Franchising - Good/Bad
#1
Franchising - Good/Bad
If the North East was to roll bus franchising out, would vehicles operating services be required to operate in the NexusBus livery? Also with the likes of Stagecoach saying it will lead to higher taxes and lack of investment is completely untrue. If you take a look at TFL, services operate efficiently, and despite a higher subsidy the network of services are more accessible and understandable by the general public with the simple Oyster card.

It's the areas where only one operator runs is where you find the most problems. Look at Jarrow for example, dominated by Go North East although twice now they've changed the South Tyneside Hospital bus route, meaning as a result Nexus have had to step and provide the additional service. When the Metro was on strike last year, GNE took full advantage by charging normal fares.

If buses were franchised and there was one very affordable ticket that could be used on any form of Transport (not like the £7.80 Day Rover) then you would have more people using services and have services better connected.

And my final point is how Stagecoach treat their X24/X34 passengers by refusing to pay the bus station departure chargers, and as a result cause extra congestion on Pilgrim Street, not the nicest place to wait when everybody seems to push to get on the bus if it stops in the wrong place. I understand these services need to make a profit to keep them going, and with Stagecoach trying to do everything they can to reduce costs it seems passengers are not getting a good deal. And lets not forget how much the price of a day rider on Stagecoach has gone up, now £4.70 when it was only £3.90 when the X24 first started...



#2
RE: Go North East - Recent Repaints
(26 Jun 2020, 5:29 pm)S830OFT Wrote: If the North East was to roll bus franchising out, would vehicles operating services be required to operate in the NexusBus livery? Also with the likes of Stagecoach saying it will lead to higher taxes and lack of investment is completely untrue. If you take a look at TFL, services operate efficiently, and despite a higher subsidy the network of services are more accessible and understandable by the general public with the simple Oyster card.

It's the areas where only one operator runs is where you find the most problems. Look at Jarrow for example, dominated by Go North East although twice now they've changed the South Tyneside Hospital bus route, meaning as a result Nexus have had to step and provide the additional service. When the Metro was on strike last year, GNE took full advantage by charging normal fares.

If buses were franchised and there was one very affordable ticket that could be used on any form of Transport (not like the £7.80 Day Rover) then you would have more people using services and have services better connected.

And my final point is how Stagecoach treat their X24/X34 passengers by refusing to pay the bus station departure chargers, and as a result cause extra congestion on Pilgrim Street, not the nicest place to wait when everybody seems to push to get on the bus if it stops in the wrong place. I understand these services need to make a profit to keep them going, and with Stagecoach trying to do everything they can to reduce costs it seems passengers are not getting a good deal. And lets not forget how much the price of a day rider on Stagecoach has gone up, now £4.70 when it was only £3.90 when the X24 first started...

You really think that? I've found where there's more than one operator where the problems are. North Tyneside is by far one of the worst areas for being subsidised and you have GNE and Arriva battling there:

W1, W2, W3, K1, K2, 335, 59, 359 (Nexus)
19 (Nights), 11 (Nights), 42/42A (Nights), 41 (Nights) (GNE)
18 (Stagecoach)
57/57A, Possibly 51 and 53 aswell but not sure on them two (Arriva)

I don't know Sunderland that well but it seems similar down there but with GNE and Stagecoach instead.

Can't comment on the Nexus Bus etc as I really don't know the answer but would like to see more multi modal ticketing especially across it's boundaries it's £10.90 from SE. Northumberland now.

#3
RE: Go North East - Recent Repaints
You get the likes of Central Taxis who's whole bus operation is based on contracts from both Nexus and Tesco. Each time they gain a range of contracts, the investment goes in for brand new buses. Maybe they don't have all the nice tech the big three have on their buses, but they offer a service that gets people to their destination.

Sometime later down the line if budgets are squeezed any further, I wonder if the big three operators will put their heads together and think adding the likes of Tables and nice seats isn't really worth the hassle when most passengers will still travel with them regardless. I agree Wi-Fi and USB Charging Points are essential for the majority of passengers, however I think most people will more than happily go without if it means they can have a bus service still running...



