Discussion:
CT franchise extended
(too old to reply)
Richard Fairhurst
2006-03-31 10:53:34 UTC
Permalink
[Press release from DfT follows]

31/03/2006 11:03

Department for Transport (National)

CENTRAL TRAINS FRANCHISE EXTENDED TO AUTUMN 2007



The Department for Transport today confirmed that Central Trains'
franchise will be extended from 01 April 2006 to 11 November 2007.

New terms have been introduced to encourage further improvements in
performance. The current timetable and level of services will be
maintained.

The extension helps facilitate the re-mapping of franchises in the
Midlands, which was announced by DfT in October 2005. Three new
franchises - East Midlands, West Midlands and Cross Country - will
replace the current four franchises operated by Central Trains,
Silverlink, Virgin Cross Country and Midland Mainline.

Remapping existing franchises will facilitate closer working between
track and train to improve efficiency and performance. The extension of
the contract will help to align the end dates of the four existing
franchises.

Rail Minister Derek Twigg said:

"This agreement means that existing services will continue until
November 2007, with an emphasis on building on recent performance
improvements.

"It means that we can continue with our plans for the new franchises,
which will deliver better services for passengers."

Discussions are taking place with other franchisees to enable the
transition to the new franchises. DfT is also continuing work on the
detailed specification for the new franchises, which will be consulted
upon in due course. We expect to announce the franchise awards in
Summer 2007.

Notes to editors

1. Central Trains is owned by the National Express Group. It provides
local services through the East and West Midlands and long distance
services from the Midlands to South Wales, the North West, East Anglia
and the East Coast.

2. The original seven year Central Trains franchise was awarded in
March 1997.

3. The new Franchise Agreement will be placed on the public register at
a future date

4. For further information please contact the Department for Transport
press office on 020 7944 3108 or visit http://www.dft.gov.uk.

Press Enquires: 020 7944 3108
E-mail: ***@dft.gov.uk
Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport Website: http://www.dft.gov.uk
Chris Hills
2006-03-31 12:21:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Fairhurst
[Press release from DfT follows]
31/03/2006 11:03
Department for Transport (National)
CENTRAL TRAINS FRANCHISE EXTENDED TO AUTUMN 2007
The Department for Transport today confirmed that Central Trains'
franchise will be extended from 01 April 2006 to 11 November 2007.
OH GOD NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

How could they do this?!@#!@#!@ I was so looking forward to being rid of
them :-(
John B
2006-03-31 12:24:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chris Hills
Post by Richard Fairhurst
The Department for Transport today confirmed that Central Trains'
franchise will be extended from 01 April 2006 to 11 November 2007.
OH GOD NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
them :-(
Given that their franchise would otherwise have expired tomorrow, I
think you're probably better off with the DfT's decision. Even the
mighty First might have had trouble taking over a complex train
operation with one day's notice...
--
John Band
john at johnband dot org
www.johnband.org
Peter Fox
2006-03-31 21:16:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by John B
Post by Chris Hills
Post by Richard Fairhurst
The Department for Transport today confirmed that Central Trains'
franchise will be extended from 01 April 2006 to 11 November 2007.
OH GOD NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
them :-(
Given that their franchise would otherwise have expired tomorrow, I
think you're probably better off with the DfT's decision. Even the
mighty First might have had trouble taking over a complex train
operation with one day's notice...
You obviously don't have to suffer them.

Peter Fox
Jonathan Morton
2006-04-01 07:59:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Fox
Post by Chris Hills
Post by Richard Fairhurst
The Department for Transport today confirmed that Central Trains'
franchise will be extended from 01 April 2006 to 11 November 2007.
OH GOD NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
You obviously don't have to suffer them.
Please tell me it's April the first...

Regards

Jonathan
KAS
2006-04-01 08:17:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jonathan Morton
Post by Peter Fox
Post by Chris Hills
Post by Richard Fairhurst
The Department for Transport today confirmed that Central Trains'
franchise will be extended from 01 April 2006 to 11 November 2007.
OH GOD NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
You obviously don't have to suffer them.
Please tell me it's April the first...
Regards
Jonathan
and you think another name will make it better - same people running it,
different colour paint thats all !!!
Jonathan Morton
2006-04-01 08:36:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by KAS
and you think another name will make it better - same people running it,
different colour paint thats all !!!
Fair point, I realise.

But at least if we had the same people running (say) XC and the
Nottingham-Cardiff services we might get some integration. We might even put
Nottingham on the XC map - it's ludicrous that Derby (a much less important
place) gets a better service just because it was the HQ of the Midland
Railway all those years ago.

Or we might get a well-thought-out pattern of fasts and slows on the
Birmingham-Derby line. At present the evening service is nominally "two an
hour". But it's nothing of the sort since the trains are at xx49 and xx03.

Regards

Jonathan
David Thornhill
2006-04-01 09:02:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jonathan Morton
Post by KAS
and you think another name will make it better - same people running it,
different colour paint thats all !!!
Fair point, I realise.
But at least if we had the same people running (say) XC and the
Nottingham-Cardiff services we might get some integration. >
Doubt it. Nottingham currently has two TOCs. Who knows what may happen, but
it could end up with five (East Mids, West Mids, XC, TPE, NT). Local
stations out of Nottingham such as Attenborough and Spondon are randomly
served currently by Cardiff/Hereford services. Do they go to XC? So
Nottingham/Derby's commuter services could be dictated by some distant TOC
HQ with priorities other than a commuter at Spondon.

The Nottingham - Hereford service gets split at Birmingham from June and
rumour suggests that will not go to XC. If not, who gets the Brum -
Nottingham bit? Hence the possibility of West Mids in above list. NT appears
via new Nottingham - Leeds service that slowly lurches forward.

Civil Servants at DfT are probably still trying to find East Midlands on
their map. Integration! DfT wouldn't spot that if it was burrowing up their
arse.

