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New North East Mayor - Bus wishlist

New North East Mayor - Bus wishlist

 
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4707
31 May 2024, 6:26 am
#81
Might be just me, but is it just me that would rather we didn't bother with franchising at all, 2 of the main operators have pretty much proven their not fit for purpose anyway and go for the full public approach instead.

Starmer has already commited to it, or has reletively recently mentioned it, and unless something spectacular happens he's going to be in charge in just over a month anyway.

Obviously you'd need to get the right people in charge, but on paper most the GNE / Arriva Northumbria team will be out of a job - whether you judge them to the right people anyway is another question mind. Franchising in Manchester so far hasn't exactly been the glory of success some want to shout about, especially with transitions. It's all good giving GoAhead somewhere like Walkergate but if the place is full of ex GoNorthEast driver's then you can see where the problems start.

Not to mention everyone likes to discuss how great buses are in London but forget to the mention the big funding black hole behind them (massively cross subsidised by the Underground)

Heck you could even argue for a dual model and have a public operator operating Stagecoach's network (maybe with them having a small share like Transdev do with Nottingham City Transport) possibly with other areas added in (Gateshead / rest of Sunderland?), and franchise out other areas which are more rural / intercity and never have the scope to really return massive profits.
Storx
31 May 2024, 6:26 am #81

Might be just me, but is it just me that would rather we didn't bother with franchising at all, 2 of the main operators have pretty much proven their not fit for purpose anyway and go for the full public approach instead.

Starmer has already commited to it, or has reletively recently mentioned it, and unless something spectacular happens he's going to be in charge in just over a month anyway.

Obviously you'd need to get the right people in charge, but on paper most the GNE / Arriva Northumbria team will be out of a job - whether you judge them to the right people anyway is another question mind. Franchising in Manchester so far hasn't exactly been the glory of success some want to shout about, especially with transitions. It's all good giving GoAhead somewhere like Walkergate but if the place is full of ex GoNorthEast driver's then you can see where the problems start.

Not to mention everyone likes to discuss how great buses are in London but forget to the mention the big funding black hole behind them (massively cross subsidised by the Underground)

Heck you could even argue for a dual model and have a public operator operating Stagecoach's network (maybe with them having a small share like Transdev do with Nottingham City Transport) possibly with other areas added in (Gateshead / rest of Sunderland?), and franchise out other areas which are more rural / intercity and never have the scope to really return massive profits.

31 May 2024, 11:59 am
#82
(30 May 2024, 9:14 pm)busmanT Definitely not a good thing -- as few of the people involved in NECA/Nexus have any experience in running large scale bus networks, nor has Cllr Gannon.

Clearly Kim should take advice from her opposite number in Manchester as to what the issues are with setting up a franchised network, what to copy and what not to copy.

And find out the issues that have arisen in actually running a franchised network - the published Bee Network reliability statistics are very poor (even after adding 20 buses into Tranche 1), and the whole transfer of depots, staff and buses between operators has, apparently, gone far from smoothly for Go Ahead or Stagecoach.

https://tfgm.com/ways-to-travel/bus/punc.../19-25-may

https://democracy.greatermanchester-ca.g...tteeId=442

Whilst I agree that working with TfGM / Andy Burnham would be a good move, and indeed any area should do the same, I think it's worth adding some context around the reliability statistics.

There's no getting away from that they're poor, that's accepted, but I think it's well worth pointing out that TfGM (along with TfL) are one of the few that publish this level of data. Campaign groups have requested it from commercial operators for years, but it's never been forthcoming. All we get is the single encompassing figure for Tyne and Wear ITA that the Govt publish annually.

(31 May 2024, 6:26 am)Storx Might be just me, but is it just me that would rather we didn't bother with franchising at all, 2 of the main operators have pretty much proven their not fit for purpose anyway and go for the full public approach instead.

Starmer has already commited to it, or has reletively recently mentioned it, and unless something spectacular happens he's going to be in charge in just over a month anyway.

Obviously you'd need to get the right people in charge, but on paper most the GNE / Arriva Northumbria team will be out of a job - whether you judge them to the right people anyway is another question mind. Franchising in Manchester so far hasn't exactly been the glory of success some want to shout about, especially with transitions. It's all good giving GoAhead somewhere like Walkergate but if the place is full of ex GoNorthEast driver's then you can see where the problems start.

Not to mention everyone likes to discuss how great buses are in London but forget to the mention the big funding black hole behind them (massively cross subsidised by the Underground)

Heck you could even argue for a dual model and have a public operator operating Stagecoach's network (maybe with them having a small share like Transdev do with Nottingham City Transport) possibly with other areas added in (Gateshead / rest of Sunderland?), and franchise out other areas which are more rural / intercity and never have the scope to really return massive profits.

Why, what's the alternative then? You're saying that two of the main operators aren't fit for purpose, but you're not keen on a different model?

People are quick to jump on TfGM for the Bee Network, but we're forgetting that it's early days, and it's the first reversal of privatisation since the 80s. In taking everything in house, they're inheriting years of issues that haven't been left to fester. It was never going to be fixed overnight. There has to be a long term plan and ambition, and I think Manchester have that.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think franchising alone is the complete answer. I think a fully integrated network is the key, but also the ban on municipals has to be reversed too. Without that, you can never achieve the best value for money. Labour have supposedly committed to it (for what that's worth these days), but I will believe it when I see it.

Regarding your point on 'the big funding black hole', when referring to London. I think you'll always get this point raised, but we shouldn't be ashamed to spend money on infrastructure, when it's there to be used by and for the benefit of everyone. It's no different to £5 billion being allocated to paying a private company to deliver (and make profit on) fibre broadband, or the billions we give to private water companies, to sell us back our water. Personally speaking, I'm happy that my taxes contribute towards public services.

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Adrian
31 May 2024, 11:59 am #82

(30 May 2024, 9:14 pm)busmanT Definitely not a good thing -- as few of the people involved in NECA/Nexus have any experience in running large scale bus networks, nor has Cllr Gannon.

Clearly Kim should take advice from her opposite number in Manchester as to what the issues are with setting up a franchised network, what to copy and what not to copy.

And find out the issues that have arisen in actually running a franchised network - the published Bee Network reliability statistics are very poor (even after adding 20 buses into Tranche 1), and the whole transfer of depots, staff and buses between operators has, apparently, gone far from smoothly for Go Ahead or Stagecoach.

https://tfgm.com/ways-to-travel/bus/punc.../19-25-may

https://democracy.greatermanchester-ca.g...tteeId=442

Whilst I agree that working with TfGM / Andy Burnham would be a good move, and indeed any area should do the same, I think it's worth adding some context around the reliability statistics.

There's no getting away from that they're poor, that's accepted, but I think it's well worth pointing out that TfGM (along with TfL) are one of the few that publish this level of data. Campaign groups have requested it from commercial operators for years, but it's never been forthcoming. All we get is the single encompassing figure for Tyne and Wear ITA that the Govt publish annually.

(31 May 2024, 6:26 am)Storx Might be just me, but is it just me that would rather we didn't bother with franchising at all, 2 of the main operators have pretty much proven their not fit for purpose anyway and go for the full public approach instead.

Starmer has already commited to it, or has reletively recently mentioned it, and unless something spectacular happens he's going to be in charge in just over a month anyway.

