North East Bus & Coach Show 2019

34 Replies, 6391 Views

(05 May 2019, 9:27 pm)MurdnunoC Wrote: I think the 'official' route was a bit silly anyway. Metrocentre is quite easy to access through frequent services from both Newcastle and Gateshead so, unlike Spillers Wharf (or the Transporter Bridge for the Teesside Running Day), there's no need for a shuttle service into Newcastle. On the run I was on, we ended up waiting in traffic while traversing through Newcastle as well as doing a circle as to go around the Central Station twice.  Now, I'm not saying there's no merit in doing a run across the Tyne Bridge then back over the Redheugh, but there are other places you could go which would take a similar amount of time. For example, why not run a route up through Ryton and Crawcrook then back along the bypass to Blaydon and Metrocentre, or a run along the A1 then up through Lobley Hill and Whickham. There are other options available where less traffic would be encountered.

Totally agree - the route was crazy - probably couldn't have chosen a route to hit more traffic.  Sitting in a queue of traffic waiting to go on a pointless loop round to Bewick Street to get stuck in the queue of 327s and 900s was particularly annoying (especially as we stopped on Neville Street anyway).
(05 May 2019, 10:56 pm)stagecoachbusdepot Wrote: Totally agree - the route was crazy - probably couldn't have chosen a route to hit more traffic.  Sitting in a queue of traffic waiting to go on a pointless loop round to Bewick Street to get stuck in the queue of 327s and 900s was particularly annoying (especially as we stopped on Neville Street anyway).

The only point I saw to that loop was that a couple of people wanted to get off, at that point, and that they were possibly the only stops that they were authorised to do so, hence the longwinded loop.
The only shuttle I caught went up the Central Motorway (first time through a tunnel on an open top bus for me), through the Hole in the Wall, along Blackett Street, then down St James Boulevard.
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(05 May 2019, 8:50 pm)Boggle Wrote: 574 is a credit to you.  It's great to see younger enthusiasts preserving modern vehicles (albeit 574 is now somehow 16 years old - where does time go?) and also great to be allowed to enjoy a ride out on your bus.  You made my daughter's day by letting her sit in the driver's seat for a photo.  It's going on her "What i did at the weekend" report for school and she's looking forward to telling her friends and teacher about it.  I hope you have it out and about on the rally scene for many years to come for people to enjoy and that you and your mates enjoy every minute of it too.

Thank you for your kind comments! I’m glad your daughter enjoyed her time at the rally.
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https://flic.kr/s/aHsmD4Ysfp help with some of the info on the older buses
(06 May 2019, 6:53 pm)Ds1197 Wrote: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmD4Ysfp help with some of the info on the older buses

I'm of no help, but this one does have such a kind face Big Grin
https://flic.kr/p/2eq3UBT
I was really pleased when I heard that this rally was going back to the Metrocentre. Whilst I appreciate that the NEBPT had to move quickly to find a replacement site, when intu said 'no' in 2017, I just don't think it was ever suitable. However, as soon as I arrived at the Metrocentre, the first thing I noticed is how quiet it seemed. The numbers seemed to be down dramatically compared to the last few rallies there, and so did the amount of vehicles in attendance to be honest.

It was great seeing the locally preserved buses out in force, some fresh to the scene, and others that we haven't seen for a few years. The highlight for me was seeing former Tyne and Wear PTE 413 / JFT413X back on the scene. What a fantastic preserved bus this is - a credit to the group that owns it. It was also nice to see two new debutantes in ex-GNE Transbus MPD 574 and ex-GNE Renown 4898, fresh in it's 'Lime v2' branding. Both are an absolute credit to their owners.

For me though, what really lets this rally down, is the real lack of organisation. Something which I've commented on before, but appears to show more and more. 

Even before the rally day, I found the lack of advertising of the event to be somewhat surprising. This goes back to the 'well its always on every year' attitude, which I cannot disagree with as a statement, but it is never going to grow the rally into an event. I think this shows in the attraction to outside of our region, with none of the preservation groups a little further afield, choosing to support the event. A stark contrast to something like Kirkby Stephen, despite it only being 55 miles away. Its also worth noting that 10 out of the 24 vehicles listed as participating in the event were not present, and others in attendance weren't listed. I appreciate that things change at short notice, but 10/24 is almost half of your line up gone. 