David

p.s. Today's homework. Use Travel Planner for say Nottingham - Hereford and
Nottingham Droitwich itineraries for 03 April, then 12 June, departing at
10:00. Compare results and discuss.
Roland Perry
2006-04-01 09:27:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Thornhill
Nottingham currently has two TOCs. Who knows what may happen, but
it could end up with five (East Mids, West Mids, XC, TPE, NT).
What would the XC route be? The Stansteds don't go via Nottingham any
more.
--
Roland Perry
Roland Perry
2006-04-01 09:20:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jonathan Morton
But at least if we had the same people running (say) XC and the
Nottingham-Cardiff services we might get some integration. We might even put
Nottingham on the XC map
I think it has been said before that XC would get the
Birmingham-Stansted route, but that leaves a number of other "long
distance" ex-CT routes to apportion out.
--
Roland Perry
Peter Fox
2006-04-05 19:07:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jonathan Morton
But at least if we had the same people running (say) XC and the
Nottingham-Cardiff services we might get some integration. We might even put
Nottingham on the XC map
I think it has been said before that XC would get the Birmingham-Stansted
route, but that leaves a number of other "long distance" ex-CT routes to
apportion out.
--
It isn't that simple. I think that you will find that the actual operators
of routes have not been finally decided. Most people that I have spoken too
don't think it appropriate that XC should run Notts - Derby and Derby - Brum
all stations stoppers. And Notts - Hereford ceases to exist in June. So
possibly East Midlands will run Notts - Derby - Brum stoppers and West
Midlnds Brum - Hereford. XC would run Notts - Cardiff though.

Peter Fox
Roland Perry
2006-04-06 06:26:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Fox
I think it has been said before that XC would get the Birmingham-Stansted
route, but that leaves a number of other "long distance" ex-CT routes to
apportion out.
It isn't that simple. I think that you will find that the actual operators
of routes have not been finally decided.
I'm sure that's the case.
Post by Peter Fox
Most people that I have spoken too don't think it appropriate that XC
should run Notts - Derby and Derby - Brum all stations stoppers.
Agreed.
Post by Peter Fox
And Notts - Hereford ceases to exist in June. So possibly East Midlands
will run Notts - Derby - Brum stoppers and West Midlnds Brum -
Hereford. XC would run Notts - Cardiff though.
I think there a plan to give Notts-Liverpool to TPX, but what about
Notts-Norwich? Maybe TPX again - their current routes are somewhat
spread out, coast to coast.

I'm presuming all the stopping services east of Notts will go to East
Midlands.
--
Roland Perry
Peter Fox
2006-04-06 08:46:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Peter Fox
Post by Roland Perry
I think it has been said before that XC would get the
Birmingham-Stansted
route, but that leaves a number of other "long distance" ex-CT routes to
apportion out.
It isn't that simple. I think that you will find that the actual operators
of routes have not been finally decided.
I'm sure that's the case.
Post by Peter Fox
Most people that I have spoken too don't think it appropriate that XC
should run Notts - Derby and Derby - Brum all stations stoppers.
Agreed.
Post by Peter Fox
And Notts - Hereford ceases to exist in June. So possibly East Midlands
will run Notts - Derby - Brum stoppers and West Midlnds Brum - Hereford.
XC would run Notts - Cardiff though.
I think there a plan to give Notts-Liverpool to TPX, but what about
Notts-Norwich? Maybe TPX again - their current routes are somewhat spread
out, coast to coast.
Definitely not. TPE tell me that they are only interested in running to
Notts.

PF
Tim Fenton
2006-04-06 16:08:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Fox
Post by Roland Perry
I think there a plan to give Notts-Liverpool to TPX, but what about
Notts-Norwich? Maybe TPX again - their current routes are somewhat spread
out, coast to coast.
Definitely not. TPE tell me that they are only interested in running to
Notts.
So one service running through Nottingham replaced by two terminating there.
How is that going to work?
--
Tim

Selective killfiling - because life's too short
Ross
2006-04-06 17:37:11 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 6 Apr 2006 17:08:11 +0100, Tim Fenton wrote in
Post by Tim Fenton
Post by Peter Fox
Post by Roland Perry
I think there a plan to give Notts-Liverpool to TPX, but what about
Notts-Norwich? Maybe TPX again - their current routes are somewhat spread
out, coast to coast.
Definitely not. TPE tell me that they are only interested in running to
Notts.
So one service running through Nottingham replaced by two terminating there.
How is that going to work?
Anyone wanting to make cross-Nottingham journeys will simply have to
reply on connections, dodgy as such things often are in this country.
--
Ross, in Lincoln, most likely being cynical or sarcastic, as ever.
Reply-to will bounce. Replace the junk-trap with my name to e-mail me.

Demonstration of poor photography: <http://www.rosspix.me.uk> - updated with Czech photos
AD: <http://www.merciacharters.co.uk> for European charters occasionally gripped by me
Ken Ward
2006-04-07 19:20:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ross
On Thu, 6 Apr 2006 17:08:11 +0100, Tim Fenton wrote in
Post by Tim Fenton
Post by Peter Fox
Post by Roland Perry
I think there a plan to give Notts-Liverpool to TPX, but what about
Notts-Norwich? Maybe TPX again - their current routes are somewhat spread
out, coast to coast.
Definitely not. TPE tell me that they are only interested in running to
Notts.
So one service running through Nottingham replaced by two terminating there.
How is that going to work?
Anyone wanting to make cross-Nottingham journeys will simply have to
reply on connections, dodgy as such things often are in this country.
--
Ross, in Lincoln, most likely being cynical or sarcastic, as ever.
Reply-to will bounce. Replace the junk-trap with my name to e-mail me.
A "dodgey connection" or a "turned back short" service, take your pick?