#4
RE: Go North East - Recent Repaints
(26 Jun 2020, 6:27 pm)S830OFT Wrote: You get the likes of Central Taxis who's whole bus operation is based on contracts from both Nexus and Tesco. Each time they gain a range of contracts, the investment goes in for brand new buses. Maybe they don't have all the nice tech the big three have on their buses, but they offer a service that gets people to their destination.

Sometime later down the line if budgets are squeezed any further, I wonder if the big three operators will put their heads together and think adding the likes of Tables and nice seats isn't really worth the hassle when most passengers will still travel with them regardless. I agree Wi-Fi and USB Charging Points are essential for the majority of passengers, however I think most people will more than happily go without if it means they can have a bus service still running...

I respectfully disagree with your first point. GCT are well known for completely missing out sections of routes!

#5
RE: Go North East - Recent Repaints
GCT missing sections of the route is completely down to the drivers. They are not instructed by Nexus or the Manager of GCT to do that. If the drivers are told off and threatened with disciplinary action, I am sure that problem will go away. I have seen the 49 miss out Bolam Street Flats on route to Winlaton a few times so it's the problem lies with the driver of the bus...



#6
RE: Go North East - Recent Repaints
(26 Jun 2020, 6:42 pm)S830OFT Wrote: GCT missing sections of the route is completely down to the drivers. They are not instructed by Nexus or the Manager of GCT to do that. If the drivers are told off and threatened with disciplinary action, I am sure that problem will go away. I have seen the 49 miss out Bolam Street Flats on route to Winlaton a few times so it's the problem lies with the driver of the bus...

Regarding GCT, I can only go off what has been reported on this forum, but I think the 49 point is a bit flawed.

It's possible to see the stop without turning into the turning circle. If nobody wants to be off or are waiting for the bus, it seems perfectly reasonable to me for drivers to continue straight ahead.

#7
RE: Go North East - Recent Repaints
(26 Jun 2020, 7:02 pm)S813 FVK Wrote: Regarding GCT, I can only go off what has been reported on this forum, but I think the 49 point is a bit flawed.

It's possible to see the stop without turning into the turning circle. If nobody wants to be off or are waiting for the bus, it seems perfectly reasonable to me for drivers to continue straight ahead.

Yeah, the 49/A pretty much always misses out the turning circle unless someone has pressed the bell or someone is waiting, they'll always slow down to check before driving on, makes no sense to pull in to just pull back out.

#8
RE: Franchising - Good/Bad
(26 Jun 2020, 5:29 pm)S830OFT Wrote: If the North East was to roll bus franchising out, would vehicles operating services be required to operate in the NexusBus livery? Also with the likes of Stagecoach saying it will lead to higher taxes and lack of investment is completely untrue. If you take a look at TFL, services operate efficiently, and despite a higher subsidy the network of services are more accessible and understandable by the general public with the simple Oyster card.

It's the areas where only one operator runs is where you find the most problems. Look at Jarrow for example, dominated by Go North East although twice now they've changed the South Tyneside Hospital bus route, meaning as a result Nexus have had to step and provide the additional service. When the Metro was on strike last year, GNE took full advantage by charging normal fares.

If buses were franchised and there was one very affordable ticket that could be used on any form of Transport (not like the £7.80 Day Rover) then you would have more people using services and have services better connected.

And my final point is how Stagecoach treat their X24/X34 passengers by refusing to pay the bus station departure chargers, and as a result cause extra congestion on Pilgrim Street, not the nicest place to wait when everybody seems to push to get on the bus if it stops in the wrong place. I understand these services need to make a profit to keep them going, and with Stagecoach trying to do everything they can to reduce costs it seems passengers are not getting a good deal. And lets not forget how much the price of a day rider on Stagecoach has gone up, now £4.70 when it was only £3.90 when the X24 first started...
There's lots of questions around franchising and the livery would all be part of the contracts. 
As for TfL, the subsidy has to be paid from somewhere, in London as far as I can tell taxpayers pay TfL a grant of £6m a year, on top of the fares they pay too. 

Now ive not read the franchising documents around the Manchester case but the impression I get from others who have is they were not going to grow passenger numbers, only manage a decline by taking buses from popular routes to service less popular routes. That may be good for those who live on less frequent routes but these routes are already set up like that for a reason...

By the way how cheap do you think you'll get a day ticket valid on all forms of transport? £7.80 for the area you can travel is about the same rate as elsewhere around the country for a similar product.

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#9
RE: Franchising - Good/Bad
For the affordable travel I would say a slight reduction in price is needed to try and persuade more people to use Public Transport. Every year the price of travel goes up, even with Stagecoach being cheapest compared to the £7.80 ticket, it's really not flexible having to plan your day through their bus timetables.

For example returning to South Shields from Newcastle, would require having to mark the 20:30 bus as the final departure, then to have to change buses at Horsley Hill to get to South Shields. I might be saving peanuts buying a Stagecoach ticket, but I think most people who like a bargain would choose them if it meant saving money, which they could spend on something more useful to them.

It will be interesting over the next few months to see if Bus Fares increase dramatically, and commercial services are reduced in order to keep going. I certainly can't see the likes of the 100 continuing if barely anyone visits the Metrocentre...



#10
RE: Franchising - Good/Bad
(27 Jun 2020, 1:10 am)S830OFT Wrote: For the affordable travel I would say a slight reduction in price is needed to try and persuade more people to use Public Transport. Every year the price of travel goes up, even with Stagecoach being cheapest compared to the £7.80 ticket, it's really not flexible having to plan your day through their bus timetables.

For example returning to South Shields from Newcastle, would require having to mark the 20:30 bus as the final departure, then to have to change buses at Horsley Hill to get to South Shields. I might be saving peanuts buying a Stagecoach ticket, but I think most people who like a bargain would choose them if it meant saving money, which they could spend on something more useful to them.

It will be interesting over the next few months to see if Bus Fares increase dramatically, and commercial services are reduced in order to keep going. I certainly can't see the likes of the 100 continuing if barely anyone visits the Metrocentre...

I don't get why people get so hung up on the single, or even day ticket prices. Those are only for the occasional user, people who probably have another mode of transport. As soon as you switch over to a weekly or monthly ticket, the prices decrease massively. 

If you're lucky enough to live and work in T&W and want a ticket you can use on everything, that only works out at £3.75 a day with a monthly ticket for all zones, once again, if you use one or two zones, it's even cheaper!

If you only use the bus to commute to work, chances are (pre covid at least) you bought at least a weekly ticket, if not a monthly.  I paid £95 per month for my GNE All Zone, that works out at ~£3.20 a day (assuming you use it every day, which I pretty much did). Even the weekly ticket works out at ~£3.60 a day, or £5 a day if you only use it on the weekdays. If you only use the one zone, that's a lot cheaper.

#11
RE: Franchising - Good/Bad
(26 Jun 2020, 5:29 pm)S830OFT Wrote: If the North East was to roll bus franchising out, would vehicles operating services be required to operate in the NexusBus livery? Also with the likes of Stagecoach saying it will lead to higher taxes and lack of investment is completely untrue. If you take a look at TFL, services operate efficiently, and despite a higher subsidy the network of services are more accessible and understandable by the general public with the simple Oyster card.

It's the areas where only one operator runs is where you find the most problems. Look at Jarrow for example, dominated by Go North East although twice now they've changed the South Tyneside Hospital bus route, meaning as a result Nexus have had to step and provide the additional service. When the Metro was on strike last year, GNE took full advantage by charging normal fares.

If buses were franchised and there was one very affordable ticket that could be used on any form of Transport (not like the £7.80 Day Rover) then you would have more people using services and have services better connected.

And my final point is how Stagecoach treat their X24/X34 passengers by refusing to pay the bus station departure chargers, and as a result cause extra congestion on Pilgrim Street, not the nicest place to wait when everybody seems to push to get on the bus if it stops in the wrong place. I understand these services need to make a profit to keep them going, and with Stagecoach trying to do everything they can to reduce costs it seems passengers are not getting a good deal. And lets not forget how much the price of a day rider on Stagecoach has gone up, now £4.70 when it was only £3.90 when the X24 first started...
1. Oyster Card is far from simple!! Yes if you only use the bus, but if your journey involves Underground, overground or rail (which many do, as buses are slow due to traffic) it has many zonal combinations and fares are a lot higher than Tyne & Wear - e.g. Zone 1 to 4 daily cap (same as Newcastle to Whitley Bay) is £10.40, £51.90 weekly cap.
2. Population density in London is a lot higher than Tyne & Wear, so buses are bound to be busier, more frequent. To change this in the north east requires the councils to change planning rules - no big estates at Callerton for example.
3. The Congestion and Low Emission Zone charges mean that car ownership in London is a lot lower, and it brings in a lot of £s to subsidise transport - unless councils up here do the same, car ownership won't drop.
4. London is London - capital of the UK, business centre, attracts lots of foreign visitors etc.  - so you can't compare it with anywhere else.
5. The Manchester franchising scheme (thousands of pages to read) is based on passenger numbers still falling, and fares increasing above inflation. It doesn't offer "Better bus services" as many suggest.
6. Any franchising/contracting/concession scheme is likely to reduce bus services and move towards more integration with rail/Metro etc. - which of course means lower frequency and higher fares as passengers have to buy the multi modal ticket as opposed to a bus only ticket.
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#12
RE: Franchising - Good/Bad
(27 Jun 2020, 11:44 am)busmanT Wrote: 1. Oyster Card is far from simple!! Yes if you only use the bus, but if your journey involves Underground, overground or rail (which many do, as buses are slow due to traffic) it has many zonal combinations and fares are a lot higher than Tyne & Wear - e.g. Zone 1 to 4 daily cap (same as Newcastle to Whitley Bay) is £10.40, £51.90 weekly cap.
2. Population density in London is a lot higher than Tyne & Wear, so buses are bound to be busier, more frequent. To change this in the north east requires the councils to change planning rules - no big estates at Callerton for example.
3. The Congestion and Low Emission Zone charges mean that car ownership in London is a lot lower, and it brings in a lot of £s to subsidise transport - unless councils up here do the same, car ownership won't drop.
4. London is London - capital of the UK, business centre, attracts lots of foreign visitors etc.  - so you can't compare it with anywhere else.
5. The Manchester franchising scheme (thousands of pages to read) is based on passenger numbers still falling, and fares increasing above inflation. It doesn't offer "Better bus services" as many suggest.
6. Any franchising/contracting/concession scheme is likely to reduce bus services and move towards more integration with rail/Metro etc. - which of course means lower frequency and higher fares as passengers have to buy the multi modal ticket as opposed to a bus only ticket.

Could compare the pricing to Paris where you can get the Navigo Decouverte which pretty much does everything in Paris for 22.80€ a week instead though. Public transport pricing throughout the whole of the UK whether it's trains, trams, buses or whatever is expensive it's no wonder we're a car nation really.

#13
RE: Franchising - Good/Bad
(26 Jun 2020, 11:42 pm)tyresmoke Wrote: By the way how cheap do you think you'll get a day ticket valid on all forms of transport? £7.80 for the area you can travel is about the same rate as elsewhere around the country for a similar product.

I actually think that the answer is in the question here. A multi-operator zonal bus only ticketing scheme could reduce cost, as you wouldn't have Nexus/Metro taking their slice of the cake.