Obviously you'd need to get the right people in charge, but on paper most the GNE / Arriva Northumbria team will be out of a job - whether you judge them to the right people anyway is another question mind. Franchising in Manchester so far hasn't exactly been the glory of success some want to shout about, especially with transitions. It's all good giving GoAhead somewhere like Walkergate but if the place is full of ex GoNorthEast driver's then you can see where the problems start.

Not to mention everyone likes to discuss how great buses are in London but forget to the mention the big funding black hole behind them (massively cross subsidised by the Underground)

Heck you could even argue for a dual model and have a public operator operating Stagecoach's network (maybe with them having a small share like Transdev do with Nottingham City Transport) possibly with other areas added in (Gateshead / rest of Sunderland?), and franchise out other areas which are more rural / intercity and never have the scope to really return massive profits.

Why, what's the alternative then? You're saying that two of the main operators aren't fit for purpose, but you're not keen on a different model?

People are quick to jump on TfGM for the Bee Network, but we're forgetting that it's early days, and it's the first reversal of privatisation since the 80s. In taking everything in house, they're inheriting years of issues that haven't been left to fester. It was never going to be fixed overnight. There has to be a long term plan and ambition, and I think Manchester have that.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think franchising alone is the complete answer. I think a fully integrated network is the key, but also the ban on municipals has to be reversed too. Without that, you can never achieve the best value for money. Labour have supposedly committed to it (for what that's worth these days), but I will believe it when I see it.

Regarding your point on 'the big funding black hole', when referring to London. I think you'll always get this point raised, but we shouldn't be ashamed to spend money on infrastructure, when it's there to be used by and for the benefit of everyone. It's no different to £5 billion being allocated to paying a private company to deliver (and make profit on) fibre broadband, or the billions we give to private water companies, to sell us back our water. Personally speaking, I'm happy that my taxes contribute towards public services.


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4707
31 May 2024, 9:24 pm
#83
(31 May 2024, 11:59 am)Adrian Why, what's the alternative then? You're saying that two of the main operators aren't fit for purpose, but you're not keen on a different model?

People are quick to jump on TfGM for the Bee Network, but we're forgetting that it's early days, and it's the first reversal of privatisation since the 80s. In taking everything in house, they're inheriting years of issues that haven't been left to fester. It was never going to be fixed overnight. There has to be a long term plan and ambition, and I think Manchester have that.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think franchising alone is the complete answer. I think a fully integrated network is the key, but also the ban on municipals has to be reversed too. Without that, you can never achieve the best value for money. Labour have supposedly committed to it (for what that's worth these days), but I will believe it when I see it.

Regarding your point on 'the big funding black hole', when referring to London. I think you'll always get this point raised, but we shouldn't be ashamed to spend money on infrastructure, when it's there to be used by and for the benefit of everyone. It's no different to £5 billion being allocated to paying a private company to deliver (and make profit on) fibre broadband, or the billions we give to private water companies, to sell us back our water. Personally speaking, I'm happy that my taxes contribute towards public services.

Well Labour has commited that the ban on municipals is going, so I'd hold them up to that bargain. Labour mayor and Labour government.

Ideally, assuming munipals are allowed, personally I'd just like to see Nexus (not a mistake) buy a massive share in Stagecoach Busways, but still let Stagecoach have a small share - maybe 80/20%? Then franchise the rest of the network out with the ultimate aim that the new municipal above takes over Riverside and Deptford aswell.

It's the best of both worlds, have a publically owned bus network for the main urban routes but with a small share from a company who actually can run buses, rather than going all gung-ho and having the likes of Gammon playing real life Bus Tycoon.

The rest of the network will never be massively profitable, so lowest cost will probably be the best option for those routes being cross subsidised from the routes above so just franchise them out maybe controlled by Northumberland and Durham respectively rather than an office in Newcastle who doesn't get nor never will get Berwick. I don't see why you'd want to have a no growth network on the likes of the 39/40/62/63 and at the same time pay a premium to do so.

It's basically the model in Nottingham and they've arguably got the best public transport in the country outside of London and I can't see Stagecoach being unhappy over keeping a share of something that makes a massive profit rather than potentially losing everything. I'd imagine Arriva and GNE would happy to wash their hands of their depots though.

Press release on the Labour buses btw: https://labour.org.uk/updates/press-rele...-services/ - Quite hard to back down now.
Storx
31 May 2024, 9:24 pm #83

(31 May 2024, 11:59 am)Adrian Why, what's the alternative then? You're saying that two of the main operators aren't fit for purpose, but you're not keen on a different model?

People are quick to jump on TfGM for the Bee Network, but we're forgetting that it's early days, and it's the first reversal of privatisation since the 80s. In taking everything in house, they're inheriting years of issues that haven't been left to fester. It was never going to be fixed overnight. There has to be a long term plan and ambition, and I think Manchester have that.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think franchising alone is the complete answer. I think a fully integrated network is the key, but also the ban on municipals has to be reversed too. Without that, you can never achieve the best value for money. Labour have supposedly committed to it (for what that's worth these days), but I will believe it when I see it.

Regarding your point on 'the big funding black hole', when referring to London. I think you'll always get this point raised, but we shouldn't be ashamed to spend money on infrastructure, when it's there to be used by and for the benefit of everyone. It's no different to £5 billion being allocated to paying a private company to deliver (and make profit on) fibre broadband, or the billions we give to private water companies, to sell us back our water. Personally speaking, I'm happy that my taxes contribute towards public services.

Well Labour has commited that the ban on municipals is going, so I'd hold them up to that bargain. Labour mayor and Labour government.

Ideally, assuming munipals are allowed, personally I'd just like to see Nexus (not a mistake) buy a massive share in Stagecoach Busways, but still let Stagecoach have a small share - maybe 80/20%? Then franchise the rest of the network out with the ultimate aim that the new municipal above takes over Riverside and Deptford aswell.

It's the best of both worlds, have a publically owned bus network for the main urban routes but with a small share from a company who actually can run buses, rather than going all gung-ho and having the likes of Gammon playing real life Bus Tycoon.

The rest of the network will never be massively profitable, so lowest cost will probably be the best option for those routes being cross subsidised from the routes above so just franchise them out maybe controlled by Northumberland and Durham respectively rather than an office in Newcastle who doesn't get nor never will get Berwick. I don't see why you'd want to have a no growth network on the likes of the 39/40/62/63 and at the same time pay a premium to do so.

It's basically the model in Nottingham and they've arguably got the best public transport in the country outside of London and I can't see Stagecoach being unhappy over keeping a share of something that makes a massive profit rather than potentially losing everything. I'd imagine Arriva and GNE would happy to wash their hands of their depots though.

Press release on the Labour buses btw: https://labour.org.uk/updates/press-rele...-services/ - Quite hard to back down now.

570
01 Jun 2024, 6:48 am
#84
(31 May 2024, 9:24 pm)Storx Well Labour has commited that the ban on municipals is going, so I'd hold them up to that bargain. Labour mayor and Labour government.

Ideally, assuming munipals are allowed, personally I'd just like to see Nexus (not a mistake) buy a massive share in Stagecoach Busways, but still let Stagecoach have a small share - maybe 80/20%? Then franchise the rest of the network out with the ultimate aim that the new municipal above takes over Riverside and Deptford aswell.

It's the best of both worlds, have a publically owned bus network for the main urban routes but with a small share from a company who actually can run buses, rather than going all gung-ho and having the likes of Gammon playing real life Bus Tycoon.

The rest of the network will never be massively profitable, so lowest cost will probably be the best option for those routes being cross subsidised from the routes above so just franchise them out maybe controlled by Northumberland and Durham respectively rather than an office in Newcastle who doesn't get nor never will get Berwick. I don't see why you'd want to have a no growth network on the likes of the 39/40/62/63 and at the same time pay a premium to do so.

It's basically the model in Nottingham and they've arguably got the best public transport in the country outside of London and I can't see Stagecoach being unhappy over keeping a share of something that makes a massive profit rather than potentially losing everything. I'd imagine Arriva and GNE would happy to wash their hands of their depots though.

Press release on the Labour buses btw: https://labour.org.uk/updates/press-rele...-services/ - Quite hard to back down now.

There isn't enough profit being made to cross-subsidise anything meaningful - something decision makers need to get a grasp of fast.

Operators will never admit it, but they effectively do that now anyway, certainly on a route by route basis. I've been on enough late evening Stagecoach trips to know they ain't making the £40+ an hour to break even on them and they don't go cap in hand to the local authority for cash either. So they must be using the money made during the day to run the evening services.

What I do think is that I have an amount of empathy for Stagecoach as they do actually provide a relatively comprehensive network at very little cost to thr taxpayer (ENCTS is a subsidy for the user, not the bus company). We do need to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water.

At the end of the day, if a politician is elected on the basis they will bring in franchising, then it's thier obligation to follow through. But they also need to be open and honest about the challenges and costs.
DeltaMan
01 Jun 2024, 6:48 am #84

(31 May 2024, 9:24 pm)Storx Well Labour has commited that the ban on municipals is going, so I'd hold them up to that bargain. Labour mayor and Labour government.

Ideally, assuming munipals are allowed, personally I'd just like to see Nexus (not a mistake) buy a massive share in Stagecoach Busways, but still let Stagecoach have a small share - maybe 80/20%? Then franchise the rest of the network out with the ultimate aim that the new municipal above takes over Riverside and Deptford aswell.

It's the best of both worlds, have a publically owned bus network for the main urban routes but with a small share from a company who actually can run buses, rather than going all gung-ho and having the likes of Gammon playing real life Bus Tycoon.

The rest of the network will never be massively profitable, so lowest cost will probably be the best option for those routes being cross subsidised from the routes above so just franchise them out maybe controlled by Northumberland and Durham respectively rather than an office in Newcastle who doesn't get nor never will get Berwick. I don't see why you'd want to have a no growth network on the likes of the 39/40/62/63 and at the same time pay a premium to do so.

It's basically the model in Nottingham and they've arguably got the best public transport in the country outside of London and I can't see Stagecoach being unhappy over keeping a share of something that makes a massive profit rather than potentially losing everything. I'd imagine Arriva and GNE would happy to wash their hands of their depots though.

Press release on the Labour buses btw: https://labour.org.uk/updates/press-rele...-services/ - Quite hard to back down now.

There isn't enough profit being made to cross-subsidise anything meaningful - something decision makers need to get a grasp of fast.

Operators will never admit it, but they effectively do that now anyway, certainly on a route by route basis. I've been on enough late evening Stagecoach trips to know they ain't making the £40+ an hour to break even on them and they don't go cap in hand to the local authority for cash either. So they must be using the money made during the day to run the evening services.

What I do think is that I have an amount of empathy for Stagecoach as they do actually provide a relatively comprehensive network at very little cost to thr taxpayer (ENCTS is a subsidy for the user, not the bus company). We do need to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water.

At the end of the day, if a politician is elected on the basis they will bring in franchising, then it's thier obligation to follow through. But they also need to be open and honest about the challenges and costs.

4707
01 Jun 2024, 8:04 am
#85
(01 Jun 2024, 6:48 am)DeltaMan There isn't enough profit being made to cross-subsidise anything meaningful - something decision makers need to get a grasp of fast.

Operators will never admit it, but they effectively do that now anyway, certainly on a route by route basis. I've been on enough late evening Stagecoach trips to know they ain't making the £40+ an hour to break even on them and they don't go cap in hand to the local authority for cash either. So they must be using the money made during the day to run the evening services.

What I do think is that I have an amount of empathy for Stagecoach as they do actually provide a relatively comprehensive network at very little cost to thr taxpayer (ENCTS is a subsidy for the user, not the bus company). We do need to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water.

At the end of the day, if a politician is elected on the basis they will bring in franchising, then it's thier obligation to follow through. But they also need to be open and honest about the challenges and costs.

Yeah totally agreed if I had to be honest, it's why the 2 model would be the best try and grow the routes which do actually make money by running them thereselves, then getting the rest of the network as low cost as possible as whatever you do it won't be making money - ever.

Agreed with the Stagecoach sentiments aswell, it's why I kind of like the idea of them being part of the municipal company similar to Nottingham City Transport who have Transdev as their partner. Surely having someone with the systems and experience of running buses long term will be a massive benefit - especially when ordering buses as everyone knows anything government tender is open for taking the piss.

Btw on Kim, I don't believe she ever did actually pledge franchising, it's always been 'bring buses back under public control' so there's nothing stopping a municipal company.
Storx
01 Jun 2024, 8:04 am #85

(01 Jun 2024, 6:48 am)DeltaMan There isn't enough profit being made to cross-subsidise anything meaningful - something decision makers need to get a grasp of fast.

Operators will never admit it, but they effectively do that now anyway, certainly on a route by route basis. I've been on enough late evening Stagecoach trips to know they ain't making the £40+ an hour to break even on them and they don't go cap in hand to the local authority for cash either. So they must be using the money made during the day to run the evening services.

What I do think is that I have an amount of empathy for Stagecoach as they do actually provide a relatively comprehensive network at very little cost to thr taxpayer (ENCTS is a subsidy for the user, not the bus company). We do need to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water.

At the end of the day, if a politician is elected on the basis they will bring in franchising, then it's thier obligation to follow through. But they also need to be open and honest about the challenges and costs.

Yeah totally agreed if I had to be honest, it's why the 2 model would be the best try and grow the routes which do actually make money by running them thereselves, then getting the rest of the network as low cost as possible as whatever you do it won't be making money - ever.

Agreed with the Stagecoach sentiments aswell, it's why I kind of like the idea of them being part of the municipal company similar to Nottingham City Transport who have Transdev as their partner. Surely having someone with the systems and experience of running buses long term will be a massive benefit - especially when ordering buses as everyone knows anything government tender is open for taking the piss.

Btw on Kim, I don't believe she ever did actually pledge franchising, it's always been 'bring buses back under public control' so there's nothing stopping a municipal company.

570
01 Jun 2024, 8:30 am
#86
(01 Jun 2024, 8:04 am)Storx Yeah totally agreed if I had to be honest, it's why the 2 model would be the best try and grow the routes which do actually make money by running them thereselves, then getting the rest of the network as low cost as possible as whatever you do it won't be making money - ever.

Agreed with the Stagecoach sentiments aswell, it's why I kind of like the idea of them being part of the municipal company similar to Nottingham City Transport who have Transdev as their partner. Surely having someone with the systems and experience of running buses long term will be a massive benefit - especially when ordering buses as everyone knows anything government tender is open for taking the piss.

Btw on Kim, I don't believe she ever did actually pledge franchising, it's always been 'bring buses back under public control' so there's nothing stopping a municipal company.

I agree with all that. I just can't see it as GNE and Arriva would no doubt ask why they are being franchised and Stagecoach not. Maybe a look in the mirror would be needed. But legally, it seems like dodgy ground.
DeltaMan
01 Jun 2024, 8:30 am #86

(01 Jun 2024, 8:04 am)Storx Yeah totally agreed if I had to be honest, it's why the 2 model would be the best try and grow the routes which do actually make money by running them thereselves, then getting the rest of the network as low cost as possible as whatever you do it won't be making money - ever.

Agreed with the Stagecoach sentiments aswell, it's why I kind of like the idea of them being part of the municipal company similar to Nottingham City Transport who have Transdev as their partner. Surely having someone with the systems and experience of running buses long term will be a massive benefit - especially when ordering buses as everyone knows anything government tender is open for taking the piss.

Btw on Kim, I don't believe she ever did actually pledge franchising, it's always been 'bring buses back under public control' so there's nothing stopping a municipal company.

I agree with all that. I just can't see it as GNE and Arriva would no doubt ask why they are being franchised and Stagecoach not. Maybe a look in the mirror would be needed. But legally, it seems like dodgy ground.

4707
01 Jun 2024, 9:04 am
#87
(01 Jun 2024, 8:30 am)DeltaMan I agree with all that. I just can't see it as GNE and Arriva would no doubt ask why they are being franchised and Stagecoach not. Maybe a look in the mirror would be needed. But legally, it seems like dodgy ground.

Yeah that's true on the legal side, shame really as it would be the best way. Arriva would be easy to deal with as you could just argue that Durham and Northumberland aren't part of it hence the franchsing. Go North East is the minefield though but the fact that they're making a loss - I wouldn't be too surprised if they actually want shot of it, assumption there of course though.
Storx
01 Jun 2024, 9:04 am #87

(01 Jun 2024, 8:30 am)DeltaMan I agree with all that. I just can't see it as GNE and Arriva would no doubt ask why they are being franchised and Stagecoach not. Maybe a look in the mirror would be needed. But legally, it seems like dodgy ground.

Yeah that's true on the legal side, shame really as it would be the best way. Arriva would be easy to deal with as you could just argue that Durham and Northumberland aren't part of it hence the franchsing. Go North East is the minefield though but the fact that they're making a loss - I wouldn't be too surprised if they actually want shot of it, assumption there of course though.

570
01 Jun 2024, 9:19 am
#88
(01 Jun 2024, 9:04 am)Storx Yeah that's true on the legal side, shame really as it would be the best way. Arriva would be easy to deal with as you could just argue that Durham and Northumberland aren't part of it hence the franchsing. Go North East is the minefield though but the fact that they're making a loss - I wouldn't be too surprised if they actually want shot of it, assumption there of course though.
I certainly think the case for doing something with both GNE and Arriva is there to be made as they are already using public money to prop up the 43/44/45 and 56 services to provide the service level they were doing before the "driver shortage", but with nothing really in return for the tax payer. I fear Stagecoach are just going to be collateral damage for the mismanagement of others.
DeltaMan
01 Jun 2024, 9:19 am #88

(01 Jun 2024, 9:04 am)Storx Yeah that's true on the legal side, shame really as it would be the best way. Arriva would be easy to deal with as you could just argue that Durham and Northumberland aren't part of it hence the franchsing. Go North East is the minefield though but the fact that they're making a loss - I wouldn't be too surprised if they actually want shot of it, assumption there of course though.
I certainly think the case for doing something with both GNE and Arriva is there to be made as they are already using public money to prop up the 43/44/45 and 56 services to provide the service level they were doing before the "driver shortage", but with nothing really in return for the tax payer. I fear Stagecoach are just going to be collateral damage for the mismanagement of others.

4707
01 Jun 2024, 9:43 am
#89
(01 Jun 2024, 9:19 am)DeltaMan I certainly think the case for doing something with both GNE and Arriva is there to be made as they are already using public money to prop up the 43/44/45 and 56 services to provide the service level they were doing before the "driver shortage", but with nothing really in return for the tax payer. I fear Stagecoach are just going to be collateral damage for the mismanagement of others.

Honestly totally agreed, it's a shame really. I just have little hope in everything being done by franchising aswell as Gannon and co are bloody awful. It's just going from one extreme to the opposite extreme and the model isn't exactly miles away from the exact same model that's just been scrapped on trains for being a mess.

Not to mention we live in a country who loves a bit of austerity with both parties commiting to it at the next election to some extent. Where's the money going to come from long term to fund this network? I certainly can't see this money coming from central government, you just have to look at the complete lack of interest in actually funding the Metro already and all it takes is someone to cut the Major budget or commit less and the whole thing is snookered.

I'd be interesting to see how much Arriva and GoNorthEast are really losing between them, if you removed Stockton and Darlington from Durham and all the contracted services and freebies which are already being given to them such as the two you mentioned there.
Storx
01 Jun 2024, 9:43 am #89

(01 Jun 2024, 9:19 am)DeltaMan I certainly think the case for doing something with both GNE and Arriva is there to be made as they are already using public money to prop up the 43/44/45 and 56 services to provide the service level they were doing before the "driver shortage", but with nothing really in return for the tax payer. I fear Stagecoach are just going to be collateral damage for the mismanagement of others.

Honestly totally agreed, it's a shame really. I just have little hope in everything being done by franchising aswell as Gannon and co are bloody awful. It's just going from one extreme to the opposite extreme and the model isn't exactly miles away from the exact same model that's just been scrapped on trains for being a mess.

Not to mention we live in a country who loves a bit of austerity with both parties commiting to it at the next election to some extent. Where's the money going to come from long term to fund this network? I certainly can't see this money coming from central government, you just have to look at the complete lack of interest in actually funding the Metro already and all it takes is someone to cut the Major budget or commit less and the whole thing is snookered.

I'd be interesting to see how much Arriva and GoNorthEast are really losing between them, if you removed Stockton and Darlington from Durham and all the contracted services and freebies which are already being given to them such as the two you mentioned there.

01 Jun 2024, 10:26 am
#90
Could Riverside become a "SuperDepot"

Aka you have riverside as the main hub to fix and repair etc ... but CPO part or even a third of the Metrocentre overflow car park to increase capacity and house say another depot with a possibility of Say overflow on an evening in Metrocentre bus station

It could potentially say house 350-400 buses within a mile radius.

Percy Main depot to sadly close and relocate to Walkergate some services and (Snowdon /Megabus) move.

If services aim to terminate at Newcastle Gateshead Metrocentre it is easier to run empty to the Metrocentre

Services can also run up and down the A1 effectively

It also means there is a possibility of making it into an electric hub

Some of if not all of Slatyford could be moved and a park and ride site be created

Blyth arriva services ( the services to Newcastle ) other blyth services move to Ashington and GCT could be also be moved over to the new site

A lot of interworking would be needed to reduce lost mileage but I don't see why say service 100 reintroduced and if a service terminates in newcastle they operate the 100 to Metrocentre then off to depot same as X66 at Gateshead

And when services leave the depot they operate X66 and 100
DaveFromUpNorth
01 Jun 2024, 10:26 am #90

Could Riverside become a "SuperDepot"

Aka you have riverside as the main hub to fix and repair etc ... but CPO part or even a third of the Metrocentre overflow car park to increase capacity and house say another depot with a possibility of Say overflow on an evening in Metrocentre bus station

It could potentially say house 350-400 buses within a mile radius.

