Author Topic: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd  (Read 4378 times)

Offline John Wakefield

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Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
« Reply #30 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.

Offline John Wakefield

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Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
« Reply #31 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.

Offline Elsworth Fox

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Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
« Reply #32 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.

Offline alan

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Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
« Reply #33 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?

Offline Cheltonian

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Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
« Reply #34 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!
See my latest photo's on http://www.flickr.com/photos/cheltonian1966/

Number of individual vehicles recorded as travelled on at end of October 2018 : 14,410

Celebrating over 56 years interest in Buses and Coaches

Offline Elsworth Fox

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Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
« Reply #35 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.

Offline John Wakefield

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Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
« Reply #36 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
« Last Edit: November 01, 2018, 08:15:14 PM by John Wakefield »

Offline gc_bus

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Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
« Reply #37 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!

Offline John Wakefield

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A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
« Reply #38 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
« Last Edit: November 27, 2018, 09:56:14 PM by John Wakefield »

Offline John Wakefield

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Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd - New Route
« Reply #39 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
« Last Edit: November 29, 2018, 04:14:07 PM by John Wakefield »

Offline dwarfer1979

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Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd - New Route
« Reply #40 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.

Offline John Wakefield

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Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd - New Route
« Reply #41 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

Offline Spoddendale

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Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
« Reply #42 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
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Offline John Wakefield

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Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
« Reply #43 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.

Offline Spoddendale

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Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
« Reply #44 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
My photos may be seen at
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My 1960s/1970s snapshots taken when I worked at Yelloway:
http://www.ipernity.com/doc/davidslater-spoddendale/album/690101

Offline John Wakefield

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Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
« Reply #45 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
« Last Edit: December 01, 2018, 04:24:06 PM by John Wakefield »

Offline Spoddendale

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Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
« Reply #46 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.
My photos may be seen at
http://www.ipernity.com/home/davidslater-spoddendale

The site includes:

My 1960s/1970s snapshots taken when I worked at Yelloway:
http://www.ipernity.com/doc/davidslater-spoddendale/album/690101

Offline barryb

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Re: A2B Bus and Coach Ltd
« Reply #47 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?