I don't think a joined up bus network competing with another form of transport (light rail and the ferry) would be a bad thing.
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#14
RE: Franchising - Good/Bad
(27 Jun 2020, 2:04 am)streetdeckfan Wrote: I don't get why people get so hung up on the single, or even day ticket prices. Those are only for the occasional user, people who probably have another mode of transport. As soon as you switch over to a weekly or monthly ticket, the prices decrease massively. 

If you're lucky enough to live and work in T&W and want a ticket you can use on everything, that only works out at £3.75 a day with a monthly ticket for all zones, once again, if you use one or two zones, it's even cheaper!

If you only use the bus to commute to work, chances are (pre covid at least) you bought at least a weekly ticket, if not a monthly.  I paid £95 per month for my GNE All Zone, that works out at ~£3.20 a day (assuming you use it every day, which I pretty much did). Even the weekly ticket works out at ~£3.60 a day, or £5 a day if you only use it on the weekdays. If you only use the one zone, that's a lot cheaper.

I fall in to the occasional user category, even though I'm a gricer.
If I was commuting on a daily basis, it might be cheaper over a period, but certainly not quicker than the car. Not easy and not convenient. 
That X21 might be great for you, but the world doesn't revolve around routes to/from Bishop or the lifestyle you lead. Once operators (and maybe even yourself) realise what makes people tick, what drives their use of cars over public transport and why those aspiring to pass their test as soon as possible, do so - then maybe (just maybe), we see a network of services which work and aren't there to suit operational and shareholder needs. 

What gets me on this forum, is that some people seem to live in a bubble or have a perception of public transport which is all good - because it suits their specific needs at that time. Once things change, fares aren't designed to appeal to their needs or they move house - suddenly public transport isn't all good and the current system doesn't work.
'Illegitimis non carborundum'
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#15
RE: Franchising - Good/Bad
There's this weird fixation from people in & around the industry that buses exist to make money. They don't. Buses never have and never will be profitable in their own right. Vast amounts of subsidy keeps the industry afloat; take away concessionary fares, BSOG, green bus fund, engine emission upgrades, infrastructure provision & improvements and direct service subsidy and the industry collapses. For all that public money we're left with a disjointed network, little to no integrated ticketing and no actual say in when & where bus companies have to operate. 

What I really don't understand is how we all seem to accept that railways require heavy subsidy and regulation yet buses don't? Manchester's franchising proposal was criticised as manage decline, yet isn't managed decline what the privatised bus industry is already providing? Private operators continue to piss about, making a song and dance about making largely insignificant tweaks to a stagnant, declining network, while vast communities have little or no useful services, with serious consequences on social mobility in rural and deprived communities. Why not do away with the raft of schemes operates feed from and have a central authority regulating routes, using nationally mandated criteria such as population density and access to key community services (healthcare, employment hubs etc.)?

Buses don't need to make money to exist. They need to be useful to exist. .
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#16
RE: Franchising - Good/Bad
(27 Jun 2020, 3:02 pm)Storx Wrote: Could compare the pricing to Paris where you can get the Navigo Decouverte which pretty much does everything in Paris for 22.80€ a week instead though. Public transport pricing throughout the whole of the UK whether it's trains, trams, buses or whatever is expensive it's no wonder we're a car nation really.
You can't compare with other countries which have different taxation systems - it has to be paid for by someone, either the user or the taxpayer (user or non user).

(27 Jun 2020, 6:54 pm)Adrian Wrote: I actually think that the answer is in the question here. A multi-operator zonal bus only ticketing scheme could reduce cost, as you wouldn't have Nexus/Metro taking their slice of the cake.