Ken Ward.
Roland Perry
2006-04-06 20:25:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Fenton
Post by Peter Fox
Post by Roland Perry
I think there a plan to give Notts-Liverpool to TPX, but what about
Notts-Norwich? Maybe TPX again - their current routes are somewhat spread
out, coast to coast.
Definitely not. TPE tell me that they are only interested in running to
Notts.
So one service running through Nottingham replaced by two terminating there.
How is that going to work?
The current CT service is often split at Nottingham anyway. As long as
there's a "connection" (maybe an 8-10 minute overlap", it shouldn't be
too much of a problem. The platforms are plenty long enough to have the
two trains sat there nose to tail (and they do that all the time).
--
Roland Perry
Roland Perry
2006-04-06 10:01:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Fox
Post by Roland Perry
I think there a plan to give Notts-Liverpool to TPX, but what about
Notts-Norwich? Maybe TPX again - their current routes are somewhat spread
out, coast to coast.
Definitely not. TPE tell me that they are only interested in running to
Notts.
Hmm, so who gets it? Seems a bit far off their area for East Midlands,
and no-one has mentioned XC, and it's a bit of a short route for them
(unless the also got the Liverpool-Notts leg). What about One (based at
the Norwich end, of course); I think they still run to Peterborough from
time to time.
--
Roland Perry
Ken Ward
2006-04-07 19:18:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Peter Fox
Post by Roland Perry
I think it has been said before that XC would get the
Birmingham-Stansted
route, but that leaves a number of other "long distance" ex-CT routes to
apportion out.
It isn't that simple. I think that you will find that the actual operators
of routes have not been finally decided.
I'm sure that's the case.
Post by Peter Fox
Most people that I have spoken too don't think it appropriate that XC
should run Notts - Derby and Derby - Brum all stations stoppers.
Agreed.
Post by Peter Fox
And Notts - Hereford ceases to exist in June. So possibly East Midlands
will run Notts - Derby - Brum stoppers and West Midlnds Brum - Hereford.
XC would run Notts - Cardiff though.
I think there a plan to give Notts-Liverpool to TPX, but what about
Notts-Norwich? Maybe TPX again - their current routes are somewhat spread
out, coast to coast.
Then re-name them as c2c (Coast to Coast)

Ken Ward.
w***@netscape.net
2006-04-05 22:24:37 UTC
Permalink
Quite right too - we don't want a "joined-up" service which people
might actually want to use !!!!!

Lets not think about a service for the passengers - they only pay the
fares after all.

It wasn't more than two years ago that my mother could travel from her
local station of Pembrey and Burry Port to Birmingham New St direct.
Or, not much further into history could she catch an "Inter City" train
from Swansea to Birmingham.

Sadly, elderly passengers (who are not good at changing trains) are not
catered for on even one through train a day, on large parts of the
network.

The crumbling edge of service in the post-privatisation GBTT !!!
Stevie D
2006-04-05 20:55:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by w***@netscape.net
It wasn't more than two years ago that my mother could travel from her
local station of Pembrey and Burry Port to Birmingham New St direct.
I have to say - so what?

Burry Port is a very small town of about 8,000 people, in Dyfed,
Wales. Its principal local centres are Llanelli, Swansea and
Carmarthen.

Birmingham is a major city some 120 miles away, as the crow flies, and
considerably further away by major routes. Why should there be a
direct train between these two places?

Do you have any idea how many towns of 8000 or more people there are
within 120 miles of Birmingham? Should they all have a daily direct
train service to the Black Hole? If not, why should Pembrey & Burry
Port be any different?

P&BP has an hourly express service from Carmarthen to Swansea, Cardiff
- its capital city - and on to Manchester ... plus less frequent
services to Pembroke and Milford Haven. That sounds perfectly adequate
to me. The (minute number of) passengers who want to travel to
Birmingham can make the journey with a single change at Cardiff
Central. As can those who want to travel to London or Bristol, who I
would imagine make up a much larger group of people.

The town I live in is twice the size of Burry Port, and closer to
Birmingham, but has no direct train service to there. And nor need it
have. It has a good range of destinations, and connections to
Birmingham can be made at a number of them.
Post by w***@netscape.net
Sadly, elderly passengers (who are not good at changing trains) are
not catered for on even one through train a day, on large parts of the
network.
At major stations such as Cardiff Central, elderly or infirm
passengers can book assistance for when they need to change trains.

Elderly people will generally be buying railcard-discounted tickets at
cheap, off-peak times. Are you seriously suggesting that we structure
the entire rail network around providing a once-daily direct service
between every pair of stations across the UK on the off-chance that an
elderly person might one day want to make that journey?

That is more reminiscent of the railways under steam - we have moved
on from there, and recognised that a smaller number of destinations,
combined with more frequent and regular trains to set places provides
a far more usable and attractive service for the vast majority of
passengers.
--
Stevie D
\\\\\ ///// Bringing dating agencies to the
\\\\\\\__X__/////// common hedgehog since 2001 - "HedgeHugs"
___\\\\\\\'/ \'///////_____________________________________________
David H Wild
2006-04-01 09:19:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jonathan Morton
But at least if we had the same people running (say) XC and the
Nottingham-Cardiff services we might get some integration. We might even
put Nottingham on the XC map - it's ludicrous that Derby (a much less
important place) gets a better service just because it was the HQ of
the Midland Railway all those years ago.
It isn't quite as simple as that. Derby gets a better service because it is
the junction for so many lines. In that sense it is a more important place.
--
David Wild using RISC OS on broadband
newbie
2006-04-01 12:06:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by David H Wild
Post by Jonathan Morton
But at least if we had the same people running (say) XC and the
Nottingham-Cardiff services we might get some integration. We might even
put Nottingham on the XC map - it's ludicrous that Derby (a much less
important place) gets a better service just because it was the HQ of
the Midland Railway all those years ago.
It isn't quite as simple as that. Derby gets a better service because it is
the junction for so many lines. In that sense it is a more important place.
Ok, I'll bite

Why is Derby "much less important" as a city?
Roland Perry
2006-04-01 12:54:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by newbie
Why is Derby "much less important" as a city?
A few ideas why it's less important; you must judge the "muchness" for
yourself:

Feels like a smaller place, conurbation population is approx 450k,
versus 600k in Nottingham.

Nottingham is one of eight Core Cities, Derby isn't.

Derby doesn't figure in the country's top-10 retail centres (Nottingham
is 5th).

Derby University is ranked about 110 (out of 120), Nottingham about 10th
(& Nottingham Trent about 60th).
--
Roland Perry
Neil Williams
2006-04-06 09:16:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
Nottingham is one of eight Core Cities, Derby isn't.
What's that other than a game of buzzword bingo?

Neil
Roland Perry
2006-04-06 20:23:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Neil Williams
Post by Roland Perry
Nottingham is one of eight Core Cities, Derby isn't.
What's that other than a game of buzzword bingo?
It's a club comprised of cities. A bit like the G8's a club comprised of
countries.
--
Roland Perry
Neil Williams
2006-04-06 21:06:44 UTC
Permalink
Roland Perry wrote:

[Core Cities]
Post by Roland Perry
It's a club comprised of cities. A bit like the G8's a club comprised of
countries.
Self-selected, then. If that's the case, it doesn't determine anything
other than what they think of themselves.

Neil
Roland Perry
2006-04-07 06:22:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Neil Williams
[Core Cities]
Post by Roland Perry
It's a club comprised of cities. A bit like the G8's a club comprised of
countries.
Self-selected, then.
The ODPM seems involved too (although I realise there are probably few
Prescott fans here).
Post by Neil Williams
If that's the case, it doesn't determine anything
other than what they think of themselves.
The cities (Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester,
Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield) wish to have some collective
influence, which would be diluted somewhat if the credentials of the
members was easily open to criticism.

It's quite clear that Derby simply isn't in the same league as the
cities listed above.

Meanwhile, to add to the original list there's Nottingham East Midlands
Airport (so named despite being in Leicestershire and closer to Derby
than to either Leicester or Nottingham).

obRail: Loughborough seems to be the railhead of choice; and if they
ever build a parkway station at Ratcliffe, it will be at least a ten
minute bus ride away.
--
Roland Perry
Ken Ward
2006-04-07 19:38:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Neil Williams
[Core Cities]
Post by Roland Perry
It's a club comprised of cities. A bit like the G8's a club comprised of
countries.
Self-selected, then. If that's the case, it doesn't determine anything
other than what they think of themselves.
If I had to live in either it would be Derby, but, not for long, (even if I
have had many happy days fishing the Derwent).

Ken Ward, Bolton.
Tim Fenton
2006-04-01 15:29:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Fox
You obviously don't have to suffer them.
Be careful what you wish for ...
--
Tim

Selective killfiling - because life's too short
Peter Fox
2006-04-05 19:14:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Fenton
Post by Peter Fox
You obviously don't have to suffer them.
Be careful what you wish for ...
--
Tim
Its not just the inept CT management who, to my knowledge have never been to
Sheffield, that ruin the Norwich - Liverpool service, its the whole idea of
running it from a servicing depot in Nottingham and a maintenance depot in
Birmingham. If anything goes wrong around here, the next working just gets
cancelled. If TPE are to get Liverpool - Notts (and I am hearing that they
are), then working the service from Manchester should be far better.

Central's latest idea, so I'm told, is that when the Erewash Valley Line is
closed for rebuilding and resignalling for seven weeks next year, trains
will run via Derby instead. This will take longer, so they plan to miss
Sheffield out and run via Dore South curve except in the peaks. However,
since the trains are all either pretty full, full or overcrowded and since
two-thirds of pax coming from Manchester bale out at Sheffield, nobody has
thought of where they would be accommodated, sinec they certainly would not
all fit in one 3-car 185 per hour!

Peter Fox
Ross
2006-04-06 00:46:32 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 5 Apr 2006 20:14:06 +0100, Peter Fox wrote in
<75ydnaOrIp-***@bt.com>, seen in uk.railway:

[....]
Post by Peter Fox
Its not just the inept CT management who, to my knowledge have never been to
Sheffield, that ruin the Norwich - Liverpool service, its the whole idea of
running it from a servicing depot in Nottingham and a maintenance depot in
Birmingham.
Of course, running a Cleethorpes to Manchester Airport service from
"servicing" points at Cleethorpes platform and Sheffield and from a
maintenance depot in Leeds is perfectly alright, isn't it?

Oh, and let us not forget, Nottingham Eastcroft is a maintenance
depot, not a servicing point. Not a very good maintenance depot,
indeed, but it *is* a maintenance depot.


Still, as we'd all really *love* to believe, everything will be *so*
much better once CT ceases to exist. It doesn't seem to have occurred
to those who make this claim that CT's inept managers are experts at
keeping their jobs, which means we'll get another attack of CT
manglers being promoted whilst the people who know what they're doing
discover they're "no longer needed".

Connex-in-the-East-Midlands, anyone? With dogboxen replaced by
off-lease Pacers to reduce the lease costs, perhaps?
--
Ross, in Lincoln, most likely being cynical or sarcastic, as ever.
Reply-to will bounce. Replace the junk-trap with my name to e-mail me.

Demonstration of poor photography: <http://www.rosspix.me.uk> - updated with Czech photos
AD: <http://www.merciacharters.co.uk> for European charters occasionally gripped by me
Peter Fox
2006-04-06 08:50:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ross
On Wed, 5 Apr 2006 20:14:06 +0100, Peter Fox wrote in
[....]
Post by Peter Fox
Its not just the inept CT management who, to my knowledge have never been to
Sheffield, that ruin the Norwich - Liverpool service, its the whole idea of
running it from a servicing depot in Nottingham and a maintenance depot in
Birmingham.
Of course, running a Cleethorpes to Manchester Airport service from
"servicing" points at Cleethorpes platform and Sheffield and from a
maintenance depot in Leeds is perfectly alright, isn't it?
No it isn't and of course the units will be maintained at Ardwick in future,
although I assume that Cleethorpes and Sheffield crews will continue to
operate it. And TPE are putting in a proper servicing point in at
Cleethorpes.

