Buses (and coaches).. Why? Why not?

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fausto copy
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Re: Buses (and coaches).. why?

Postby fausto copy » 6 Nov 2019, 6:07pm

Excellent (though at first glance I thought it was a bus mangling a bike :shock: ).

merseymouth
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Re: Buses (and coaches).. why?

Postby merseymouth » 6 Nov 2019, 7:12pm

Hi all, A perfect combination for those of us in England is the Travel Pass & nice Brompton Bike.
The late Albert Winstanley, before the days of the country wide pass often took advantage of discounted travel with coach companies, either hiring a cycle locally or using the cycles of friends in the area. Very Eco Friendly before the matter was raised! TTFN MM

ambodach
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Re: Buses (and coaches).. why?

Postby ambodach » 9 Nov 2019, 7:11pm

We have a reasonable bus service on Isle of Mull as from the north end buses are timed to coincide with most Oban ferries. Problems can arise due to ferry problems. Technical or weather related problems make boats late but mostly it works. Over a large part of the year now we are infested with tourists and double deckers are used at peak times. From Fionnphort priority seems to be given to Iona visitors. It is not easy to get from one end of the island to the other tho’ and there used to be a scam where the most used mid morning bus to Fionnphort was not a scheduled service but a special tour with prices to match. This meant that the aged with a Scottish bus pass could not get free travel. Since I have various concessions it makes economic sense to take my car to Oban for a day trip as the hospital is aware of ferry times and makes an effort to accommodate islanders with reasonable appointment times. If the local council get away with the massive charges they proposed for the ferry car parks car travel rather than park and ferry will become more common. Why not use the bus? With a load of shopping and possibly no bus waiting the car is a tempting option.

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fausto copy
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Re: Buses (and coaches).. why?

Postby fausto copy » 10 Nov 2019, 4:19pm

Just got back from our weekend away and used the local bus service on two consecutive days.
On each outward journey, the drivers waited patiently for Mrs.C to get seated after hobbling down the aisle with one crutch.
We were advised to ask to get dropped off near to our caravan park on both return journeys and the bus drivers told us to just ring the bell in advance and they would do so.
Happily they did.
Top marks to Richards Brothers and First Cymru bus drivers; excellent service. :)

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Cugel
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Re: Buses (and coaches).. why?

Postby Cugel » 10 Nov 2019, 6:01pm

fausto copy wrote:Just got back from our weekend away and used the local bus service on two consecutive days.
On each outward journey, the drivers waited patiently for Mrs.C to get seated after hobbling down the aisle with one crutch.
We were advised to ask to get dropped off near to our caravan park on both return journeys and the bus drivers told us to just ring the bell in advance and they would do so.
Happily they did.
Top marks to Richards Brothers and First Cymru bus drivers; excellent service. :)


The Welsh buses are good, eh? There's a few long-route services that go through loads of villages yet are very quick. The T1, for example, goes from Carmarthen to Aberystwyth and goes past wor hoose, where we may flag it down (or get it to drop us off) even though the official bus stop is elsewhere.

The T1 connects with the trains out of Carmarthen station, arriving and departing 10 yards from the platform at times that coincide with many of the rail services to Pembroke one way and Cardiff/England the other. It may do the same with the rail services out of Aberystwyth. It's inexpensive; and free to everyone at the weekends. An hourly service, with every other service each way having a variation in the villages it goes through. Even those variants still get a bus every 2 hours, each way. I've never seen one late or missing.

It would improve the service if they had a-one o' them bike carriers on the front. And why not another on the back? Mind, there seem few Welsh cyclists hereabouts; the constant hills might put them off. Electric bikes free from the council, then! :-)

Cugel

irc
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Re: Buses (and coaches).. why?

Postby irc » 10 Nov 2019, 9:06pm

My biggest gripe with buses is cramped seats. At 6ft3 my knees are jammed hard against the seat in front unless I can get twin seats to my self and sit sideways. I'd be more inclined to use them if they were changed to 3 seats per row and legroom increased by 4". Double deckers would still be able to take a fair amount of passengers. Even average size passengers would enjoy a bit more space. Quality of seating is one of the advantages of most trains comparede to buses. It doesn't have to be.

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fausto copy
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Re: Buses (and coaches).. why?

Postby fausto copy » 10 Nov 2019, 10:34pm

The buses we used over the weekend had plenty of legroom, although me and Mrs.C are relative short-ar*es. :wink:
Mrs.C still can't bend her left leg due to the fracture but one pair of seats further back than the designated "disabled" ones had more room than the pair opposite.
The front two pairs of seats actually backed against the bus windows, enabling plenty of room to stretch out across the width of the bus.

Strangely, I've felt more confined on trains in the past, even with my short 29 inchers. :)

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Re: Buses (and coaches).. why?

Postby merseymouth » 11 Nov 2019, 8:39am

Morning all, Well, SWMBO & I had an excellent journey on a Stagecoach Lancashire bus yesterday? Preston to Garstang, so extra urban.
On time, the driver tooted to alert a potential customer in a shelter who didn't spot us approaching, gave a very respectful amount of room for cyclists, and the regulated at a stop, but told us all - "I will be marking the Two Minutes Silence at 11am, thank you all". He stopped the engine and paid deserved respect. My favourite kind of driver! TTFN MM

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Re: Buses (and coaches).. why?