Percy Main depot to sadly close and relocate to Walkergate some services and (Snowdon /Megabus) move.

If services aim to terminate at Newcastle Gateshead Metrocentre it is easier to run empty to the Metrocentre

Services can also run up and down the A1 effectively

It also means there is a possibility of making it into an electric hub

Some of if not all of Slatyford could be moved and a park and ride site be created

Blyth arriva services ( the services to Newcastle ) other blyth services move to Ashington and GCT could be also be moved over to the new site

A lot of interworking would be needed to reduce lost mileage but I don't see why say service 100 reintroduced and if a service terminates in newcastle they operate the 100 to Metrocentre then off to depot same as X66 at Gateshead

And when services leave the depot they operate X66 and 100

01 Jun 2024, 5:26 pm
#91
(31 May 2024, 9:24 pm)Storx Well Labour has commited that the ban on municipals is going, so I'd hold them up to that bargain. Labour mayor and Labour government.

Ideally, assuming munipals are allowed, personally I'd just like to see Nexus (not a mistake) buy a massive share in Stagecoach Busways, but still let Stagecoach have a small share - maybe 80/20%? Then franchise the rest of the network out with the ultimate aim that the new municipal above takes over Riverside and Deptford aswell.

It's the best of both worlds, have a publically owned bus network for the main urban routes but with a small share from a company who actually can run buses, rather than going all gung-ho and having the likes of Gammon playing real life Bus Tycoon.

The rest of the network will never be massively profitable, so lowest cost will probably be the best option for those routes being cross subsidised from the routes above so just franchise them out maybe controlled by Northumberland and Durham respectively rather than an office in Newcastle who doesn't get nor never will get Berwick. I don't see why you'd want to have a no growth network on the likes of the 39/40/62/63 and at the same time pay a premium to do so.

It's basically the model in Nottingham and they've arguably got the best public transport in the country outside of London and I can't see Stagecoach being unhappy over keeping a share of something that makes a massive profit rather than potentially losing everything. I'd imagine Arriva and GNE would happy to wash their hands of their depots though.

Press release on the Labour buses btw: https://labour.org.uk/updates/press-rele...-services/ - Quite hard to back down now.

Again, my question is why?

Any operator would have very limited say, not to mention control, if they only had a 20% share. It'd do nothing, other than entitle them to a share of profit or dividends, rather than that being reinvested back into the network. I'm also not sure why any operator would sell their business to the local authority for this purpose, knowing that it's in a position to win lucrative contracts for service delivery. If NECA went down the route of creating a municipal (and I think they should!), it will have to be from scratch.

There's another point, though. Normally you create a public-private partnership, when you feel that the private sector can deliver some value in what you're trying to achieve. This could be with technology projects, for example, where it requires a set of expertise that normally aren't found in great numbers in the bus companies. Whereas a private sector partner can utilise existing staff and knowledge. Similar to bus operators running buses for the local authority, given that it's their bread and butter.

I just don't see, from a strategic level, what bus operators can bring to the table outside of service delivery, to warrant a share of the business. We're in this position because nearly 40 years of deregulation, and a lack of creativity, has failed us. Leaving LAs/MCAs with a 'do nothing' and let it sink, or 'do something different' choice. Yes, there are some excellent people working for private operators, but there's more than enough opportunity to work within the public sector. I dare say they'd be better looked after too.

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Adrian
01 Jun 2024, 5:26 pm #91

(31 May 2024, 9:24 pm)Storx Well Labour has commited that the ban on municipals is going, so I'd hold them up to that bargain. Labour mayor and Labour government.

Ideally, assuming munipals are allowed, personally I'd just like to see Nexus (not a mistake) buy a massive share in Stagecoach Busways, but still let Stagecoach have a small share - maybe 80/20%? Then franchise the rest of the network out with the ultimate aim that the new municipal above takes over Riverside and Deptford aswell.

It's the best of both worlds, have a publically owned bus network for the main urban routes but with a small share from a company who actually can run buses, rather than going all gung-ho and having the likes of Gammon playing real life Bus Tycoon.

The rest of the network will never be massively profitable, so lowest cost will probably be the best option for those routes being cross subsidised from the routes above so just franchise them out maybe controlled by Northumberland and Durham respectively rather than an office in Newcastle who doesn't get nor never will get Berwick. I don't see why you'd want to have a no growth network on the likes of the 39/40/62/63 and at the same time pay a premium to do so.

It's basically the model in Nottingham and they've arguably got the best public transport in the country outside of London and I can't see Stagecoach being unhappy over keeping a share of something that makes a massive profit rather than potentially losing everything. I'd imagine Arriva and GNE would happy to wash their hands of their depots though.

Press release on the Labour buses btw: https://labour.org.uk/updates/press-rele...-services/ - Quite hard to back down now.

Again, my question is why?

Any operator would have very limited say, not to mention control, if they only had a 20% share. It'd do nothing, other than entitle them to a share of profit or dividends, rather than that being reinvested back into the network. I'm also not sure why any operator would sell their business to the local authority for this purpose, knowing that it's in a position to win lucrative contracts for service delivery. If NECA went down the route of creating a municipal (and I think they should!), it will have to be from scratch.

There's another point, though. Normally you create a public-private partnership, when you feel that the private sector can deliver some value in what you're trying to achieve. This could be with technology projects, for example, where it requires a set of expertise that normally aren't found in great numbers in the bus companies. Whereas a private sector partner can utilise existing staff and knowledge. Similar to bus operators running buses for the local authority, given that it's their bread and butter.

I just don't see, from a strategic level, what bus operators can bring to the table outside of service delivery, to warrant a share of the business. We're in this position because nearly 40 years of deregulation, and a lack of creativity, has failed us. Leaving LAs/MCAs with a 'do nothing' and let it sink, or 'do something different' choice. Yes, there are some excellent people working for private operators, but there's more than enough opportunity to work within the public sector. I dare say they'd be better looked after too.


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4707
01 Jun 2024, 9:10 pm
#92
(01 Jun 2024, 10:26 am)DaveFromUpNorth Could Riverside become a "SuperDepot"

Aka you have riverside as the main hub to fix and repair etc ... but CPO part or even a third of the Metrocentre overflow car park to increase capacity and house say another depot  with a possibility of Say overflow on an evening in Metrocentre bus station

It could potentially say house 350-400  buses within a mile radius.

Percy Main depot to sadly close and relocate to Walkergate  some services and (Snowdon /Megabus) move.

If services aim to terminate at Newcastle Gateshead Metrocentre it is easier to run empty to the Metrocentre

Services can also run up and down the A1  effectively

It also means there is a possibility of making it into an electric hub 

Some of if not all of Slatyford could be moved and a park and ride site be created

Blyth arriva services ( the services to Newcastle ) other blyth services move to Ashington and GCT could be also be moved over to the new site

A lot of interworking would be needed to reduce lost mileage but I don't see why say service 100 reintroduced and if a service terminates in newcastle they operate the 100 to Metrocentre then off to depot same as X66 at Gateshead

And when services leave the depot they operate X66 and 100

Personally don't agree with Riverside, the depot is just in the wrong place and always has been. Personally if we're going on a depot program I'd look at something like this with these routes moved around into them, anything not listed isn't moved rather than shoving everything in one place with delays caused because of dead running. The area badly needs more depots in certain areas as they're uncovered, Blyth badly needs to move and there's no need for 3 depots in close proxmidity in Sunderland with routes in bizarre triangle routes via South Tyneside or passing another depot (Belmont). All this is only 1 depot gained (or 0 if you want to count Darlington which is a problem).