I don't think a joined up bus network competing with another form of transport (light rail and the ferry) would be a bad thing.
A multi-operator bus only ticket in Tyne & Wear wouldn't be much cheaper, as Go North East 2 zones is £7. Nexus/Metro only get a slice if the ticket is used on Metro

#17
RE: Franchising - Good/Bad
(27 Jun 2020, 11:53 pm)James101 Wrote: There's this weird fixation from people in & around the industry that buses exist to make money. They don't. Buses never have and never will be profitable in their own right. Vast amounts of subsidy keeps the industry afloat; take away concessionary fares, BSOG, green bus fund, engine emission upgrades, infrastructure provision & improvements and direct service subsidy and the industry collapses. For all that public money we're left with a disjointed network, little to no integrated ticketing and no actual say in when & where bus companies have to operate. 

What I really don't understand is how we all seem to accept that railways require heavy subsidy and regulation yet buses don't? Manchester's franchising proposal was criticised as manage decline, yet isn't managed decline what the privatised bus industry is already providing? Private operators continue to piss about, making a song and dance about making largely insignificant tweaks to a stagnant, declining network, while vast communities have little or no useful services, with serious consequences on social mobility in rural and deprived communities. Why not do away with the raft of schemes operates feed from and have a central authority regulating routes, using nationally mandated criteria such as population density and access to key community services (healthcare, employment hubs etc.)?

Buses don't need to make money to exist. They need to be useful to exist. .
1. Vast communities without bus services only don't have them because they don't use them very much (if at all). 
2. Bus services in many areas did use to be profitable - lots of local authority fleets and parts of the NBC were. But the world has changed since then - out of town business parks, low density housing, decline of industries employing thousands in the same location, Sunday trading..........
3. As one who worked for two PTE's pre deregulation, I can tell you it was all about cutting services and increasing fares to reduce the subsidy. It has, since the Transport Act 1968, been the responsibility of a local authority to subsidise services that it thinks are needed but which aren't provided. Service cuts and reductions started well before deregulation - probably about 1950. You only have to look at timetable change leaflets from the 50s, 60s, 70s and early 80s to see major cuts in services.
4. What makes anyone think the government/local authorities will do a better job than privatised bus companies? Under government/LA control buses will be wrestling with funding against things like painting the school railings - I know that the latter would keep funding and buses would be cut.
5. Public transport, buses etc. will never be able to cater for everyone. If, for example, you live in Ferryhill and work at Cobalt, the bus is never going to win against the car. Buses work best where there are high volume flows - were there aren't some alternative type of provision needs to exist (DRT, taxibus, etc.)
6. Concessionary fares aren't a subsidy to the bus operator - they are a subsidy to the passenger who uses the pass. 
7. BSOG only gives operators about 60% of the fuel duty back - remember that trains and planes don't pay any fuel duty at all! 
8. Grants for emissions upgrades etc. are no different, for example, to grants given to motorists to move to an electric car, except they give a greater benefit. 
9. Unless there is some form of significant change to planning/land use regulations, parking provision and/or price, traffic restraint then the car will still be seen by many as the "best" way to travel.

#18
RE: Franchising - Good/Bad
(28 Jun 2020, 10:43 am)busmanT Wrote: 1. Vast communities without bus services only don't have them because they don't use them very much (if at all). 
2. Bus services in many areas did use to be profitable - lots of local authority fleets and parts of the NBC were. But the world has changed since then - out of town business parks, low density housing, decline of industries employing thousands in the same location, Sunday trading.......... 
3. As one who worked for two PTE's pre deregulation, I can tell you it was all about cutting services and increasing fares to reduce the subsidy. It has, since the Transport Act 1968, been the responsibility of a local authority to subsidise services that it thinks are needed but which aren't provided. Service cuts and reductions started well before deregulation - probably about 1950. You only have to look at timetable change leaflets from the 50s, 60s, 70s and early 80s to see major cuts in services.
4. What makes anyone think the government/local authorities will do a better job than privatised bus companies? Under government/LA control buses will be wrestling with funding against things like painting the school railings - I know that the latter would keep funding and buses would be cut.
5. Public transport, buses etc. will never be able to cater for everyone. If, for example, you live in Ferryhill and work at Cobalt, the bus is never going to win against the car. Buses work best where there are high volume flows - were there aren't some alternative type of provision needs to exist (DRT, taxibus, etc.)
6. Concessionary fares aren't a subsidy to the bus operator - they are a subsidy to the passenger who uses the pass. 
7. BSOG only gives operators about 60% of the fuel duty back - remember that trains and planes don't pay any fuel duty at all! 
8. Grants for emissions upgrades etc. are no different, for example, to grants given to motorists to move to an electric car, except they give a greater benefit.  
9. Unless there is some form of significant change to planning/land use regulations, parking provision and/or price, traffic restraint then the car will still be seen by many as the "best" way to travel.