Postby Tangled Metal » 11 Nov 2019, 9:28am

There's no little Angel's on school run buses. Let's put that idea out of your mind straight away.

Buses are good and bad. If you live in an area with three SUV brigade such as nice rural villages then that's your choice. Services or a nice village location. Rarely do they go together. That doesn't mean buses have no point.

I live in a small town that has excellent communication routes. Buses, trains, m6, a6 and canal towpathby bike. All very viable routes into the city. All well subscribed.

Bus drivers, good and very bad. Number 5 tried to kill me so many times I changed my working hours to avoid it. Number 55 overtook me then cut straight in nearly resulting in me plastered against its rear end. Seriously if I hadn't seen the clearly visible queue of people waiting at the bus stop for a bus and predicted the bad driving ... I got a reasonable response from that complaint because I was spotted on the dashcam just before he overtook them stopped suddenly. The depot manager replied to say the driver was talked to by the supervisor. To be fair the 55 was driven courteously for about a month afterwards before going back to old ways.

The number 555 is more of a long distance route the driver on that is top class. No complaints about that bus when cycling. A very good example.

So my view on buses is single number avoid, double number be careful and triple number safe.

Personally out of all methods to get into city buses are least used by me. Bus takes half hour off peak, anything up to an hour on peak. Car takes 20 minutes/30 minutes, bike 30 minutes, train 9 minutes and always reliable going into City. Add in cost, buses are more than trains. So train takes the strain. Unless I cycle of course.

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fausto copy
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Re: Buses (and coaches).. why?

Postby fausto copy » 19 Nov 2019, 3:29pm

Just received our new Transport for Wales bus passes.
The letter mentions they can be used on some train services.
Must check that out, especially if free. :wink:

Right, here's the full list of options for free train travel:
Wrexham – Hawarden Bridge
Machynlleth – Pwllheli (Cambrian Coast line) – October to March only
Llandudno – Blaenau Ffestiniog (Conwy Valley line)
Shrewsbury and Llanelli/Swansea (Heart of Wales Line) – October to March only

I've always wanted to do the latter, so, one fine day maybe.
Just got to get the 70 miles to Swansea sorted first.
I think if I got the train there, the last (only?) one to Shrewsbury will have gone. :(

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Re: Buses (and coaches).. why?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 19 Nov 2019, 3:41pm

Unconnected trains, that is a bit complicated
There are four trains a day from Swansea to Shrewsbury, many halts are request only*, including Cynghordy for Bryn Poeth Uchaf YH
Quite exciting when trains cross at Llandrindod or Llandeilo
* inform the guard in good time if you want to alight, make a clear signal to the driver if you want to board
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Re: Buses (and coaches).. Why? Why not?

Postby fausto copy » 19 Nov 2019, 5:23pm

Well, the weird thing about the above is that one cannot travel on the train all the way from Shrewsbury to Llanelli or Swansea.
One has to pay if you want to use those stations (and vice versa).
And I don't suppose there'd be a connecting bus to let you do the last bit either!
Bonkers.

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Re: Buses (and coaches).. Why? Why not?

Postby mercalia » 19 Nov 2019, 5:38pm

having a ( London) Freedom Pass that I can use on the buses anywhere in England ( Wales also?) I cant complain, as its free. Before I had it I never used the buses or trains or tube as I couldnt afford them, I used my motor bike all the time: that is now sorned most of the year, last year I did barely 500 miles on it, this year will be even less maybe 100 :D saving me lots of dosh in petrol and wear and tear, eg tyres & oil changes

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Re: Buses (and coaches).. why?

Postby Cugel » 19 Nov 2019, 5:42pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:Unconnected trains, that is a bit complicated
There are four trains a day from Swansea to Shrewsbury, many halts are request only*, including Cynghordy for Bryn Poeth Uchaf YH
Quite exciting when trains cross at Llandrindod or Llandeilo
* inform the guard in good time if you want to alight, make a clear signal to the driver if you want to board


Nowadays each station on that line has a designated walking path to the other stations along the line in either direction. One can get orf here and walk to there, where one finally boards the train to return to the original departure point. For me it would be Llandeilo. If the collies can be encouraged to sit on this train without feeling bored and wanting to round up passengers to put them all in one carriage .... we light try this ride & walk-back thing come the Spring.

If you were inclined, you could walk the whole route rather than ride the train. I'm not (so-inclined, I mean).

Cugel

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Re: Buses (and coaches).. Why? Why not?

Postby fausto copy » 19 Nov 2019, 8:20pm

Llandeilo would be my choice too, as the nearest station, or Ffairfach just down t'road if I happened to cycle from here.
Interesting point about the "designated walking path" alongside the route.
Wonder if anyone would chance it on a bike?
It'd make it much flatter than cycling that long drag over the Sugar Loaf, though I suspect you'd need good lights through that long tunnel. :idea: