Author Topic: First Northampton Happenings 2012  (Read 25360 times)

Offline grahamk48

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #30 on: May 30, 2012, 11:21:50 PM »
66334 MV02VBZ was in service in Norwich today.Was going to try to put picture when i get a bit more time

Offline ECBusman

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #31 on: June 02, 2012, 03:32:45 PM »
Very 'convenient' that First Northampton is reported to be available for sale..........(not that anyone will buy them)

 ::)

Dale

Really? Where have you heard that from mate? :)

Offline ECBusman

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #32 on: June 02, 2012, 03:52:10 PM »
66334 MV02VBZ was in service in Norwich today.Was going to try to put picture when i get a bit more time

Northampton's got 26 of those 02 reg Wright Ecilpse boded Volvo B7L Single Deckers. Are Norwich to get all of them (with or without Norwich swapping them for Norwich's older Wright Single Deckers)?

Who's getting KP54 KAX and KP54 KBE? Just a suggestion. Norwch could have them, pass 2 more Volvo Tridents to Great Yarmouth and Great Yarmouth/Lowestoft could give Northampton 2 of it's P/S reg NC Palatine 2 bodied Volvo Olys.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2012, 03:53:54 PM by ECBusman »

Offline chopper

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #33 on: June 02, 2012, 05:09:07 PM »
The same happened in Reading where Thames Valley Traction were not allowed to pick up inbound passengers inside the Reading Corporation Transport boundary. Neither were they able to drop off passengers from the town centre until they were out of the RCT boundary.

Offline Jamie V (AO02RBX)

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #34 on: June 03, 2012, 12:38:12 PM »
66334 MV02VBZ was in service in Norwich today.Was going to try to put picture when i get a bit more time

Northampton's got 26 of those 02 reg Wright Ecilpse boded Volvo B7L Single Deckers. Are Norwich to get all of them (with or without Norwich swapping them for Norwich's older Wright Single Deckers)?

Who's getting KP54 KAX and KP54 KBE? Just a suggestion. Norwch could have them, pass 2 more Volvo Tridents to Great Yarmouth and Great Yarmouth/Lowestoft could give Northampton 2 of it's P/S reg NC Palatine 2 bodied Volvo Olys.
Can't see Yarmouth or Lowestoft allowing them Pally 2's to go since they were working like full workhorses yesterday on the 1/1A/3/3A.

Offline northantsbusman

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #35 on: June 03, 2012, 05:37:18 PM »
I thought I had posted this, in relation to the competition between Northampton Transport and United Counties.

Back in the days of UCOC (United Counties Omnibus Company) and NCT (Northampton Corporation Transport) there was an agreement.

UCOC buses would serve the main bus station in the Derngate (now the Theatre site), with NCT buses operting from the kerbside within the Town Centre.

UCOC buses were restricted can could only set down passengers after certain key points on the main arterial roads out of the Town Centre. For Kettering Road this was Highlands Avenue, with an NCT service running to Parklands, on the Wellingborough Road it was The Trumpet Pub. I was told once NCT buses turned round at the Trumpet, before the Eastern District was built, hence why there is a wide bit of road (not sure how reliable this is though).

Growing up in Duston I can vaguely remember when the 1 would come in from the Eastern District and would terminate at the Longboat PH, before turning left at Limehurst, returning to town via Cotswold / Chiltern Avenue.

The other side of Duston was served by the 321 & 322, both buses would run via Duston Village, one turning right into Cotswold Avenue & Firsview Drive to Harlestone Road, the other run the otherway round.

That all changed the the 1 went anti-clockwise around Duston and the 51 went clockwise. Initially the 1 was operated by NCT and the 51 by UCOC, except on Sundays when all were operated by UCOC. I believe however UCOC registered the route 1 and the route was run by NCT on behalf of UCOC quite amicably for some time.

Eventually it was then run by both companies PVR of 6 vehicle with a 4/2 UC/NCT split, again this seemed quite an amicable although strange arrangement as the route wasn't in competition. Things then started to get a little nasty with Stagecoach running a 1 bus at the same time of the NT bus. The route eventually disappeared into a revised 1, before it was split into the current format of 1 and 9 and 9a.

There was also another agreement covering Cogenhoe, which is why the local company Yorks served Cogenhoe for some time till the subsidy was withdrawn.

There was yet another agreement covering the Dallington - Lumbertubs service 6. This was once operated by NCT with Bristol LHS buses, due to the small roads, I believe the Renault minibuses were used for a time to, and although stayed registered as an NCT route was operated on their behalf by Country Lion, who continue to operate the route to this day. There was once a Saturday service which was provided by NT, I can remember a little coach being a regular performer on this route.


Offline Dennis Lloyd

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #36 on: June 03, 2012, 10:22:15 PM »
As expected I have been told by a usually reliable source that all 26 of the Volvo B7L's are going to Norwich but what rubbish we will get in replacement remains to be seen

Offline TCD813

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #37 on: June 04, 2012, 10:59:33 AM »
Stagecoach will not be allowed to take them over anyway, so its immaterial, the Town Charter (never mind the MMC), will not allow a single operator to run the town services...
In what way would this "Charter" stop Stagecoach registering commercial services? That implies it overides the Transport Act.
What is this "Town Charter" ?
God Knows, i'm only going by what i was told about it last night by an Inspector at Greyfriars. so I have never looked into but apparently no one company company is allowed to operate more than 50% of local services.

I'm hazarding a guess, here...

Prior to privatisation and de-regulation there were a number of arrangements between municipal operators who operated local intra-urban services and the companies (usually BTC group or BET group) who operated the surrounding unter-urban and rural services...

With the announcement that Stagecoach has purchased First's North Devon operation, consisting of 10 routes, 30 buses and 100 employees, it can only be a matter of time before Stagecoach buys First's similiarly sized Northampton operation.
Well logic says yes but I fear the Oft will say no.
The ruling by the Oft on the North Devon situation will impact on all possible future takeovers/mergers, concepts like 'size of the local market unable to support more than one operator' will be key.
Following the recent inquiry into competition in the bus industry and particularly the negative stories about the North-East, The Oft (and CC) seem to be in militant mood.
I suspect a lot of interested parties will be watching this with bated breath...

As this is a national issue, I've posted comments on this thread:

Local bus services market investigation
TCD813? The reg of a Southdown Motor Services, Northern Counties bodied, Leyland Titan PD3/4 FH39/30F (popularly dubbed 'Queen Mary') from the late 50s.
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Offline AN68

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #38 on: June 11, 2012, 08:02:48 PM »
Scania 65572 was operating on service 4 this morning, the first time I have noted one of the Scanias in service.

Offline AN68

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #39 on: June 19, 2012, 10:13:30 PM »
The second Scania to have entered service at Northampton is 65567.

Offline AN68

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #40 on: June 20, 2012, 09:04:07 PM »
The third Scania, noted in service today, is 65560

Offline andymacp

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #41 on: June 21, 2012, 02:34:49 PM »
3 further Scanias noted in service are 65561, 65574 & 65587 all noted Wednesday 20th or Today 21st

Offline Mutly

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #42 on: June 22, 2012, 02:02:31 AM »
there are now 8 here, 65554/60/62/67/68/72/80/87, whilst B7L's confirmed as gone include 66334/38-40/43/46/47.

Offline John

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #43 on: June 23, 2012, 08:21:15 PM »
To be honest, these Volvos were never ideal. Volvo would love to sell to the UK european style buses. This model failed and thus Volvo were forced to sell B7RLEs to the UK. With their full low floor and 'shower' compartment, in my view, no great loss. However what it does signify is First's non commitment to Northampton.

Offline Dennis Lloyd

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #44 on: June 23, 2012, 10:23:54 PM »
John

Your last sentence says it all, no matter whether the Volvos (which in any case are ten years old themselves) are no great loss they are still three years younger than the Scanias which are replacing them here.

After the debacle of the nineteen new buses delivered in 2005 to "show First's commitment to Northampton" and all except two double decks transferred elsewhere within months, First have always moved other fleets' cast offs to Northampton, anything is good enough for Northampton.

With the latest moves that is obviously true, the sooner they pack up and leave for good the better, surely Northampton is a prime candidate for them to dispose of to bolster their flagging profits.

Offline Dale

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #45 on: June 24, 2012, 08:10:39 AM »
Dennis,

It may suit First very well to get rid of Northampton - but they still have to find a buyer. There really doesn't seem to be much of value to sell as the fleet itself is clearly heading towards the 'fully depreciated' stage and there isn't likely to be much 'goodwill' that might otherwise boost a sale price.

Stagecoach is very unlikely to buy it as they know they will be targeted by the Competition/Monopolies authorities. In any event, they could just register their own services over and above what is left of the First routes without any acquisition costs or responsibilities for existing staff pensions etc.