At the rally itself, I found the layout to be somewhat confusing. Lots of cones and tape around areas on the way in, but no real explanation (or rally stewards) to say why or what for. The majority of people choosing to walk straight through the road and into traffic instead, given that the staff car park to the right was still open. The site itself was parked up better than in previous years, with buses being adequately spaced, rather than cramped together. Although this still made the rally look quiet, given half of the car park remained empty. 

The 'free' bus service, as others have alluded to, was probably the best example of shocking organisation. Although the bus stop was on your immediate right as you walk into the site as normal, there was nothing to say what was going on. In previous years, there was a circular service and also one running up to Tanfield. Routes were listed by the stop, and a list of times also present. Nothing was this year, and the rally stewards didn't seem to know what was going out and when, other than it appearing to be every half hour. Perhaps the most bonkers thing that I witnessed, was two of the stewards wanting to argue with two separate bus owners, for wanting to donate their time, personal expense and bus, to operate on the rally's 'free' bus service. Pedantically arguing about set times, whilst ignoring the long queue of people waiting for a bus. The owner of the Lime bus was actually held for a good 5-10 minutes, despite being full, just to appease a steward. Unbelievable really.

Oh, and I use the term 'free', because that is what it is incorrectly advertised at in my opinion. Whilst I appreciate that owners cannot charge fares and such, I do think that the rally organisers could do a hell of a lot more to support those owners willing to let their buses be used on the service. Perhaps selling 'rally supporter' wristbands on their trade stall, and the owners only permitting entry to wristband holders? The proceeds from the wristbands could then be divided up as a donation to each of bus volunteered on the bus service. But failing that, something as simple as bucket collections in the queue would be a start. Whilst the organisers continue to label it as a free service, I believe it'll always incorrectly set people's expectations in terms of a donation. 

Unfortunately I think we'll have the same gripes about Durham, Whitley Bay and Seaburn, and I cannot see it changing soon. We have one organisation now arranging five rallies a year, and that is probably three more than we actually need to have.
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(06 May 2019, 10:06 pm)Adrian Wrote: I was really pleased when I heard that this rally was going back to the Metrocentre. Whilst I appreciate that the NEBPT had to move quickly to find a replacement site, when intu said 'no' in 2017, I just don't think it was ever suitable. However, as soon as I arrived at the Metrocentre, the first thing I noticed is how quiet it seemed. The numbers seemed to be down dramatically compared to the last few rallies there, and so did the amount of vehicles in attendance to be honest.

It was great seeing the locally preserved buses out in force, some fresh to the scene, and others that we haven't seen for a few years. The highlight for me was seeing former Tyne and Wear PTE 413 / JFT413X back on the scene. What a fantastic preserved bus this is - a credit to the group that owns it. It was also nice to see two new debutantes in ex-GNE Transbus MPD 574 and ex-GNE Renown 4898, fresh in it's 'Lime v2' branding. Both are an absolute credit to their owners.

For me though, what really lets this rally down, is the real lack of organisation. Something which I've commented on before, but appears to show more and more. 

Even before the rally day, I found the lack of advertising of the event to be somewhat surprising. This goes back to the 'well its always on every year' attitude, which I cannot disagree with as a statement, but it is never going to grow the rally into an event. I think this shows in the attraction to outside of our region, with none of the preservation groups a little further afield, choosing to support the event. A stark contrast to something like Kirkby Stephen, despite it only being 55 miles away. Its also worth noting that 10 out of the 24 vehicles listed as participating in the event were not present, and others in attendance weren't listed. I appreciate that things change at short notice, but 10/24 is almost half of your line up gone. 

At the rally itself, I found the layout to be somewhat confusing. Lots of cones and tape around areas on the way in, but no real explanation (or rally stewards) to say why or what for. The majority of people choosing to walk straight through the road and into traffic instead, given that the staff car park to the right was still open. The site itself was parked up better than in previous years, with buses being adequately spaced, rather than cramped together. Although this still made the rally look quiet, given half of the car park remained empty. 

The 'free' bus service, as others have alluded to, was probably the best example of shocking organisation. Although the bus stop was on your immediate right as you walk into the site as normal, there was nothing to say what was going on. In previous years, there was a circular service and also one running up to Tanfield. Routes were listed by the stop, and a list of times also present. Nothing was this year, and the rally stewards didn't seem to know what was going out and when, other than it appearing to be every half hour. Perhaps the most bonkers thing that I witnessed, was two of the stewards wanting to argue with two separate bus owners, for wanting to donate their time, personal expense and bus, to operate on the rally's 'free' bus service. Pedantically arguing about set times, whilst ignoring the long queue of people waiting for a bus. The owner of the Lime bus was actually held for a good 5-10 minutes, despite being full, just to appease a steward. Unbelievable really.

