authorities should work together to enable more passengers to use the bus rather than engage in tilt-for-tat arguments that just confuse people.

Exactly, that's why Bus Franchising must come into Cambridgeshire, routes set an controlled by LA with cross ticketing, profitable services will subsidise the non profitable. This also gives the small operator like A2B a 'bite at the cherry' without being hassled by the big boys like Stagecoach. If Stagecoach dont like the system then they should move on and leave space and opportunity for the smaller independents.
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: cesar on October 28, 2018, 03:41:42 PM
Exactly, that's why Bus Franchising must come into Cambridgeshire, routes set an controlled by LA with cross ticketing, profitable services will subsidise the non profitable. This also gives the small operator like A2B a 'bite at the cherry' without being hassled by the big boys like Stagecoach. If Stagecoach dont like the system then they should move on and leave space and opportunity for the smaller independents.

Ah. So if the 'profit' from the profitable routes goes to support the unprofitable, I take it the operators running the network on behalf of the authority will be doing so for nothing? Or will Council tax go up to pay for it? Not to mention paying for the bureaucracy of the tendering process, the (inevitable) new vehicles required, and the political hobby-horses (cheaper fares for various categories etc etc).  The magic money tree strikes again......!!
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: John Wakefield on October 28, 2018, 04:25:22 PM
Ah. So if the 'profit' from the profitable routes goes to support the unprofitable, I take it the operators running the network on behalf of the authority will be doing so for nothing? Or will Council tax go up to pay for it? Not to mention paying for the bureaucracy of the tendering process, the (inevitable) new vehicles required, and the political hobby-horses (cheaper fares for various categories etc etc).  The magic money tree strikes again......!!

No. With franchising the council put out all the routes for tender and it is up to the bus company to put in a price that will enable them to run the service, buy and maintain vehicles, pay drivers and make a 'reasonable' profit. Stagecoach have been 'hiving off' the lucrative routes and making vast profits for their shareholders, The local authority (LA) 'shareholders' are us the council tax payers. As I understand it fares go to LA but terms may differ as with the current tendered services, and any profits would go into the council coffers.
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: cesar on October 28, 2018, 08:05:08 PM
No. With franchising the council put out all the routes for tender and it is up to the bus company to put in a price that will enable them to run the service, buy and maintain vehicles, pay drivers and make a 'reasonable' profit. Stagecoach have been 'hiving off' the lucrative routes and making vast profits for their shareholders, The local authority (LA) 'shareholders' are us the council tax payers. As I understand it fares go to LA but terms may differ as with the current tendered services, and any profits would go into the council coffers.

I'm not here to support Stagecoach. However in the last set of accounts available at Companies House (year ending April 2017), Cambus Ltd made a profit before tax of circa £8.5m on a turnover of £56m - that's about 15%. (Cambus includes more than just Cambridge, but it's the lowest level breakdown publicly available). Forget for a moment that a chunk of that goes in tax to HMRC. Is that too high? How much would a contracted operator(s) want as a return to run the network? Remember that staff would TUPE across so pay rates etc would be unchanged. How much resource and how many staff would the authority need to design and tender and monitor the network?  London operators are typically on margins of 5-6% but research by TAS has shown that as buses are generally procured through operating lease, the costs go 'above the line' - so costs go up, though margins appear lower.
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: John Wakefield on October 28, 2018, 11:21:08 PM
I'm not here to support Stagecoach. However in the last set of accounts available at Companies House (year ending April 2017), Cambus Ltd made a profit before tax of circa £8.5m on a turnover of £56m - that's about 15%. (Cambus includes more than just Cambridge, but it's the lowest level breakdown publicly available). Forget for a moment that a chunk of that goes in tax to HMRC. Is that too high? How much would a contracted operator(s) want as a return to run the network? Remember that staff would TUPE across so pay rates etc would be unchanged. How much resource and how many staff would the authority need to design and tender and monitor the network?  London operators are typically on margins of 5-6% but research by TAS has shown that as buses are generally procured through operating lease, the costs go 'above the line' - so costs go up, though margins appear lower.

Maybe, but something has to change and Mayor Palmer has stated that he is in favor of bus franchising. The fact is if nothing is done then bus services will degenerate to a few Stagecoach operated commercial routes with villages cut off.
Cross ticketing must be a major factor, as the public are put off by having to pay twice if their journey requires two or more  different operators. Smaller bus companies like A2B have lower overheads, and with a level playing field maybe some of the other operators Dews, Millers, Greys & Youngs etc may be tempted to tender for some routes along with Whippet. Dont forget these companies (Dews, Millers, Greys, Youngs) are mainly into school contract, rail replacement & private hire work so may be tempted into some stage carriage routes in between if the price is right. Dews are already doing a number of CCC tendered services.
I would think that there would be some money from central government to get the system up and running, and as the LA will (or should be) a not for profit organisation then £8 million would go some way towards subsidising the rural services.
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: dwarfer1979 on October 29, 2018, 08:57:04 AM
Maybe, but something has to change and Mayor Palmer has stated that he is in favor of bus franchising. The fact is if nothing is done then bus services will degenerate to a few Stagecoach operated commercial routes with villages cut off.
Cross ticketing must be a major factor, as the public are put off by having to pay twice if their journey requires two or more  different operators. Smaller bus companies like A2B have lower overheads, and with a level playing field maybe some of the other operators Dews, Millers, Greys & Youngs etc may be tempted to tender for some routes along with Whippet. Dont forget these companies (Dews, Millers, Greys, Youngs) are mainly into school contract, rail replacement & private hire work so may be tempted into some stage carriage routes in between if the price is right. Dews are already doing a number of CCC tendered services.
I would think that there would be some money from central government to get the system up and running.
Except that none of the authorities talking about franchising are suggesting tendering routes individually (very expensive to administer for the council) but tendering a few large packages of routes (cheaper to manage for the council but the packages will be too large for any of the smaller operators you suggest).  If they haven't been tempted to tender under the current regime where individual routes are available often not packaged together and with no wider requirements why would they be interested in tendering for larger packages of routes with all the attendant costs that are being suggested (technological, vehicular and the general data monitoring that comes with these sort of council managed solutions).
There has been no suggestion from any side that any money will be made available to set up a franchising system, London is showing that even in a major city with all the attendant volume that entails a franchised system cannot work without extensive subsidy (TfL is struggling for funds, cutting services all over the place and hamstrung by political promises that were unaffordable when they were made and more so in the changed circumstances of overrunning major projects elsewhere hitting revenue & reductions in outside subsidy to the system).  Plus franchising doesn't materially affect the amount of money the operators are looking for, there is a difference in the profit margin between London & the deregulated provinces but much of that can be put down to the different way the source vehicles (London operators lease against a contract so the money is deducted before the publicly announced profit, most of the big operators in the provinces buy buses outright so the money is deducted after the publicly announce profit that everyone sees) and most operators are making a pittance of a profit and not the massive margins that some make out (The Stagecoach Cambus figure is about as good as it gets and would be considered a worryingly poor figure in most other industries).  No-one pushing for franchising has been able to explain how they would fund it (other than via claimed excess profits that everyone knows don't exist) and when Tyne & Wear got as far as formally proposing a franchising regime they had to admit there was a high chance they would run out of money before the first contract term had completed and they had no plan B of what to do then (I assume they would hand it over to the operator but they would have driven out all the local knowledge & commercial acumen and be left with contracting specialists who are already showing themselves incapable of running commercial businesses without guidance making the situation so much worse).
As to the original point that kicked off this discussion, the non-competition of subsidised services covers full routes not a shared stretch of road, there are very few places where anyone else has taken that view on a local service (it sometimes sits on contracts coming in to an out of authority city from a long way away) but occasionally they are historic remnants if the old stopping limitations that some country services had that the council never felt the need to remove (we had one on a contract we gained and we simply didn't include it in the registration of the service and so that clause in the contract disappeared.  There are a number of reasons why a council may have put in stopping restrictions along sections of a contracted route and unless we have a firm reason it is best not to throw too many accusations around.
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: John Wakefield on October 29, 2018, 09:33:25 AM
Except that none of the authorities talking about franchising are suggesting tendering routes individually (very expensive to administer for the council) but tendering a few large packages of routes (cheaper to manage for the council but the packages will be too large for any of the smaller operators you suggest).  If they haven't been tempted to tender under the current regime where individual routes are available often not packaged together and with no wider requirements why would they be interested in tendering for larger packages of routes with all the attendant costs that are being suggested (technological, vehicular and the general data monitoring that comes with these sort of council managed solutions).
There has been no suggestion from any side that any money will be made available to set up a franchising system, London is showing that even in a major city with all the attendant volume that entails a franchised system cannot work without extensive subsidy (TfL is struggling for funds, cutting services all over the place and hamstrung by political promises that were unaffordable when they were made and more so in the changed circumstances of overrunning major projects elsewhere hitting revenue & reductions in outside subsidy to the system).  Plus franchising doesn't materially affect the amount of money the operators are looking for, there is a difference in the profit margin between London & the deregulated provinces but much of that can be put down to the different way the source vehicles (London operators lease against a contract so the money is deducted before the publicly announced profit, most of the big operators in the provinces buy buses outright so the money is deducted after the publicly announce profit that everyone sees) and most operators are making a pittance of a profit and not the massive margins that some make out (The Stagecoach Cambus figure is about as good as it gets and would be considered a worryingly poor figure in most other industries).  No-one pushing for franchising has been able to explain how they would fund it (other than via claimed excess profits that everyone knows don't exist) and when Tyne & Wear got as far as formally proposing a franchising regime they had to admit there was a high chance they would run out of money before the first contract term had completed and they had no plan B of what to do then (I assume they would hand it over to the operator but they would have driven out all the local knowledge & commercial acumen and be left with contracting specialists who are already showing themselves incapable of running commercial businesses without guidance making the situation so much worse).
As to the original point that kicked off this discussion, the non-competition of subsidised services covers full routes not a shared stretch of road, there are very few places where anyone else has taken that view on a local service (it sometimes sits on contracts coming in to an out of authority city from a long way away) but occasionally they are historic remnants if the old stopping limitations that some country services had that the council never felt the need to remove (we had one on a contract we gained and we simply didn't include it in the registration of the service and so that clause in the contract disappeared.  There are a number of reasons why a council may have put in stopping restrictions along sections of a contracted route and unless we have a firm reason it is best not to throw too many accusations around.