PF
Tim Fenton
2006-04-06 16:12:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Fox
Post by Ross
Of course, running a Cleethorpes to Manchester Airport service from
"servicing" points at Cleethorpes platform and Sheffield and from a
maintenance depot in Leeds is perfectly alright, isn't it?
No it isn't and of course the units will be maintained at Ardwick in
future, although I assume that Cleethorpes and Sheffield crews will
continue to operate it. And TPE are putting in a proper servicing point in
at Cleethorpes.
You're a South Yorkshire resident, Peter, so you won't need reminding who
the largest bus operator in the county is, and that they're hacking off the
PTE big time. And TPX is run by ... as Private Eye might have said: "I
wonder if they are in any way related".
--
Tim

Selective killfiling - because life's too short
Neil Williams
2006-04-06 16:31:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Fenton
You're a South Yorkshire resident, Peter, so you won't need reminding who
the largest bus operator in the county is, and that they're hacking off the
PTE big time. And TPX is run by ... as Private Eye might have said: "I
wonder if they are in any way related".
Large commercial bus operators have a habit of hacking off PTEs -
there's nothing new there, and it happened in Milton Keynes as well,
where local independent MK Metro (a pretty professional operation, and
now owned by Arriva but not rebranded) and the Council are forever at
each others' throats.

The reason why, of course, is that commercial and political objectives
rarely meet. It isn't a problem with First, Stagecoach, Arriva, MK
Metro or anyone else as such, nor with the PTEs or Councils as they
exist, it's a problem with the whole idea of trying to semi-regulate
autonomous private companies, and why the London bus contracting
structure is far better than the regional free-for-all.

Neil
Ken Ward
2006-04-07 19:25:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Neil Williams
Post by Tim Fenton
You're a South Yorkshire resident, Peter, so you won't need reminding who
the largest bus operator in the county is, and that they're hacking off the
PTE big time. And TPX is run by ... as Private Eye might have said: "I
wonder if they are in any way related".
Large commercial bus operators have a habit of hacking off PTEs -
there's nothing new there, and it happened in Milton Keynes as well,
where local independent MK Metro (a pretty professional operation, and
now owned by Arriva but not rebranded) and the Council are forever at
each others' throats.
The reason why, of course, is that commercial and political objectives
rarely meet. It isn't a problem with First, Stagecoach, Arriva, MK
Metro or anyone else as such, nor with the PTEs or Councils as they
exist, it's a problem with the whole idea of trying to semi-regulate
autonomous private companies, and why the London bus contracting
structure is far better than the regional free-for-all.
I did notice yesterday at the bus station outside Euston. Although all buses
were branded as London Red Buses they were operated by First, Arriva and
another company which I can't remember. I presume Uncle Ken keeps a close
eye on the operations of the respective companies. The only complaints
yesterday were about the Bus Lanes being subjected to "roadworks". £3.50 for
All Day (offpeak) Bus Ticket is very reasonable considering the area
covered.

Ken Ward.
Neil Williams
2006-04-07 20:57:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Ward
I did notice yesterday at the bus station outside Euston. Although all buses
were branded as London Red Buses they were operated by First, Arriva and
another company which I can't remember. I presume Uncle Ken keeps a close
eye on the operations of the respective companies.
They're all tendered, like Council-sponsored evening services elsewhere
in the country, and pure commercial operation within the Zones isn't
permitted (I believe). TfL decides on the route, timetable and fares,
and awards it to the best bid. Gives quite a mix of operators.
Post by Ken Ward
£3.50 for
All Day (offpeak) Bus Ticket is very reasonable considering the area
covered.
I think that's peak as well. Used to be 2 quid not all that long ago,
and I think the Oystercard cap is 3 quid.

Neil
A Woodcraft
2006-04-07 21:16:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Neil Williams
Post by Ken Ward
I did notice yesterday at the bus station outside Euston. Although all buses
were branded as London Red Buses they were operated by First, Arriva and
another company which I can't remember. I presume Uncle Ken keeps a close
eye on the operations of the respective companies.
They're all tendered, like Council-sponsored evening services elsewhere
in the country, and pure commercial operation within the Zones isn't
permitted (I believe). TfL decides on the route, timetable and fares,
And dictates the colour of the bus, which must be red over something
like 80% of the body [1].

I think they choose service frequency rather than actual times though,
but I could be wrong.

Commercial operation is certainly permitted within the zones on
cross-border services, but even there I think there are fairly strict
rules (on emissions, for example).

Adam

[1] In fact this is only for journeys within zone 1, but in practise
it's just about all buses. Presumably the flexibility of not having
two different liveried sets of buses outweighs the desire to have some
of the buses in corporate purple, turqoise or whatever.
Ken Ward
2006-04-07 23:24:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Ward
I did notice yesterday at the bus station outside Euston. Although all buses
were branded as London Red Buses they were operated by First, Arriva and
another company which I can't remember. I presume Uncle Ken keeps a close
eye on the operations of the respective companies.
They're all tendered, like Council-sponsored evening services elsewhere
in the country, and pure commercial operation within the Zones isn't
permitted (I believe). TfL decides on the route, timetable and fares,
and awards it to the best bid. Gives quite a mix of operators.
Post by Ken Ward
£3.50 for
All Day (offpeak) Bus Ticket is very reasonable considering the area
covered.
I think that's peak as well. Used to be 2 quid not all that long ago,
and I think the Oystercard cap is 3 quid.

I presumed it was Off-Peak as I did not leave Manchester until 12:15.

Ken Ward.
Tim Fenton
2006-04-09 09:51:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Neil Williams
The reason why, of course, is that commercial and political objectives
rarely meet. It isn't a problem with First, Stagecoach, Arriva, MK
Metro or anyone else as such, nor with the PTEs or Councils as they
exist, it's a problem with the whole idea of trying to semi-regulate
autonomous private companies, and why the London bus contracting
structure is far better than the regional free-for-all.
First are the country's largest bus operator, but not in London - that
distinction goes to Arriva. But in London, they can only make around 8% on
services, and First make an overall net margin on bus operations well into
double figures.

