"Refreshed 144" !

Bus and Coach operations, new or changed services and timetables for First Midland Red Buses Limited or its predecessor, Midland Red West Limited.
DD12
Posts: 417
Joined: 19:49 Monday 4th July 2016

"Refreshed 144" !

Post by DD12 » 22:03 Saturday 7th October 2017

Thanks Adam for posting us the picture of the green Volvo bus in the thread "Repaints&Refurbs".

I had been pondering what the best way would be to introduce these very different looking buses into service, - bearing in mind that it could take until after Xmas for all 12 to be ready for the 144. -

- I think the "strip" above the side windows proclaiming "I'm only half-dressed ...... (etc)" - is very clever -
and I bet the idea came from Ray Stenning of Best Impressions design (?)

- Ray appeared in at least one advert (for his business) in just his under-pants
(in Buses magazine, at least) :D

On the practical side, I will be interested to see how the 144 and 144A will be worked to give the maximum possible reliability to prevent decline in passenger numbers and get growth instead :-

IF it is intended to become 100% green BRANDED single-deckers -
- what will happen when the buses are late or very late, returning on the southbound section to Worcester ? -
- I cannot imagine First having even one spare green bus on stand-by at Crowngate, ready to plug the gap in the northbound service.

Therefore I guess that people in Birmingham and Bromsgrove who are wanting the 144, will still have to look-out for purply-pink fronted buses (and dirty-old "Barbies").
UNLESS ......
unless there were to be some spare green buses on another WR service that could be "easily borrowed" at Crowngate -
the only suitable service in my opinion, would be the 35 ( - "Very high frequency" - AND often "bunched").

- How about some (non seat-belted) members of the very useful 66691-99 batch of Volvos being painted in the green livery, and being put on the 35 ?

(I would also like to see the setting - down route of the loop-ended 35 changed so it reaches a terminus, where, because of bunching, a bus could be sent onto almost any route - subject to drivers hours and breaks, and needing radio-control or modern equivalents).

Some of you will be able to correct my brain and logic disorders above, but I cannot help but think that I am missing something, and that something else will change when all 12 Volvos are in service -
a Bromsgrove or Droitwich outstation perhaps ??

DD12
Posts: 417
Joined: 19:49 Monday 4th July 2016

Re: "Refreshed 144" ! ( - and 35 ! )

Post by DD12 » 22:49 Saturday 7th October 2017

P.S. - There is nothing to stop First from ordering some shorter - NEW - Volvo single-deckers, as far as I know (?)

AND - what I have in mind for a "35" terminus in Warndon is -
- although Worcester doesn't have a complete ring-road, - - on the eastern side it appears to me that we have "segments" of a circle which would allow buses to be sent to where needed - north, east , and south.

TimBrown
Posts: 229
Joined: 05:59 Monday 4th July 2016
Location: Worcester

Re: "Refreshed 144" !

Post by TimBrown » 05:46 Sunday 8th October 2017

DD12 wrote:
22:03 Saturday 7th October 2017
Thanks Adam for posting us the picture of the green Volvo bus in the thread "Repaints&Refurbs".



Some of you will be able to correct my brain and logic disorders above, but I cannot help but think that I am missing something, and that something else will change when all 12 Volvos are in service -
a Bromsgrove or Droitwich outstation perhaps ??
The second hand Volvo's will all be upgraded to Euro 6 emission standard to comply with the new Birmingham regulations to be enforced sometime in early 2018 (I believe). I reckon that the only other vehicles in the fleet to comply with Euro 6 may be the Streetlite Max single deckers and (route 44 branded) Streetdeck's; do the earlier Streetlite comply with Euro 5 or Euro 6? Any replacement bus other than a Euro 6 can only 'legally' operate on the 144A as of early 2018.

Interestingly, even the newest diesel trains which operate into Birmingham New Street, Moor Street and Snow Hill are only up to IIIA standard at best, so basically kicking out vast quantities of NOX and unhealthy particles - and for a very long time to come; so much for a 'green' City Centre! Funny old world of contradictions isn't it?

ANDREW
Posts: 99
Joined: 00:38 Monday 4th July 2016
Location: Bromsgrove.

Re: "Refreshed 144" !

Post by ANDREW » 13:09 Sunday 8th October 2017

DD12 wrote:
22:03 Saturday 7th October 2017

On the practical side, I will be interested to see how the 144 and 144A will be worked to give the maximum possible reliability to prevent decline in passenger numbers and get growth instead :-

Could not the 144a revert to a 144 and go through to Brum again ?? Three buses per hour then if one fails to appear them passengers do not have an hour wait in Brum. :?:

DD12
Posts: 417
Joined: 19:49 Monday 4th July 2016

Re: "Refreshed 144" !

Post by DD12 » 13:30 Sunday 8th October 2017

Thanks v.much Tim,
I was thinking that bus operators had until 2020 to comply in central Brum, so that makes a big difference !

..... and sorry everyone that I got "a bit carried away" with my thoughts about various ways to utilise bunched vehicles on the 35.

As for the 144, my GUESS would be that very few Worcester people use it to travel all the way between Worcester and Brum - ?? - (except perhaps Saturdays and Xmas ?) - (Does anyone have recent statistics/ knowledge please ?)
- and can pensioners use their passes to do it for free ?

My GUESS is that the 144 is only needed between Birmingham and Bromsgrove, and/or, Birmingham and Droitwich, and with a separate and reliable service between Worcester and Droitwich (and/ or Worcester and Bromsgrove).
- this might alleviate the effect of traffic jams when they occur in both Worcester and Brum at the same time.

It might be that the 144 - "has worked well for 100 years, and should be left alone" - but what about the last few years ?? - has it become a "sacred cow" ?
- have passenger numbers been plummeting because of unreliability due to traffic and unreliable vehicles ??

DD12
Posts: 417
Joined: 19:49 Monday 4th July 2016

Re: "Refreshed 144" !

Post by DD12 » 13:47 Sunday 8th October 2017

ANDREW wrote:
13:09 Sunday 8th October 2017
DD12 wrote:
22:03 Saturday 7th October 2017

On the practical side, I will be interested to see how the 144 and 144A will be worked to give the maximum possible reliability to prevent decline in passenger numbers and get growth instead :-

Could not the 144a revert to a 144 and go through to Brum again ?? Three buses per hour then if one fails to appear them passengers do not have an hour wait in Brum. :?:
Thanks Andrew, -
- there's so many ways to crack an egg, aren't there ! :)

- how about a joint service with National Express West Midlands ?
(Are Worcester's new ticket machines the same ones NXWM are using or going to use ?)

bmmoboy
Posts: 53
Joined: 20:02 Tuesday 5th July 2016

Re: "Refreshed 144" !

Post by bmmoboy » 22:22 Sunday 8th October 2017

Tim

With regards to your comment about diesel trains throwing out noxious emissions - it is rather ironic that the present government has stated that all new cars built from 2040 will have to be electric, they haven't thought about where all this electricity will come from, and they have cancelled some of the electrification projects!

TimBrown
Posts: 229
Joined: 05:59 Monday 4th July 2016
Location: Worcester

Re: "Refreshed 144" !

Post by TimBrown » 16:36 Monday 9th October 2017

bmmoboy wrote:
22:22 Sunday 8th October 2017
Tim

With regards to your comment about diesel trains throwing out noxious emissions - it is rather ironic that the present government has stated that all new cars built from 2040 will have to be electric, they haven't thought about where all this electricity will come from, and they have cancelled some of the electrification projects!
I think that Governments of all political persuasions have sold the electorate short for 50 years with promises that have not been met. Electricity generation in this country is a joke, even China with a reputation for environmentally unfriendly coal fired power stations produces 25% of its electricity by hydro-electric set-ups. All the revenues from North Sea oil and gas seem to have been squandered by the UK whereas Norway invested in major capital hydro-electric projects to provide for 95% of their electricity needs. Why haven't we utilised our hilly regions and rivers - Worcester pioneered the first ever hydro-electric power station at Lower Wick in 1897, or thereabouts, and ran one of the first electric tram systems in the country.

As for electric cars, the batteries themselves will be made from rare metals which cannot at present be recycled economically, so what happens when Lithium runs out in Chile and China?

Incidentally, we will soon be importing electricity by undersea cables from Norway, Iceland and Holland in addition to the current agreement with the French. I think the current reliance on dodgy deals with foreign countries to build and run nuclear power stations means that fossil fuels will still be in use long after 2040, though cost of ever scarcer petrol and diesel fuel may lead to heavy reduction in current levels of public service networks, outside the London conurbation, and more people walking and using bicycles (to the benefit of their health).

Sorry, that doesn't sort the problems with our 144 and 35 routes, perhaps longer layover times are needed in Birmingham, and reduced frequency on the 35 with return to additional circular routes as before to give the bus users of Warndon greater choice of their route into the City? Special offers on the 35 when it was made the main route to counter the threat of Diamond some years ago could be introduced to attract customers onto alternative journeys via Bilford Road, Tolladine Road, Tunnel Hill and Warndon Wood/Ronkswood (especially a constant service around Canterbury Road).

x68
Posts: 6
Joined: 23:21 Monday 11th July 2016

Re: "Refreshed 144" !

Post by x68 » 21:43 Tuesday 10th October 2017

Not sure if still case in Birmingham City Centre but layover time was not allowed . Buses were supposed to load and unload only.
I wonder how long it will be for the green buses to appear on another route. As Adam remarked there is zero interest in route branded buses in Worcester at present.

willr7
Posts: 59
Joined: 21:53 Friday 11th August 2017

Re: "Refreshed 144" !

Post by willr7 » 08:14 Wednesday 11th October 2017

Quick question, is the PVR for the 144 more than 12?

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