Some good points their dwarfer. pity you dont reveal your real name as it would appear you have or have been involved in running a bus company either as an owner or a manager.
If I could pick up on one or two points, grouping together routes could be an advantage to the smaller companies as it would enable them to get a 'bigger bite of the cherry' with one tender rather than spending time on submitting individual tenders and failing to get many. It would be advantageous therefore for the LA to tender large and small packages.
As for limited stops, in the case that I raised at the beginning of this thread, the reason that Cambs County Council restricted stops on the 7A service was due to an objection from Stagecoach, ironically on the new route 4 stops that duplicated with Stagecoach Citi 7 at Sawston on the old 7A were not served on the new 7A. Stagecoach did not appear to take that into account. The new 7A route passes though Sawston on main high St and does not make the loop around a housing estate.
Finally as I said previously, somethings got to happen, I think Franchising could work with some good planning and administration, but as has been seen in the past, LA's are not good at running bus services, always seem to 'fire fight' on bus services and dont put enough thought and planning into routes and publicise them. Lets hope Mayor Palmer gets this sorted and starts 'walking the walk' rather than 'talking the talk'. The public need to have confidence that bus services will run on time and be an affordable (cheaper) alternative than running a car.
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: John Wakefield on October 29, 2018, 07:51:34 PM
Just be announced by Philip Hammond in the budget that there will be £21 million for Cambridgeshire Mayor Palmer to spent on buses.
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: Elsworth Fox on October 30, 2018, 04:39:07 PM
Lets hope Mayor Palmer gets this sorted and starts 'walking the walk' rather than 'talking the talk'. The public need to have confidence that bus services will run on time and be an affordable (cheaper) alternative than running a car.
I wouldn't hold out much hope of Mayor Palmer coming up with anything much.  He seems more interested in expensive studies and glory projects, like the Cambridge Metro and Soham Railway station, which are unlikely to produce anything in the short to medium term.
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: alan on October 30, 2018, 05:39:25 PM
I suppose they might possibly start by going back to reintroducing Road Service Licencing! - It was relatively cheap for the government department; in the 60s The Ministry of Transport traffic Area Offices to manage with just over 100 staff then to cover the whole country & where I started my career in 64.
Its doubtful if many rural services will ever cover their operating costs in the foreseeable future; particularly when a full size bus & paid driver is utilised.
Whatever you might think about it, when bus operators pulled out of the Yorkshire Dales leaving villages without any public transport at all the local council supported a Community Bus scheme (with long wheelbase Mercedes sprinters) and mainly volunteer drivers all operating under MIDAS Certificates. I am told it is now very successful with timetabled services throughout the area along with effective coverage of school contracts.
Anyone know how the West Norfolk Community Transport scheme?
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: Cheltonian on November 01, 2018, 06:56:59 AM
I was in Kings Lynn recently and West Norfolk Community Transport appear to be coping with Kings Lynn town services and surrounding area quite well. Mind you, they do have Ben Coleson as a consultant!
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: Elsworth Fox on November 01, 2018, 04:11:23 PM
Whatever you might think about it, when bus operators pulled out of the Yorkshire Dales leaving villages without any public transport at all the local council supported a Community Bus scheme (with long wheelbase Mercedes sprinters) and mainly volunteer drivers all operating under MIDAS Certificates. I am told it is now very successful with timetabled services throughout the area along with effective coverage of school contracts.
I have observed the Yorkshire Dales scheme and it does seem to be successful.  The problem is that Community Transport schemes usually rely to some extent on assistance, financial and other, on local authorities.  In the last eight years, central government financial support has been cut and cut again to the point that authorities like Northamptonshire are verging on bankruptcy.  The only way they can survive is concentrating spending on those areas for which they have a statutory duty, particularly social services for the young and elderly.  Despite the duties laid down by the 1986 Transport Act, public transport is not considered to be a duty, hence some authorities have stopped funding it all.  This can include community transport.
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: John Wakefield on November 01, 2018, 08:12:27 PM
Met up with Brian Cifford today on the No 31. I asked him how things were going on the 31 and 7A, he said the 31 was still about the same level of passengers as its been for some time (far below commercial levels) but the 7A was running most of the time empty. Worse than the old route to Babraham Road P&R.
The route was changed in July to Trumpington P&R mainly at the request of Whittlesford residents, but they dont seem to be using it, no folks either from Hinxton (both villages with no other daily bus service) also no one  from Stapleford & Gt Shelford who wanted access to Waitrose at Trumpington after the Citi 7 stopped going through Trumpington.
Same old thing, people want to see a bus running but dont use it.
Brian feels that the LA wont renew the 7A in April, so Whittlesford & Hinxton will be cut off. With only the Myalls 101 Tuesday (market day) service, Whittlesford to Saffron Walden
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: gc_bus on November 02, 2018, 09:14:12 AM
It's a bit like the petition to save the Whippet X3 which was due to end on 9th November ( but has since got a reprieve until end of March). Around 2500 individuals signed the online petition. Now, if only 10% of those people actually used the X3 it would be a very profitable service but, of course, they don't use it!
Title: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: John Wakefield on November 27, 2018, 02:19:10 PM
A2B have a 'new' bus YX96CSY Volkswagen Transporter / Bluebird Tucana B16F ex C T Coaches, Radstock. Seen on 7A service at Whittlesford on 27th November
(https://i66.servimg.com/u/f66/17/77/69/16/dsc07013.jpg)
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd - New Route
Post by: John Wakefield on November 29, 2018, 12:45:36 PM
As from 19th November A2B have a new route the 202 Ashwell - Ashwell & Morden Roil Station https://cdn.website-editor.net/0318478a35cd4c3589c9d8ecc78529ea/files/uploaded/202-a-19-11-18.pdf
This would appear to be a commercial 'park and ride' operation in peak computor hours.