NEW: Bishop Auckland
GNE: X21
Arriva: 1/5/6/8/8A/56/X75/X76
Other: Subsidised Local Routes

Belmont
ANE: X12 (All Boards)
GNE: 20/X20/65
GCT: All Durham Services

NEW: South Tyneside
GNE: 5/9/24/26/27/50
SNE: E1/E2/E6/X24/X34/All South Shields

NEW: Washington / CLS Area
GNE: X1/2/2A/4/8/78/21/25/28/29/34/Washington Locals
Other: CLS Locals

Wheatsheaf
GNE: 33/35/39/39A/39B/56/60/700/701

NEW: East Durham
GNE: 61/X6/Peterlee Locals
Arriva: 22/23/24/58/X22
SNE: 59

NEW: Sandy Lane Area
Arriva: 43/44/45/47/X7/X8/X9/X10/X11/X30/553
GNE: 352/353/354/355/Q3
GCT: 342/X46
SNE: 35/37/38/X63

Walkergate
GNE: 1 (Whitley Bay to Newcastle Only)

Percy Main
Arriva: 306/308
GNE: 41/41A/307/309/317/327
GCT: 19/335/351/359
Others: Whitley Locals

Riverside
GCT: 67/69
GNE: 1 (Newcastle to Metrocentre Only)
SNE: 6/7

Closed: Deptford, Chichester, Blyth and Washington

(01 Jun 2024, 5:26 pm)Adrian Again, my question is why?

Any operator would have very limited say, not to mention control, if they only had a 20% share. It'd do nothing, other than entitle them to a share of profit or dividends, rather than that being reinvested back into the network. I'm also not sure why any operator would sell their business to the local authority for this purpose, knowing that it's in a position to win lucrative contracts for service delivery. If NECA went down the route of creating a municipal (and I think they should!), it will have to be from scratch.

There's another point, though. Normally you create a public-private partnership, when you feel that the private sector can deliver some value in what you're trying to achieve. This could be with technology projects, for example, where it requires a set of expertise that normally aren't found in great numbers in the bus companies. Whereas a private sector partner can utilise existing staff and knowledge. Similar to bus operators running buses for the local authority, given that it's their bread and butter.

I just don't see, from a strategic level, what bus operators can bring to the table outside of service delivery, to warrant a share of the business. We're in this position because nearly 40 years of deregulation, and a lack of creativity, has failed us. Leaving LAs/MCAs with a 'do nothing' and let it sink, or 'do something different' choice. Yes, there are some excellent people working for private operators, but there's more than enough opportunity to work within the public sector. I dare say they'd be better looked after too.

Honestly I don't disagree with your points and wouldn't be against a fully public municipal company, personally I just thought it would be easier to purchase it under those terms. 20% will be a greater value than the margin which they'd gain from the same contracts (which they're not guaranteed to win anyway).

You're probably right on the comments about whether they deserve it, to be honest, but I do think a good starting block would be to try and get most of the Stagecoach Busways management team as part of the municipal company, they're network is stable and there's no real issues from them hence the lack of threads about Stagecoach on here.
Storx
01 Jun 2024, 9:10 pm #92

(01 Jun 2024, 10:26 am)DaveFromUpNorth Could Riverside become a "SuperDepot"

Aka you have riverside as the main hub to fix and repair etc ... but CPO part or even a third of the Metrocentre overflow car park to increase capacity and house say another depot  with a possibility of Say overflow on an evening in Metrocentre bus station

It could potentially say house 350-400  buses within a mile radius.

Percy Main depot to sadly close and relocate to Walkergate  some services and (Snowdon /Megabus) move.

If services aim to terminate at Newcastle Gateshead Metrocentre it is easier to run empty to the Metrocentre

Services can also run up and down the A1  effectively

It also means there is a possibility of making it into an electric hub 

Some of if not all of Slatyford could be moved and a park and ride site be created

Blyth arriva services ( the services to Newcastle ) other blyth services move to Ashington and GCT could be also be moved over to the new site

A lot of interworking would be needed to reduce lost mileage but I don't see why say service 100 reintroduced and if a service terminates in newcastle they operate the 100 to Metrocentre then off to depot same as X66 at Gateshead

And when services leave the depot they operate X66 and 100

Personally don't agree with Riverside, the depot is just in the wrong place and always has been. Personally if we're going on a depot program I'd look at something like this with these routes moved around into them, anything not listed isn't moved rather than shoving everything in one place with delays caused because of dead running. The area badly needs more depots in certain areas as they're uncovered, Blyth badly needs to move and there's no need for 3 depots in close proxmidity in Sunderland with routes in bizarre triangle routes via South Tyneside or passing another depot (Belmont). All this is only 1 depot gained (or 0 if you want to count Darlington which is a problem).

NEW: Bishop Auckland
GNE: X21
Arriva: 1/5/6/8/8A/56/X75/X76
Other: Subsidised Local Routes

Belmont
ANE: X12 (All Boards)
GNE: 20/X20/65
GCT: All Durham Services

NEW: South Tyneside
GNE: 5/9/24/26/27/50
SNE: E1/E2/E6/X24/X34/All South Shields

NEW: Washington / CLS Area
GNE: X1/2/2A/4/8/78/21/25/28/29/34/Washington Locals
Other: CLS Locals

Wheatsheaf
GNE: 33/35/39/39A/39B/56/60/700/701

NEW: East Durham
GNE: 61/X6/Peterlee Locals
Arriva: 22/23/24/58/X22
SNE: 59

NEW: Sandy Lane Area
Arriva: 43/44/45/47/X7/X8/X9/X10/X11/X30/553
GNE: 352/353/354/355/Q3
GCT: 342/X46
SNE: 35/37/38/X63

Walkergate
GNE: 1 (Whitley Bay to Newcastle Only)

Percy Main
Arriva: 306/308
GNE: 41/41A/307/309/317/327
GCT: 19/335/351/359
Others: Whitley Locals

Riverside
GCT: 67/69
GNE: 1 (Newcastle to Metrocentre Only)
SNE: 6/7

Closed: Deptford, Chichester, Blyth and Washington

(01 Jun 2024, 5:26 pm)Adrian Again, my question is why?

Any operator would have very limited say, not to mention control, if they only had a 20% share. It'd do nothing, other than entitle them to a share of profit or dividends, rather than that being reinvested back into the network. I'm also not sure why any operator would sell their business to the local authority for this purpose, knowing that it's in a position to win lucrative contracts for service delivery. If NECA went down the route of creating a municipal (and I think they should!), it will have to be from scratch.

There's another point, though. Normally you create a public-private partnership, when you feel that the private sector can deliver some value in what you're trying to achieve. This could be with technology projects, for example, where it requires a set of expertise that normally aren't found in great numbers in the bus companies. Whereas a private sector partner can utilise existing staff and knowledge. Similar to bus operators running buses for the local authority, given that it's their bread and butter.

I just don't see, from a strategic level, what bus operators can bring to the table outside of service delivery, to warrant a share of the business. We're in this position because nearly 40 years of deregulation, and a lack of creativity, has failed us. Leaving LAs/MCAs with a 'do nothing' and let it sink, or 'do something different' choice. Yes, there are some excellent people working for private operators, but there's more than enough opportunity to work within the public sector. I dare say they'd be better looked after too.

Honestly I don't disagree with your points and wouldn't be against a fully public municipal company, personally I just thought it would be easier to purchase it under those terms. 20% will be a greater value than the margin which they'd gain from the same contracts (which they're not guaranteed to win anyway).

You're probably right on the comments about whether they deserve it, to be honest, but I do think a good starting block would be to try and get most of the Stagecoach Busways management team as part of the municipal company, they're network is stable and there's no real issues from them hence the lack of threads about Stagecoach on here.

08 Jun 2024, 9:24 pm
#93
I would like to offer my congratulations to Lady Kim (perhaps a distant relative of the Kims I've encountered in a far away Kimdom) and her new deputy mayor, the glorious and indefatigable leader of Gateshead Council, the one, the only, Martin Gannon.

Through their combined experience and leadership, transport in the region will undoubtedly improve and we will all be reaping the benefits in years to come.
Clifton Hignett III
08 Jun 2024, 9:24 pm #93

I would like to offer my congratulations to Lady Kim (perhaps a distant relative of the Kims I've encountered in a far away Kimdom) and her new deputy mayor, the glorious and indefatigable leader of Gateshead Council, the one, the only, Martin Gannon.

Through their combined experience and leadership, transport in the region will undoubtedly improve and we will all be reaping the benefits in years to come.

948
09 Jun 2024, 3:03 pm
#94
(01 Jun 2024, 6:48 am)DeltaMan There isn't enough profit being made to cross-subsidise anything meaningful - something decision makers need to get a grasp of fast.

Operators will never admit it, but they effectively do that now anyway, certainly on a route by route basis. I've been on enough late evening Stagecoach trips to know they ain't making the £40+ an hour to break even on them and they don't go cap in hand to the local authority for cash either. So they must be using the money made during the day to run the evening services.

What I do think is that I have an amount of empathy for Stagecoach as they do actually provide a relatively comprehensive network at very little cost to thr taxpayer (ENCTS is a subsidy for the user, not the bus company). We do need to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water.

At the end of the day, if a politician is elected on the basis they will bring in franchising, then it's thier obligation to follow through. But they also need to be open and honest about the challenges and costs.

Of course Stagecoach have what has always been the North East’s best bus network - the Newcastle City services with high density housing. They likely prop up South Shields and Sunderland.

Arriva and GNE have mainly inter urban routes which, apart from a few, would seem to carry a lot fewer passengers per mile. Haswell, Tantobie and South Hetton won’t generate anything like the passengers that Chapel House, Walker and Heaton do.

(31 May 2024, 11:59 am)Adrian Whilst I agree that working with TfGM / Andy Burnham would be a good move, and indeed any area should do the same, I think it's worth adding some context around the reliability statistics.

There's no getting away from that they're poor, that's accepted, but I think it's well worth pointing out that TfGM (along with TfL) are one of the few that publish this level of data. Campaign groups have requested it from commercial operators for years, but it's never been forthcoming. All we get is the single encompassing figure for Tyne and Wear ITA that the Govt publish annually.


Why, what's the alternative then? You're saying that two of the main operators aren't fit for purpose, but you're not keen on a different model?

People are quick to jump on TfGM for the Bee Network, but we're forgetting that it's early days, and it's the first reversal of privatisation since the 80s. In taking everything in house, they're inheriting years of issues that haven't been left to fester. It was never going to be fixed overnight. There has to be a long term plan and ambition, and I think Manchester have that.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think franchising alone is the complete answer. I think a fully integrated network is the key, but also the ban on municipals has to be reversed too. Without that, you can never achieve the best value for money. Labour have supposedly committed to it (for what that's worth these days), but I will believe it when I see it.

Regarding your point on 'the big funding black hole', when referring to London. I think you'll always get this point raised, but we shouldn't be ashamed to spend money on infrastructure, when it's there to be used by and for the benefit of everyone. It's no different to £5 billion being allocated to paying a private company to deliver (and make profit on) fibre broadband, or the billions we give to private water companies, to sell us back our water. Personally speaking, I'm happy that my taxes contribute towards public services.
The local authorities do, of course, have access to operators reliability statistics through the “analyse bus open data” service, so will know exactly how reliable each operator and I understand each route is.

(01 Jun 2024, 6:48 am)DeltaMan There isn't enough profit being made to cross-subsidise anything meaningful - something decision makers need to get a grasp of fast.

Operators will never admit it, but they effectively do that now anyway, certainly on a route by route basis. I've been on enough late evening Stagecoach trips to know they ain't making the £40+ an hour to break even on them and they don't go cap in hand to the local authority for cash either. So they must be using the money made during the day to run the evening services.

What I do think is that I have an amount of empathy for Stagecoach as they do actually provide a relatively comprehensive network at very little cost to thr taxpayer (ENCTS is a subsidy for the user, not the bus company). We do need to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water.

At the end of the day, if a politician is elected on the basis they will bring in franchising, then it's thier obligation to follow through. But they also need to be open and honest about the challenges and costs.

Of course Stagecoach have what has always been the North East’s best bus network - the Newcastle City services with high density housing. They likely prop up South Shields and Sunderland.

Arriva and GNE have mainly inter urban routes which, apart from a few, would seem to carry a lot fewer passengers per mile. Haswell, Tantobie and South Hetton won’t generate anything like the passengers that Chapel House, Walker and Heaton do.
busmanT
09 Jun 2024, 3:03 pm #94

(01 Jun 2024, 6:48 am)DeltaMan There isn't enough profit being made to cross-subsidise anything meaningful - something decision makers need to get a grasp of fast.

Operators will never admit it, but they effectively do that now anyway, certainly on a route by route basis. I've been on enough late evening Stagecoach trips to know they ain't making the £40+ an hour to break even on them and they don't go cap in hand to the local authority for cash either. So they must be using the money made during the day to run the evening services.

What I do think is that I have an amount of empathy for Stagecoach as they do actually provide a relatively comprehensive network at very little cost to thr taxpayer (ENCTS is a subsidy for the user, not the bus company). We do need to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water.

At the end of the day, if a politician is elected on the basis they will bring in franchising, then it's thier obligation to follow through. But they also need to be open and honest about the challenges and costs.

Of course Stagecoach have what has always been the North East’s best bus network - the Newcastle City services with high density housing. They likely prop up South Shields and Sunderland.

Arriva and GNE have mainly inter urban routes which, apart from a few, would seem to carry a lot fewer passengers per mile. Haswell, Tantobie and South Hetton won’t generate anything like the passengers that Chapel House, Walker and Heaton do.

(31 May 2024, 11:59 am)Adrian Whilst I agree that working with TfGM / Andy Burnham would be a good move, and indeed any area should do the same, I think it's worth adding some context around the reliability statistics.

There's no getting away from that they're poor, that's accepted, but I think it's well worth pointing out that TfGM (along with TfL) are one of the few that publish this level of data. Campaign groups have requested it from commercial operators for years, but it's never been forthcoming. All we get is the single encompassing figure for Tyne and Wear ITA that the Govt publish annually.


Why, what's the alternative then? You're saying that two of the main operators aren't fit for purpose, but you're not keen on a different model?

People are quick to jump on TfGM for the Bee Network, but we're forgetting that it's early days, and it's the first reversal of privatisation since the 80s. In taking everything in house, they're inheriting years of issues that haven't been left to fester. It was never going to be fixed overnight. There has to be a long term plan and ambition, and I think Manchester have that.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think franchising alone is the complete answer. I think a fully integrated network is the key, but also the ban on municipals has to be reversed too. Without that, you can never achieve the best value for money. Labour have supposedly committed to it (for what that's worth these days), but I will believe it when I see it.

Regarding your point on 'the big funding black hole', when referring to London. I think you'll always get this point raised, but we shouldn't be ashamed to spend money on infrastructure, when it's there to be used by and for the benefit of everyone. It's no different to £5 billion being allocated to paying a private company to deliver (and make profit on) fibre broadband, or the billions we give to private water companies, to sell us back our water. Personally speaking, I'm happy that my taxes contribute towards public services.
The local authorities do, of course, have access to operators reliability statistics through the “analyse bus open data” service, so will know exactly how reliable each operator and I understand each route is.

(01 Jun 2024, 6:48 am)DeltaMan There isn't enough profit being made to cross-subsidise anything meaningful - something decision makers need to get a grasp of fast.

Operators will never admit it, but they effectively do that now anyway, certainly on a route by route basis. I've been on enough late evening Stagecoach trips to know they ain't making the £40+ an hour to break even on them and they don't go cap in hand to the local authority for cash either. So they must be using the money made during the day to run the evening services.

What I do think is that I have an amount of empathy for Stagecoach as they do actually provide a relatively comprehensive network at very little cost to thr taxpayer (ENCTS is a subsidy for the user, not the bus company). We do need to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water.

At the end of the day, if a politician is elected on the basis they will bring in franchising, then it's thier obligation to follow through. But they also need to be open and honest about the challenges and costs.

Of course Stagecoach have what has always been the North East’s best bus network - the Newcastle City services with high density housing. They likely prop up South Shields and Sunderland.

Arriva and GNE have mainly inter urban routes which, apart from a few, would seem to carry a lot fewer passengers per mile. Haswell, Tantobie and South Hetton won’t generate anything like the passengers that Chapel House, Walker and Heaton do.

14279
09 Jun 2024, 3:19 pm
#95
(09 Jun 2024, 3:03 pm)busmanT Of course Stagecoach have what has always been the North East’s best bus network - the Newcastle City services with high density housing. They likely prop up South Shields and Sunderland.

Arriva and GNE have mainly inter urban routes which, apart from a few, would seem to carry a lot fewer passengers per mile. Haswell, Tantobie and South Hetton won’t generate anything like the passengers that Chapel House, Walker and Heaton do.

The local authorities do, of course, have access to operators reliability statistics through the “analyse bus open data” service, so will know exactly how reliable each operator and I understand each route is.


Of course Stagecoach have what has always been the North East’s best bus network - the Newcastle City services with high density housing. They likely prop up South Shields and Sunderland.

Arriva and GNE have mainly inter urban routes which, apart from a few, would seem to carry a lot fewer passengers per mile. Haswell, Tantobie and South Hetton won’t generate anything like the passengers that Chapel House, Walker and Heaton do. 

Comparing apples and pears there mind. 1 road former pit villages vs sprawling housing estates... 

Could compare Gateshead, Low Fell and the Metrocentre that are just 3 examples of a GNE near monopoly area that probably do generate more passengers Chapel House, Walker and Heaton. But again, that would be like comparing apples and pears.

'Illegitimis non carborundum'
Andreos1
09 Jun 2024, 3:19 pm #95

(09 Jun 2024, 3:03 pm)busmanT Of course Stagecoach have what has always been the North East’s best bus network - the Newcastle City services with high density housing. They likely prop up South Shields and Sunderland.

Arriva and GNE have mainly inter urban routes which, apart from a few, would seem to carry a lot fewer passengers per mile. Haswell, Tantobie and South Hetton won’t generate anything like the passengers that Chapel House, Walker and Heaton do.

The local authorities do, of course, have access to operators reliability statistics through the “analyse bus open data” service, so will know exactly how reliable each operator and I understand each route is.


Of course Stagecoach have what has always been the North East’s best bus network - the Newcastle City services with high density housing. They likely prop up South Shields and Sunderland.

Arriva and GNE have mainly inter urban routes which, apart from a few, would seem to carry a lot fewer passengers per mile. Haswell, Tantobie and South Hetton won’t generate anything like the passengers that Chapel House, Walker and Heaton do. 

Comparing apples and pears there mind. 1 road former pit villages vs sprawling housing estates... 

Could compare Gateshead, Low Fell and the Metrocentre that are just 3 examples of a GNE near monopoly area that probably do generate more passengers Chapel House, Walker and Heaton. But again, that would be like comparing apples and pears.


'Illegitimis non carborundum'

4707
11 Jun 2024, 2:35 pm
#96
(10 May 2024, 11:59 am)Adrian Getting rid of the chocolate teapot that is Cllr Gannon, should be seen as the number one priority, and take Hughes and Lewis with him.

It's all good they have just by promoting him to deputy mayor instead. 

Couldn't make it up, don't expect anything from this now and expect it to be a complete failure while costing the tax payer a fortune in the process. 

Put idiots in charge, get idiot results.
Storx
11 Jun 2024, 2:35 pm #96

(10 May 2024, 11:59 am)Adrian Getting rid of the chocolate teapot that is Cllr Gannon, should be seen as the number one priority, and take Hughes and Lewis with him.

It's all good they have just by promoting him to deputy mayor instead. 

Couldn't make it up, don't expect anything from this now and expect it to be a complete failure while costing the tax payer a fortune in the process. 

Put idiots in charge, get idiot results.

2304
11 Jun 2024, 5:15 pm
#97
(11 Jun 2024, 2:35 pm)Storx It's all good they have just by promoting him to deputy mayor instead. 

Couldn't make it up, don't expect anything from this now and expect it to be a complete failure while costing the tax payer a fortune in the process. 

Put idiots in charge, get idiot results.

Agreed

Kind Regards
Tez
V514DFT
11 Jun 2024, 5:15 pm #97

(11 Jun 2024, 2:35 pm)Storx It's all good they have just by promoting him to deputy mayor instead. 

Couldn't make it up, don't expect anything from this now and expect it to be a complete failure while costing the tax payer a fortune in the process. 

Put idiots in charge, get idiot results.

Agreed


Kind Regards
Tez

267
11 Jun 2024, 10:14 pm
#98
He was the only viable option. Newcastle’s leader was close to being removed by the local Labour councillors last month, South Tyneside has no end of issues, Sunderland have just been forced to change leader by Labour’s National Executive Committee, North Tyneside’s Mayor has announced she’s retiring, the leader of Northumberland County Council is a Tory and the leader in Durham is a Lib Dem. It’s ended up being Gannon by default.
markydh
11 Jun 2024, 10:14 pm #98

He was the only viable option. Newcastle’s leader was close to being removed by the local Labour councillors last month, South Tyneside has no end of issues, Sunderland have just been forced to change leader by Labour’s National Executive Committee, North Tyneside’s Mayor has announced she’s retiring, the leader of Northumberland County Council is a Tory and the leader in Durham is a Lib Dem. It’s ended up being Gannon by default.

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