However, for the passenger (for whom an omnibus service operates) the
verdict is damning: in the 20 years since deregulation, passenger numbers
outside London are down almost half, whereas in London, they are *up* almost
as much.
--
Tim

Selective killfiling - because life's too short
Paul Cummins
2006-04-09 12:35:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Fenton
However, for the passenger (for whom an omnibus service operates)
No, the omnibus service operates for the benefit of the shareholders -
the customers are merely the implement by which a profit is made.
--
Paul Cummins - Always a NetHead
Wasting Bandwidth since 1981
Tim Fenton
2006-04-09 15:31:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Cummins
Post by Tim Fenton
However, for the passenger (for whom an omnibus service operates)
No, the omnibus service operates for the benefit of the shareholders -
the customers are merely the implement by which a profit is made.
Perhaps I should have said "for whom an omnibus service *should* operate". I
recognise the First-style definition - and in Bristol the return is
certainly what comes first. Customer service consists of issuing "sorry"
letters and then doing nothing to improve things.
--
Tim

Selective killfiling - because life's too short
Roland Perry
2006-04-09 12:43:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Fenton
However, for the passenger (for whom an omnibus service operates) the
verdict is damning: in the 20 years since deregulation, passenger numbers
outside London are down almost half, whereas in London, they are *up* almost
as much.
They are also up in Nottingham where although there's a few Arriva long
distance routes, the local services are run by none of the major
national companies. (The bus patronage has also increased *despite* the
arrival of the tram, which doesn't count as a bus in this context).

"Nottingham is close to the centre of England at the heart of
the East Midlands. About 290,000 people live in the city. For
the second year running Nottingham has ranked as the fourth best
shopping destination. The City Centre is 2nd place in retail
league. The undisputed capital of the East Midlands, it is the
9th largest travel-to-work area in England with a population of
740,000 and 3 million people within an hour's drive. It is also
the fastest growing major city in the UK in terms of job
creation (RICS Foundation).

"Since 1991, there has been a clear increase in the number of
commuter trips between the City and its travelling area, in both
directions. The responsibility for local transport is split
between Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County
Council for their respective parts of the conurbation, and the
Greater Nottingham Local Transport Plan (LTP) has been produced
jointly on a rational basis, towards a more sustainable
environment. Nottingham achieved increased bus usage and halted
traffic growth, whilst successfully managing significant
economic growth.

http://www.managenergy.net/products/R1180.htm
--
Roland Perry
Ross
2006-04-09 13:25:30 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 9 Apr 2006 10:51:56 +0100, Tim Fenton wrote in
Post by Tim Fenton
However, for the passenger (for whom an omnibus service operates)
That ceased to be the case in 1985 when the Buses Act was passed.
--
Ross, in Lincoln, most likely being cynical or sarcastic, as ever.
Reply-to will bounce. Replace the junk-trap with my name to e-mail me.

Demonstration of poor photography: <http://www.rosspix.me.uk> - updated with Czech photos
AD: <http://www.merciacharters.co.uk> for European charters occasionally gripped by me
Peter Fox
2006-04-06 17:21:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Fenton
Post by Peter Fox
Post by Ross
Of course, running a Cleethorpes to Manchester Airport service from
"servicing" points at Cleethorpes platform and Sheffield and from a
maintenance depot in Leeds is perfectly alright, isn't it?
No it isn't and of course the units will be maintained at Ardwick in
future, although I assume that Cleethorpes and Sheffield crews will
continue to operate it. And TPE are putting in a proper servicing point
in at Cleethorpes.
You're a South Yorkshire resident, Peter, so you won't need reminding who
the largest bus operator in the county is, and that they're hacking off
the PTE big time. And TPX is run by ... as Private Eye might have said: "I
wonder if they are in any way related".
Yes, I am well aware of WorstBus. But TPE does seem to have good management.
Incidentally our local WorstBus MD has just resigned and gone to Stagecoach
Lincolnshire.
Tim Fenton
2006-04-09 09:56:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Fox
Post by Tim Fenton
You're a South Yorkshire resident, Peter, so you won't need reminding who
the largest bus operator in the county is, and that they're hacking off
"I wonder if they are in any way related".
Yes, I am well aware of WorstBus. But TPE does seem to have good management.
Has their management changed since they took over TPX, promptly fouled up
the service and then tried to blame their ineptitude on Arriva? The bloke at
the top (the deeply untrustworthy Vernon Barker) is the same.
Post by Peter Fox
Incidentally our local WorstBus MD has just resigned and gone to
Stagecoach Lincolnshire.
The bloke who presided over First Bristol when they had their latest
altercation with the Traffic Commissioners (Alex Parry I think he's called)
left to join CT. Thought you'd have mentioned that by now.
--
Tim

Selective killfiling - because life's too short
Peter Fox
2006-04-09 15:56:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Fenton
Post by Peter Fox
Post by Tim Fenton
You're a South Yorkshire resident, Peter, so you won't need reminding
who the largest bus operator in the county is, and that they're hacking
off the PTE big time. And TPX is run by ... as Private Eye might have
said: "I wonder if they are in any way related".
Yes, I am well aware of WorstBus. But TPE does seem to have good management.
Has their management changed since they took over TPX, promptly fouled up
the service and then tried to blame their ineptitude on Arriva?
How did they foul up the service?

The bloke at
Post by Tim Fenton
the top (the deeply untrustworthy Vernon Barker) is the same.
But the ones under him (who are the ones that actually do things) are
different.
Post by Tim Fenton
Post by Peter Fox
Incidentally our local WorstBus MD has just resigned and gone to
Stagecoach Lincolnshire.
The bloke who presided over First Bristol when they had their latest
altercation with the Traffic Commissioners (Alex Parry I think he's
called) left to join CT. Thought you'd have mentioned that by now.
I didn't know.