Full list of current A2B services are as follows:
7A - Mondays to Saturdays | Trumpington Park & Ride - Sawston - Hinxton - Whittlesford - Duxford IWM
18 - Tuesdays and Fridays | Newmarket Road Park & Ride - Fulbourn - Newmarket
31 - Mondays to Saturdays | Cambridge - Addenbrooke's Hospital - The Shelfords - Fowlmere - Barley
75 - Mondays to Saturdays | Cambridge - Newnham - Haslingfield - Orwell - Wrestlingworth
127 - Mondays to Saturdays | Royston - Bassingbourn - The Mordens
202 - Mondays to Fridays | Ashwell Station - Ashwell Village Link
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd - New Route
Post by: dwarfer1979 on November 30, 2018, 08:43:44 AM
As from 19th November A2B have a new route the 202 Ashwell - Ashwell & Morden Roil Station https://cdn.website-editor.net/0318478a35cd4c3589c9d8ecc78529ea/files/uploaded/202-a-19-11-18.pdf
This would appear to be a commercial 'park and ride' operation in peak computor hours.
The 202 is a long-standing Herts CC contracted service providing a link from the village to the railway station for commuters using the train to get to London, this contract is relatively short-term until April when a longer term contract is being re-tendered.
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd - New Route
Post by: John Wakefield on November 30, 2018, 08:52:56 AM
The 202 is a long-standing Herts CC contracted service providing a link from the village to the railway station for commuters using the train to get to London, this contract is relatively short-term until April when a longer term contract is being re-tendered.