I'm *guessing* that it will be one of 3 scenarios in the not too distant future:-

- Stagecoach simply register over some/all of the existing First routes

- another operator such as GoAhead, Rotala/Yourbus or Centrebus buys the operation (at minimal cost)

- First just abandon what little is left (as per Eastern Scotland)

We'll have to wait and see but I can't believe that it will drag on for much longer (once the Olympics are out of the way)

Dale

Offline Cheltonian

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #46 on: June 25, 2012, 09:24:19 PM »
Passed 66342 on Dereham by-pass being transferred from Northampton to Norwich today.
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Offline RT4531

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #47 on: June 26, 2012, 09:17:41 AM »
Passed 66336 on the A45 just before Thrapston this morning, presumably heading for Norwich,

Bob

Offline xdp73

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #48 on: June 27, 2012, 09:10:55 PM »
66336 and 66342 both seen working in Norwich today along with all of the other recently transferred.

Offline SURREYMAN

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #49 on: June 28, 2012, 06:55:01 AM »
Dennis,

It may suit First very well to get rid of Northampton - but they still have to find a buyer. There really doesn't seem to be much of value to sell as the fleet itself is clearly heading towards the 'fully depreciated' stage and there isn't likely to be much 'goodwill' that might otherwise boost a sale price.

Stagecoach is very unlikely to buy it as they know they will be targeted by the Competition/Monopolies authorities. In any event, they could just register their own services over and above what is left of the First routes without any acquisition costs or responsibilities for existing staff pensions etc.

I'm *guessing* that it will be one of 3 scenarios in the not too distant future:-

- Stagecoach simply register over some/all of the existing First routes


- another operator such as GoAhead, Rotala/Yourbus or Centrebus buys the operation (at minimal cost)

- First just abandon what little is left (as per Eastern Scotland)

We'll have to wait and see but I can't believe that it will drag on for much longer (once the Olympics are out of the way)

Dale
Dale, in complete agreement with all of your post.
Does anyone know if First own or lease their depot?
I am being wicked and trying to work out the potential costs of sale or closure of First in Northampton.
If leased, I wonder how long the lease has to run, of courses leases can be re-assgined or sub leased to a new user.
If owned, does the existing building have much value, is there planning permission to demolish and build new?
The transfer out of mid life Volvos and their replacement with older Scanias benefits both First and any potential purchaser, First get to keep (standardized) Volvos which are DDA compliant, for the purchaser the purchase price can be reduced and they gain the PR effect later by providing new buses of their own.
Personally I think it will be difficult to find a buyer as the current staff would be TUPE'd across (keeping existing costs) and Stagecoach can easily launch a partial competion war without to much worry from C.C.
Heres hoping that Northampton will be a 'First free' zone by 2013!

Offline Dennis Lloyd

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #50 on: June 28, 2012, 09:12:03 AM »
Surreyman

I can only quote what I have been told by a very knowledgeable source that St. James garage has been up for sale for a long time now and it's estimated value is in the region of seven million pounds presumably as the land would be ripe for re-development (no doubt yet more houses).

Offline AN68

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #51 on: June 29, 2012, 08:35:51 PM »
The latest Scania to enter service in Northampton is 65559

Offline Jamie V (AO02RBX)

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #52 on: June 29, 2012, 08:51:29 PM »
A message came to me earlier that Northampton, Chester, Birkenhead, Somerset, Kidderminster, Redditch are all for sale.

Offline Dale

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #53 on: June 29, 2012, 08:56:54 PM »
See new thread on 'First to sell off 7 operations'

Dale


Offline Cheltonian

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #54 on: June 29, 2012, 09:20:18 PM »
Passed another R26xDVF between Oundle and Thrapston this morning on transfer. Unfortunately did not get the last number.
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Offline dandy

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #55 on: June 29, 2012, 11:34:06 PM »
Hi

Re the sighting of another R26XDVF well in the 26 rage this only leaves R262/3DVF ,Does anyone know what has gone the other way in the last couple of days,the last was 66336.

Jim

Offline dandy

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #56 on: June 30, 2012, 12:06:54 AM »
Sorry guys..

I had over looked 65564 R264DVF which is another R26 batch.

Jim

Offline samw

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #57 on: June 30, 2012, 06:56:53 PM »
Noted 66333/48 in Norwich today (although one was spied from a shop so conformation would be good!)
Sam Wickham
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Offline AN68

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #58 on: June 30, 2012, 07:41:49 PM »
65573 was out operating on service 4 in Northampton this morning.

Offline NorwichBusPage

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Re: First Northampton Happenings 2012
« Reply #59 on: July 02, 2012, 09:31:02 PM »
66333 is definatley at Norwich already!
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