Peter Fox
Tim Fenton
2006-04-10 17:47:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Fox
Post by Tim Fenton
Post by Peter Fox
Yes, I am well aware of WorstBus. But TPE does seem to have good management.
Has their management changed since they took over TPX, promptly fouled up
the service and then tried to blame their ineptitude on Arriva?
How did they foul up the service?
Units all over the place - 2 car instead of 3, 2 units instead of 1 -
joining and splitting en route with seemingly not everyone informed
beforehand, sets not cleaned, sets not maintained and/or put right, and
after I finished in York (relief!) an "emergency" TT because unit
availability was poor.

And cancellations.

There was then a concerted attempt to brief against Arriva and dump the
grief on them. Real reason was more than likely that they didn't get any
continuation of Arriva's contribution (staff, cleaning, maintenance) defined
properly before the handover. That of course was not for Arriva to sort.
Post by Peter Fox
Post by Tim Fenton
The bloke at
the top (the deeply untrustworthy Vernon Barker) is the same.
But the ones under him (who are the ones that actually do things) are
different.
Actually very well put. Not subtle, but what the heck.
Post by Peter Fox
Post by Tim Fenton
The bloke who presided over First Bristol when they had their latest
altercation with the Traffic Commissioners (Alex Parry I think he's
called) left to join CT. Thought you'd have mentioned that by now.
I didn't know.
He was succeeded by a former army colonel called Tony Anthistle. Bit like
admitting that they needed to get half decently organised. At least they
passed the TC revisit.
--
Tim

Selective killfiling - because life's too short
Ross
2006-04-06 17:21:25 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 6 Apr 2006 09:50:18 +0100, Peter Fox wrote in
Post by Peter Fox
Post by Ross
On Wed, 5 Apr 2006 20:14:06 +0100, Peter Fox wrote in
[....]
Post by Peter Fox
Its not just the inept CT management who, to my knowledge have never been
to Sheffield, that ruin the Norwich - Liverpool service, its the whole idea
of running it from a servicing depot in Nottingham and a maintenance depot
in Birmingham.
Of course, running a Cleethorpes to Manchester Airport service from
"servicing" points at Cleethorpes platform and Sheffield and from a
maintenance depot in Leeds is perfectly alright, isn't it?
No it isn't
Strange how you never mention it here until challenged, despite being
very willing to shout about CT without provocation [1]. But then you
never mention overcrowding on those services, either, or
cancellations, or late-running. I wonder how silent you'd be were
those services operated by CT?


I see TPX's 1B85 is 30 late off Grimsby this afternoon, the forming
1B76 having not even made it to Cleethorpes. 1B78 40 late, 1B80 15
late.

1B76 is a valid delay behind a failed freight in the Scunthorpe area,
but I can't see how 1B78 can use the same freight as an excuse
(although that's what LDB is suggesting) - the timings don't match.
Unit failure, perhaps?

Hmm... 2S22 (Northern stopper ex Manchester) lost 17 minutes at Dore.
Did you stop him for a brew? :o))) Seriously, I assume it was waiting
a path into Sheffield; I see VXC are all over the place this
afternoon, bridge bash Bromsgrove according to National Rail's
disruptions page, so that's going to be causing big problems.

Ooh, CT's 1L26 30 late through Sheffield, too, after the forming 1L26
had a 10 minute loss between Norwich to Thetford (allegedly "following
a slow moving freight train ahead, but that doesn't sound right for
that part of the journey. CCLDB only seems to show the most recent
reason for delay) which escalated. Lost 13 minutes Totley Tunnel to
Earles Sidings; I assume it must have followed the freight across the
Hope Valley as there's no stopping passenger shown in front of it.
Post by Peter Fox
and of course the units will be maintained at Ardwick in future,
I have this strange feeling that whilst the units will be nominally
based at Ardwick (just as CT 170s are based at Tyseley and 158s at
Coldham's Lane Cambridge), they'll be maintained at whichever
maintenance depot is operationally convenient, just as happens on CT.

I just hope it works better than it does on CT. But them much of that
is down to Maintrain, who don't care about anything much as long as a
train actually moves.
Post by Peter Fox
although I assume that Cleethorpes and Sheffield crews will continue to
operate it. And TPE are putting in a proper servicing point in at
Cleethorpes.
There's little sign of anything happening there as yet. Well, in fact
there's no sign of anything happening.



[1] I've got to stop doing this; I look like I'm defending CT.
--
Ross, in Lincoln, most likely being cynical or sarcastic, as ever.
Reply-to will bounce. Replace the junk-trap with my name to e-mail me.

Demonstration of poor photography: <http://www.rosspix.me.uk> - updated with Czech photos
AD: <http://www.merciacharters.co.uk> for European charters occasionally gripped by me
Peter Fox
2006-04-06 20:51:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ross
On Thu, 6 Apr 2006 09:50:18 +0100, Peter Fox wrote in
Post by Peter Fox
Post by Ross
On Wed, 5 Apr 2006 20:14:06 +0100, Peter Fox wrote in
[....]
Post by Peter Fox
Its not just the inept CT management who, to my knowledge have never been
to Sheffield, that ruin the Norwich - Liverpool service, its the whole idea
of running it from a servicing depot in Nottingham and a maintenance depot
in Birmingham.
Of course, running a Cleethorpes to Manchester Airport service from
"servicing" points at Cleethorpes platform and Sheffield and from a
maintenance depot in Leeds is perfectly alright, isn't it?
No it isn't
Strange how you never mention it here until challenged, despite being
very willing to shout about CT without provocation [1]. But then you
never mention overcrowding on those services, either, or
cancellations, or late-running. I wonder how silent you'd be were
those services operated by CT?
Not true. I might not have mentioned it on this news group, because the
threads have been about the CT remapping. But I can assure you that I have
been most vocal in the past (in the Sheffield Star and on Radio Sheffield)
about overcrowding on TPX and also about blockades being scheduled when
there is an international football match in Manchester.