Thanks, I have just spotted the small print on timetable This service is operated under contract to Hertfordshire County Council
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: Spoddendale on November 30, 2018, 09:17:22 AM
What is the reason for the morning journeys (towards the Railway Station) being five minutes earlier ‘between 2nd Monday in October and 2nd Friday in December only’ ?

David
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: John Wakefield on November 30, 2018, 02:11:52 PM

"What is the reason for the morning journeys (towards the Railway Station) being five minutes earlier ‘between 2nd Monday in October and 2nd Friday in December only’ ?" possibly change in rail timetable after the December date. Remember Govia have had major problems with timetables.

Ipernity!!! what a waste of space they are, I joined up as an alternative to Flickr which are limiting pics for non pro members to 1000 after Feb 2019. But I then found my pic had disappeared and I could not log in. Apparently because I had included a link to eBay it breached their terms and conditions. But instead of giving me a friendly warning they just zapped my account as though I was a criminal or had posted porno or such like. Anyway when I looked further I see they only accept 200 pics from free members so worse than Flickr.
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: Spoddendale on December 01, 2018, 09:23:45 AM
Personally I don’t think the place to criticise Ipernity is on this forum and especially under a topic of a Cambridgeshire bus operator.

Ipernity is run by a members association. All administrators are part time, unpaid and devote their own time to the platform without any big company financial backing and payouts to shareholders. It is largely financed by member’s subscriptions and donations. It costs big money for Ipernity to buy capacity from a service provider and therefore it cannot afford to be overgenerous in providing free storage space to all and sundry. Therefore the limit for free accounts is 200 photographs.

In the Flickr re-design shake-up a few years ago those users that didn’t like what that set up became, myself included, sought an alternative. Many chose Ipernity and enjoy the personal feeling Ipernity offers over the likes of the larger more widely known platforms.
I think your account may have been purged during a recent clean out of numerous unused accounts which were burdening the capacity and costing the association financially.

David Slater
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: John Wakefield on December 01, 2018, 04:18:53 PM
Personally I don’t think the place to criticise Ipernity is on this forum and especially under a topic of a Cambridgeshire bus operator.

Ipernity is run by a members association. All administrators are part time, unpaid and devote their own time to the platform without any big company financial backing and payouts to shareholders. It is largely financed by member’s subscriptions and donations. It costs big money for Ipernity to buy capacity from a service provider and therefore it cannot afford to be overgenerous in providing free storage space to all and sundry. Therefore the limit for free accounts is 200 photographs.

In the Flickr re-design shake-up a few years ago those users that didn’t like what that set up became, myself included, sought an alternative. Many chose Ipernity and enjoy the personal feeling Ipernity offers over the likes of the larger more widely known platforms.
I think your account may have been purged during a recent clean out of numerous unused accounts which were burdening the capacity and costing the association financially.

David Slater

David you raised the matter of Ipernity with the links to your pics, so I thought it appropriate to make my comment on it. If it suits you fine, but not for me i am afraid. In fact my account was only open for less than a day and cancelled without any indication of why, it was not till I quried it with them that they said I had infringed their terms and conditions. In fact all I had done was to put a link to ebay to illustrate a bus that was for sale, I was not selling the bus and therefore stood to make no financial gain. End of story
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: Spoddendale on December 01, 2018, 09:35:29 PM
It was perhaps unfortunate that maybe Ipernity construed your initial contribution as being a direct eBay advert. Ipernity is primarily a photo hosting site containing the personal work of photographers rather than being a billboard or a discussion forum like this one.
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: barryb on December 02, 2018, 03:44:36 AM
What is the reason for the morning journeys (towards the Railway Station) being five minutes earlier ‘between 2nd Monday in October and 2nd Friday in December only’ ?

David

That's leaf fall timetable period, isn't it?  Except that... GTR don't change?
Title: new acquisition
Post by: John Wakefield on December 20, 2018, 12:21:02 PM
Recent acquisition for A2B OU04FMV seen on 31 service at Gt Shelford 20/12/18 working 11.55 departure from Addenbrookes to Fowlmere
(https://i66.servimg.com/u/f66/17/77/69/16/dsc07110.jpg)
Title: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd new 32 service
Post by: John Wakefield on January 03, 2019, 12:07:45 PM
A2B have now taken on an additional No32 service running between Hauxton and Trumpington P&R. It runs 7 days per week
http://www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk/se/XSLT_TTB_REQUEST?line=20032&lineVer=1&net=ea&project=y08&command=direct&outputFormat=0
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: John Wakefield on January 15, 2019, 03:09:13 PM
Dennis Dart/Plaxton Pointer MPD KV51KZK has recently joined the A2B fleet, seen here at Gt.Shelford 15/1/19 working the 1400 from Trumpington P&R to Whittlesford. It was last with Panther Travel
(https://i66.servimg.com/u/f66/17/77/69/16/dsc07113.jpg)
KV51KZK was previously in the Royston area in 2011 with Alan Charter of Bassingbourn and as A2B now run the 127 service Royston to Guilden Morden its likely that the bus will again work this route.
(https://i66.servimg.com/u/f66/17/77/69/16/kv51kz10.jpg)
(pic David Beardmore)
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd 32 Service
Post by: John Wakefield on January 28, 2019, 10:36:36 PM
Went on the 32 service from Little Shelford to the P&R at Trumpington last Sunday. No one else on board the driver said I am the only passenger to have yet travelled on a Sunday. Also the weekday service is also sparsely used, just a handful of passengers Monday to Friday.
At the moment this is being sponsored by Redrow the housing developers. One problem could be that there has not been enough publicity about it so I am sure many people dont know its running, also Traveline still have the route map wrong despite being told (they are suppsed to be correcting it) also many of the bus stop flags on the route are missing so passengers may not know where to stand for the bus. A2B are using the VW Transporter YX06CSY exclusively on this service, now re banded with A2B name
Title: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd new licence application
Post by: John Wakefield on March 15, 2019, 08:41:31 PM
A2B new licence application

PF2020005 SN A2B TRAVEL GROUP LTD
Director(s): BRIAN CLIFFORD
1 LONDON WAY, MELBOURN, ROYSTON, SG8 6DJ
Operating Centre: MELDA FARM, BURY LANE, MELBOURN, ROYSTON,
SG8 6DF
Authorisation: 6 vehicle(s)
Transport Manager(s): SIMON MEEKINGS
New Undertaking: Vehicles with eight passenger seats or less will not be operated
under the licence without the prior written agreement of the Traffic Commissioner
who may require you to agree to certain undertakings Attached to Licence.
New Undertaking: Limousines and novelty type vehicles are not to be operated
under this operator's licence Attached to Licence.
New Undertaking: The operator will provide the Traffic Commissioner bank
statements covering a three month period and other financial details (such as
overdraft facility agreements or credit card statements) that show the licence holder
has access to the required level of funding. These details to be provided to the
Central Licencing Office in Leeds by 31 October 2019 and cover the months of
July, August & September 2019. Attached to Licence.
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd new licence application
Post by: skyLink on March 16, 2019, 07:53:45 AM
A2B new licence application