I agree with some of the points you have made, but two of the points really stand out. 

Looking at the first one, what have operators done to complement these changes in the way we live? Retail World at Team Valley has existed since the mid/late 80's. What bus service do we see now, that didn't exist through Team Valley prior to it opening?
How have operators improved their offering across the board, to suit Sunday trading? 

I couldn't disagree with the second point any more. An individual being given a financial incentive to change their car and upgrade to one which supposedly is better for the environment, is totally different to major PLC's with massive borrowing power, being given money to upgrade a proportion of their fleet.
Your personal cash flow situation and borrowing power is totally different to any of the big three bus operators.
'Illegitimis non carborundum'

#19
RE: Franchising - Good/Bad
(28 Jun 2020, 1:12 pm)Andreos1 Wrote: I agree with some of the points you have made, but two of the points really stand out. 

Looking at the first one, what have operators done to complement these changes in the way we live? Retail World at Team Valley has existed since the mid/late 80's. What bus service do we see now, that didn't exist through Team Valley prior to it opening?
How have operators improved their offering across the board, to suit Sunday trading? 

I couldn't disagree with the second point any more. An individual being given a financial incentive to change their car and upgrade to one which supposedly is better for the environment, is totally different to major PLC's with massive borrowing power, being given money to upgrade a proportion of their fleet.
Your personal cash flow situation and borrowing power is totally different to any of the big three bus operators.
Out of town retail parks are exactly the type of place that are difficult to serve with public transport, as they attract customers from a wide geographic area meaning that the number of potential passengers from any one area is too low. Of course, the one that you mention is ideally situated for car owners next to the A1. Planning policy needs to change. Had it been in Gateshead Town Centre it would have generated a lot of bus passengers.

Sunday services have been increased by most operators in recent years to reflect increased passenger volumes on Sundays (depends how far back you compare of course)

Grants for vehicle upgrades are available to all operators, large or small, just like grants to upgrade to an electric car are available to millionaires.
The government grant avoids operators having to increase fares to cover the cost of the upgrade, and allows a faster implementation. There are increased ongoing maintenance costs associated with exhaust upgrades that operators do fund themselves.
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#20
RE: Franchising - Good/Bad
(29 Jun 2020, 9:47 am)busmanT Wrote: Out of town retail parks are exactly the type of place that are difficult to serve with public transport, as they attract customers from a wide geographic area meaning that the number of potential passengers from any one area is too low. Of course, the one that you mention is ideally situated for car owners next to the A1. Planning policy needs to change. Had it been in Gateshead Town Centre it would have generated a lot of bus passengers.

Sunday services have been increased by most operators in recent years to reflect increased passenger volumes on Sundays (depends how far back you compare of course)

Grants for vehicle upgrades are available to all operators, large or small, just like grants to upgrade to an electric car are available to millionaires.
The government grant avoids operators having to increase fares to cover the cost of the upgrade, and allows a faster implementation. There are increased ongoing maintenance costs associated with exhaust upgrades that operators do fund themselves.

So because Retail World is alongside the A1 and it attracts people from a wide geographical area, operators can't be creative or innovative?
Whereas just a few miles up the road, there is another retail site (still located on the A1 and probably attracting people from an even larger geographical location), but does have a range of services Huh

I dont think that millionaire you mention, will be buying a fleet of electric vehicles somehow.
'Illegitimis non carborundum'