Yes, South Trans-Pennine is a poor timekeeper, but although there are unit
problems, most of the lateness seems to be down to delays caused by freights
between Immingham, Scunthorpe and Doncaster. Tonight I caught the 19.42 ex
Donny. It left on time (15 secs b.t. actually) but got stuck at the signal
at Holmes Junction and got to Sheffield 8 mins late.

The reason I criticise CT so much is that they totally ignore their
customers. So did ATN when they were running TPX although they didn't do as
many stupid things. But at least First TP listen and have made timetable
alterations at the request of passengers (and I don't just mean at Dore!).

PF
Alan J. Flavell
2006-04-06 22:25:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Fox
The reason I criticise CT so much is that they totally ignore their
customers.
Just for the record, I travelled via Crewe to Longton on Thursday
evening, and back on Monday morning.

The CT train - which I recognised as being the same type as I had been
accustomed to on the Glasgow - Edinburgh shuttles, so it must have
been a 170 - was clean, comfortable, smooth running (smoother in fact
than the - very rough when powered - Pendolino down from Glasgow), and
on-time both ways.

Which was a nice change from the previous 15-whatveritwas that
previously had been on the route, which seemed to be routinely late,
and, although comfortable enough in a rattly sort of way, always
seemed shabby and dirty.

Maybe the fact that they're now operating to/from Derby, instead of
attempting Nottingham or even Skeg, has made the difference. But, as
far as I was concerned, the connection worked for me.

CT still don't seem to be able to afford proper ticket snips for their
conductors, though. I got a biro scribble the one way (even though
the ticket had already been gripped by VWC - I think the blur reads
1M17), and no more than a "thank you" the other way (the ticket being
subsequently gripped, quite some way into the return trip, as VXC
1S42).

The PIS on the 170's even managed to tell the truth, most of the time
(I did notice it /still/ announcing the next station is Kidsgrove,
after we'd left and were well on the way to Alsager).

And on my outward trip, I think it's the first time that the
conductor has actually bothered to announce Longton, instead of
leaving the passenger or two to work it out for themselves :-}

cheers
Ross
2006-04-07 09:41:05 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 6 Apr 2006 21:51:02 +0100, Peter Fox wrote in
Post by Peter Fox
Post by Ross
Post by Peter Fox
Post by Ross
[....]
Post by Peter Fox
Its not just the inept CT management who, to my knowledge have never
been to Sheffield, that ruin the Norwich - Liverpool service, its the
whole idea of running it from a servicing depot in Nottingham and a
maintenance depot in Birmingham.
Of course, running a Cleethorpes to Manchester Airport service from
"servicing" points at Cleethorpes platform and Sheffield and from a
maintenance depot in Leeds is perfectly alright, isn't it?
No it isn't
Strange how you never mention it here until challenged, despite being
very willing to shout about CT without provocation [1]. But then you
never mention overcrowding on those services, either, or
cancellations, or late-running. I wonder how silent you'd be were
those services operated by CT?
Not true. I might not have mentioned it on this news group,
In which case it is true, because I specifically stated "mention it
****here****". Does the emphasis help you notice the bit about
mentioning it here (i.e. on the newsgroup)?
Post by Peter Fox
because the threads have been about the CT remapping.
Except those which haven't been, of course. But we've had this
discussion before, and you've refused to accept that you could
possibly be picking on one operator because of personal dislike rather
than actual fault, so why should I expect you to change now?
Post by Peter Fox
But I can assure you that I have
been most vocal in the past (in the Sheffield Star and on Radio Sheffield)
As David Hansen would say, "nice swerve".


[...]
Post by Peter Fox
The reason I criticise CT so much is that they totally ignore their
customers. So did ATN when they were running TPX
But you refused to accept any criticism of them on this group. QED.
--
Ross, in Lincoln, most likely being cynical or sarcastic, as ever.
Reply-to will bounce. Replace the junk-trap with my name to e-mail me.

Demonstration of poor photography: <http://www.rosspix.me.uk> - updated with Czech photos
AD: <http://www.merciacharters.co.uk> for European charters occasionally gripped by me
Paul Ebbens
2006-04-01 12:56:54 UTC
Permalink
Rather late in the game to extend a franchise the day before it expires...
what does NatEx think...
Post by Richard Fairhurst
[Press release from DfT follows]
31/03/2006 11:03
Department for Transport (National)
CENTRAL TRAINS FRANCHISE EXTENDED TO AUTUMN 2007
The Department for Transport today confirmed that Central Trains'
franchise will be extended from 01 April 2006 to 11 November 2007.
New terms have been introduced to encourage further improvements in
performance. The current timetable and level of services will be
maintained.
The extension helps facilitate the re-mapping of franchises in the
Midlands, which was announced by DfT in October 2005. Three new
franchises - East Midlands, West Midlands and Cross Country - will
replace the current four franchises operated by Central Trains,
Silverlink, Virgin Cross Country and Midland Mainline.
Remapping existing franchises will facilitate closer working between
track and train to improve efficiency and performance. The extension of
the contract will help to align the end dates of the four existing
franchises.
"This agreement means that existing services will continue until
November 2007, with an emphasis on building on recent performance
improvements.
"It means that we can continue with our plans for the new franchises,
which will deliver better services for passengers."
Discussions are taking place with other franchisees to enable the
transition to the new franchises. DfT is also continuing work on the
detailed specification for the new franchises, which will be consulted
upon in due course. We expect to announce the franchise awards in
Summer 2007.
Notes to editors
1. Central Trains is owned by the National Express Group. It provides
local services through the East and West Midlands and long distance
services from the Midlands to South Wales, the North West, East Anglia
and the East Coast.
2. The original seven year Central Trains franchise was awarded in
March 1997.
3. The new Franchise Agreement will be placed on the public register at
a future date
4. For further information please contact the Department for Transport
press office on 020 7944 3108 or visit http://www.dft.gov.uk.
Press Enquires: 020 7944 3108
Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport Website: http://www.dft.gov.uk
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