PF2020005 SN A2B TRAVEL GROUP LTD
Director(s): BRIAN CLIFFORD
1 LONDON WAY, MELBOURN, ROYSTON, SG8 6DJ
Operating Centre: MELDA FARM, BURY LANE, MELBOURN, ROYSTON,
SG8 6DF
Authorisation: 6 vehicle(s)
Transport Manager(s): SIMON MEEKINGS
New Undertaking: Vehicles with eight passenger seats or less will not be operated
under the licence without the prior written agreement of the Traffic Commissioner
who may require you to agree to certain undertakings Attached to Licence.
New Undertaking: Limousines and novelty type vehicles are not to be operated
under this operator's licence Attached to Licence.
New Undertaking: The operator will provide the Traffic Commissioner bank
statements covering a three month period and other financial details (such as
overdraft facility agreements or credit card statements) that show the licence holder
has access to the required level of funding. These details to be provided to the
Central Licencing Office in Leeds by 31 October 2019 and cover the months of
July, August & September 2019. Attached to Licence.

What's the changes. Is this for more vehicles to operate. ? 

He seems to be doing well and good luck to him. 
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: John Wakefield on March 16, 2019, 12:22:47 PM
Company name changed from A2B Bus & Coach Ltd to A2B Travel Group Ltd also registered address changed from  CART HOUSE 2, COPLEYHILL BUSINESS PARK, BABRAHAM, CAMBRIDGE, CB22 3GN, GB on new application its 1 LONDON WAY, MELBOURN, ROYSTON, SG8 6DJ
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: L951MSC on March 19, 2019, 11:15:59 PM

*Official response from the company owner*
"The reason for the change is that the company have purchased  new premises in melbourn and are consolidating there workshop and parking facilities in one location instead of three separate yards , and also as they now have a Psv / CPC training school and do cpc training along with taxi contracts the name a2b travel group was more suitable "
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: John Wakefield on March 31, 2019, 11:21:31 AM
A2B have now moved their operating base to 1 LONDON WAY, MELBOURN, ROYSTON, SG8 6DJ (its up a narrow lane off the Western end of Back Lane). They no longer have an operating base at  Folgars Melda Farm, Bury Ln, Meldreth, Royston SG8 6DF
Also there has recently been a change of timetable for the No32 Little Shelford - Hauxton - Trimpington P&R shuttle, its now 1/2 hourly Mon to Sunday. https://bustimes.org/services/32-trumpington-p-r-hauxton
This service is not attracting many passengers, it is hoped this will improve when the service is shortly re routed around the Hauxton Meadows (Redrow) housing estate. Frankly though I cant see residents there using it in droves, its only 1.5 miles to the P&R so many will bike, also the £1 fare (each way) is in addition to the £3 P&R fare. There is also the hourly Stagecoach A service which stops on the A10 near Hauxton Meadows so it makes more sense to use this, pay one fare and not have to change buses at Trumpington P&R. Also there is the 31 service (Barley Fowlmere Cambridge) which runs parallel with the 32 between Hauxton and Little Shelford thus giving residents a third alternative, all be it on a longer route, to Addenbrookes and Drummer Street (first journey in and last two back)
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: John Wakefield on April 10, 2019, 01:39:33 PM
New addition to fleet 4/19 Optare Solo B31F YJ62FCC new to Courtney, Bracknell 11/12
Seen here at Great Shelford working 7A service to Trumpington P&R at 13.05 today
(https://i66.servimg.com/u/f66/17/77/69/16/yj62fc10.jpg)
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: Spoddendale on April 10, 2019, 11:07:53 PM
On Tuesday 9 April 2019 this bus worked the 1315 Tuesdays and Fridays only service 18 from Newmarket to Cambridge (Newmarket Road Park & Ride site) via the Wilbrahams, Fulbourn and Teversham.

 http://www.ipernity.com/doc/davidslater-spoddendale/48444184

David
Title: Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
Post by: bristolsrus on April 20, 2019, 09:56:34 PM
Hi,

Not particularly unusual, but today Enviro 200 LJ 56VSY was in use on the 75,  good to see it with a well set LED display too.

ChrisB