Oh, and I use the term 'free', because that is what it is incorrectly advertised at in my opinion. Whilst I appreciate that owners cannot charge fares and such, I do think that the rally organisers could do a hell of a lot more to support those owners willing to let their buses be used on the service. Perhaps selling 'rally supporter' wristbands on their trade stall, and the owners only permitting entry to wristband holders? The proceeds from the wristbands could then be divided up as a donation to each of bus volunteered on the bus service. But failing that, something as simple as bucket collections in the queue would be a start. Whilst the organisers continue to label it as a free service, I believe it'll always incorrectly set people's expectations in terms of a donation. 

Unfortunately I think we'll have the same gripes about Durham, Whitley Bay and Seaburn, and I cannot see it changing soon. We have one organisation now arranging five rallies a year, and that is probably three more than we actually need to have.

Now, big'un would get on board (badum tish) with wristbands!

We'll most likely be at Durham, but that's because we can pretty much walk to it. Whitley bay depends which way the wind is blowing because it's a bit rubbish for the amount of travel involved. Seaburn is a nice one but we're often elsewhere, that day.
(06 May 2019, 10:06 pm)Adrian Wrote: I was really pleased when I heard that this rally was going back to the Metrocentre. Whilst I appreciate that the NEBPT had to move quickly to find a replacement site, when intu said 'no' in 2017, I just don't think it was ever suitable. However, as soon as I arrived at the Metrocentre, the first thing I noticed is how quiet it seemed. The numbers seemed to be down dramatically compared to the last few rallies there, and so did the amount of vehicles in attendance to be honest.

It was great seeing the locally preserved buses out in force, some fresh to the scene, and others that we haven't seen for a few years. The highlight for me was seeing former Tyne and Wear PTE 413 / JFT413X back on the scene. What a fantastic preserved bus this is - a credit to the group that owns it. It was also nice to see two new debutantes in ex-GNE Transbus MPD 574 and ex-GNE Renown 4898, fresh in it's 'Lime v2' branding. Both are an absolute credit to their owners.

For me though, what really lets this rally down, is the real lack of organisation. Something which I've commented on before, but appears to show more and more. 

Even before the rally day, I found the lack of advertising of the event to be somewhat surprising. This goes back to the 'well its always on every year' attitude, which I cannot disagree with as a statement, but it is never going to grow the rally into an event. I think this shows in the attraction to outside of our region, with none of the preservation groups a little further afield, choosing to support the event. A stark contrast to something like Kirkby Stephen, despite it only being 55 miles away. Its also worth noting that 10 out of the 24 vehicles listed as participating in the event were not present, and others in attendance weren't listed. I appreciate that things change at short notice, but 10/24 is almost half of your line up gone. 

At the rally itself, I found the layout to be somewhat confusing. Lots of cones and tape around areas on the way in, but no real explanation (or rally stewards) to say why or what for. The majority of people choosing to walk straight through the road and into traffic instead, given that the staff car park to the right was still open. The site itself was parked up better than in previous years, with buses being adequately spaced, rather than cramped together. Although this still made the rally look quiet, given half of the car park remained empty. 

The 'free' bus service, as others have alluded to, was probably the best example of shocking organisation. Although the bus stop was on your immediate right as you walk into the site as normal, there was nothing to say what was going on. In previous years, there was a circular service and also one running up to Tanfield. Routes were listed by the stop, and a list of times also present. Nothing was this year, and the rally stewards didn't seem to know what was going out and when, other than it appearing to be every half hour. Perhaps the most bonkers thing that I witnessed, was two of the stewards wanting to argue with two separate bus owners, for wanting to donate their time, personal expense and bus, to operate on the rally's 'free' bus service. Pedantically arguing about set times, whilst ignoring the long queue of people waiting for a bus. The owner of the Lime bus was actually held for a good 5-10 minutes, despite being full, just to appease a steward. Unbelievable really.

Oh, and I use the term 'free', because that is what it is incorrectly advertised at in my opinion. Whilst I appreciate that owners cannot charge fares and such, I do think that the rally organisers could do a hell of a lot more to support those owners willing to let their buses be used on the service. Perhaps selling 'rally supporter' wristbands on their trade stall, and the owners only permitting entry to wristband holders? The proceeds from the wristbands could then be divided up as a donation to each of bus volunteered on the bus service. But failing that, something as simple as bucket collections in the queue would be a start. Whilst the organisers continue to label it as a free service, I believe it'll always incorrectly set people's expectations in terms of a donation. 

Unfortunately I think we'll have the same gripes about Durham, Whitley Bay and Seaburn, and I cannot see it changing soon. We have one organisation now arranging five rallies a year, and that is probably three more than we actually need to have.

Were there really that many missing from the listed attendees?  The only ones I noted absent that had been supposed to be there were NVK341, JVK221 (which I believe was unable to attend due to mechanical failure) and AFB586V, though the guy who usually drives that had YSF87S.

Agree on the weird layout - the red tape flapping around though is probably apt given the fuss around the extra runs!
With regards to the free bus service. I checked the NEBT website and Facebook page on Sunday morning before leaving for the rally. No details were given of the service. There was just a message on the website saying further details would be provided closer to the date of the rally.

Quite disappointing really. They need to work harder on planning.

Charles
(07 May 2019, 9:21 am)Charles41 Wrote: With regards to the free bus service. I checked the NEBT website and Facebook page on Sunday morning before leaving for the rally. No details were given of the service. There was just a message on the website saying further details would be provided closer to the date of the rally.

Quite disappointing really. They need to work harder on planning.

Charles

tbh I don't think it's that. I just think they need to get more people involved and to bring some fresh ideas to the table.

Working in collaboration with other groups would be a good start, rather than just one group hosting the rallies.
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I have submitted my comments to NEBPT regarding the poor attitude of the gentleman at the bus stop. Hopefully they may change the format of things next time around.

If I'm honest, I'm not 100% he knew our bus was preserved, hence his negative attitude.
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3 years on and the same stuff mentioned in 2016 is being mentioned still. 

https://northeastbuses.co.uk/forum/showt...p?tid=1784
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(05 May 2019, 10:56 pm)stagecoachbusdepot Wrote: Totally agree - the route was crazy - probably couldn't have chosen a route to hit more traffic.  Sitting in a queue of traffic waiting to go on a pointless loop round to Bewick Street to get stuck in the queue of 327s and 900s was particularly annoying (especially as we stopped on Neville Street anyway).

I was going to put 4855 out on a run until I had a run on the rout myself in another bus. No way was I going to risk one of my Groups buses in Newcastle traffic.
It will be Durham when 4710 and 4855 are available to do runs. On the subject of "timed services" Its a load of drivel. They need to get this organised much better. Also they must let bus owners have a freedom to do what they want. After all. Who is putting the fuel in the tank for all of this? People simply dont realise how much cost is involved in running a bus. The owners decide how they are wanting to run. Not some jumped up hiviz monkey.

The parking and marshalling is something the NEBPT need to get sorted and soon. Nobody was watching the buses back. I parked 4708 and 4710. many people wanted photos of 4708,574 and 4855 together. This was simply not possible due to the amount of people there and thus the risk of someone getting hit by a bus when moving. Its simply not worth someone getting hurt.
Craig Smith. NNRG Operations Engineer. NNRG. Bus Preservationists of the North East.
(26 May 2019, 12:07 pm)Craig Smith Wrote: I was going to put 4855 out on a run until I had a run on the rout myself in another bus. No way was I going to risk one of my Groups buses in Newcastle traffic.
It will be Durham when 4710 and 4855 are available to do runs. On the subject of "timed services" Its a load of drivel. They need to get this organised much better. Also they must let bus owners have a freedom to do what they want. After all. Who is putting the fuel in the tank for all of this? People simply dont realise how much cost is involved in running a bus. The owners decide how they are wanting to run. Not some jumped up hiviz monkey.

The parking and marshalling is something the NEBPT need to get sorted and soon. Nobody was watching the buses back. I parked 4708 and 4710. many people wanted photos of 4708,574 and 4855 together. This was simply not possible due to the amount of people there and thus the risk of someone getting hit by a bus when moving. Its simply not worth someone getting hurt.

Looking forward to a run out on 4710 - haven't sampled that one yet.  Last year Durham did seem one of the better organised rallies and the route was certainly better!