Possible Non-Runners (?)

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

Possible Non-Runners (?)

Post by DD12 » 17:45 Thursday 8th September 2016

Can anyone tell me if the service 32, 16.45 departure from Crowngate ran this afternoon ?
(I looked-out for it, but didn't see it). :?

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

Re: Possible Non-Runners (?)

Post by DD12 » 19:11 Friday 9th September 2016

DD12 wrote:
17:45 Thursday 8th September 2016
Can anyone tell me if the service 32, 16.45 departure from Crowngate ran this afternoon ?
(I looked-out for it, but didn't see it). :?
UPDATE: Same again today !
Anyone arriving at the bus station at 16.40 to catch the 16.45 32 had to wait til
circa. 17.12 for the 17.05 dep. of the 32 !
This was worked by 33401 which beforehand was on the 32A returning to the city centre, and had only reached Sidbury by 17.07 - (this working is subjected to severe delays on the Southern Link road).

I believe late PM journeys have got missed off the 32 for a very long time, with one of the excuses being "traffic jams on the other side of city" -
which of course no longer applies.

I think this looks like "the bad old First", and undermines all the good, hard work that has been done.
Since April, the allocation of vehicles at WR has been reduced by 7, so I think Worcester passengers should NEVER AGAIN hear the excuse - "we were short of buses".
- Similarly, there aught to be enough drivers for the reduced number of buses in service.
IF there is a shortage of drivers, then why wreck the 32 when there aught to be one driver (and one bus) that could be taken off the high-frequency 30, 31, 35 ?
What will happen next week when the Sixth Form College extras return ?? :cry:

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

Re: Possible Non-Runners (?)

Post by DD12 » 15:47 Saturday 17th September 2016

I have now contacted the company about the continuing, missing bus !
(This Tues, Wed, Thurs,Fri)
The big problem as I see it is that when the 16.45 32 from Crowngate is missed off, then the "return leg" - the 17.05 from St.Peters is also missing, causing a 40 minute (+) wait for the next one.

- I thought I'd better take a look for the 17.05 on Thursday, just in case First had an ingenious system to provide an off-service bus from the east, south, or west, to input the 32 at St.Peters, but of course there wasn't one,
and by 17.55 I saw the same people still waiting at the stops, as the 17.45 32 departure from St.Peters hadn't got there yet.
(The double-decker from Kempsey then turned-up).

Another POSSIBLE problem could be that the small number of people currently trying to use the 17.05 have not been complaining ? - ( - "because it doesn't do any good" - ??)
- There were only about 6 people waiting for it, along the whole route, on Thursday, and none at all Friday, ie yesterday ( - I wonder why that was !?!?)

Either someone at the company has made a major F*ck-up, or I have :shock:

Other things I saw this week were:
On Tuesday the 16.30 (Crowngate) 333 to Upton, had only got as far as Sidbury by 16.57, and it was a SOLO, which was full, with standees, on one of the hottest days of the year.
(In the past I have seen standees on this working, when using a full-length single-decker AND running on time).

Wednesday, it was a full size single-decker, and got to Sidbury by 16.38 !
- Good ? - well yes, but people arriving at Crowngate for the 16.45 32, had to wait 20 minutes because it didn't run !

All the observations above, were made when there were no roadworks, accidents or motorway closures affecting the area !
(Apart from the delayed 32A mentioned in my previous posts and the REGULAR traffic jam between Crowngate and Sidbury at these times, that has been going-on for YEARS, - and the 16 minute journey time to St.Peters shown in the timetable is very unhelpful).
;)

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

Re: Possible Non-Runners (?)

Post by TimBrown » 12:36 Sunday 18th September 2016

DD12 wrote:
15:47 Saturday 17th September 2016
I have now contacted the company about the continuing, missing bus !
(This Tues, Wed, Thurs,Fri)
The big problem as I see it is that when the 16.45 32 from Crowngate is missed off, then the "return leg" - the 17.05 from St.Peters is also missing, causing a 40 minute (+) wait for the next one.
It should be simple enough for a person within operational management to check which buses ran on the timings in question last week, the GPS times and positions will verify and validate your observations. If nothing is done, I guess the nearest Traffic Commissioner may be interested in persistent lateness and omitted buses, though I am led to believe that lost mileage these days is not punishable by fines provided good reasons (hopefully not excuses) are given. The Commissioner may insist on the buses being re-timetabled to suit the traffic conditions as was done in Bristol a few years ago, but as the road works from Whittington to St Peters is a relatively short term problem and should improve journey times in the near future I doubt that much can be done.

I wonder where the scheduler reside these days, it was done from Chelmsford for a time which doesn't bode well for local knowledge of the conditions in our notoriously 'peak period' congested City.

As for using a Solo on a crush loaded peak period service instead of a full-size bus, it does look very bad, but I wonder if this was a breakdown replacement as Worcester garage may be down to the bone with vehicles undergoing servicing and repaints and nothing spare?

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

Re: Possible Non-Runners (?)

Post by bmmoboy » 15:52 Sunday 18th September 2016

I think that lateness, so long as it isn't persistent, is not punished by the Traffic Commissioners, but failure to run a service on a regular basis does attract heavy fines.

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

Re: Possible Non-Runners (?)

Post by DD12 » 17:47 Monday 19th September 2016

Thanks Tim for your post.
Well-considered and knowledgeable, as usual.

P.S. - It ran today :)

WR1st
Posts: 19
Joined: 17:04 Monday 4th July 2016

Re: Possible Non-Runners (?)

Post by WR1st » 20:17 Monday 19th September 2016

DD12 wrote:
17:47 Monday 19th September 2016
P.S. - It ran today :)
It did and it was me driving it Lol. I departed around 1651.

I think it should be more reliable from now on though. I operated the 365 from Hanley Castle school prior to the 1645 32. I collected the vehicle from Padmore Street at 1505 and ran private to the school. It was 33043. I reached Hanley School at around 1535. By the time I had loaded around eighty plus pupils I departed around ten minutes late. Loads of ten trip tickets to check and issue along with numerous singles or bus pass sales. I arrived at Link Top around ten minutes late. 33043 has a cab floor door opening mechanism and will not allow the vehicle to move until the doors are closed. I ran private from Link Top and had a pretty good run into Worcester and operated the 1645 32 albeit a little late. There are numerous conclusions from what I have written to validate the piss poor departure of the 1645 32.

Late last week I had the same duty and was switched to cover the 1700 420 Bromyard service as the driver wasn't familiar with the route. He took the 1645 out in service but was approx 15 minutes late.

I personally always operate every single bit of mileage unless otherwise instructed.

I carried very few passengers and this is probably due to the fact that the 1645 32 departure is so far since the changes very unreliable.

TimBrown should be a big part of the Crowngate Midland Red operations. I wouldn't mind betting you are the only person who has noticed this piss poor departure problem even though we currently have more chiefs than indians :twisted:

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

Re: Possible Non-Runners (?)

Post by DD12 » 21:21 Monday 19th September 2016

Great post from you Mr. WR1st, thank you.

MattW
Posts: 348
Joined: 20:42 Sunday 3rd July 2016
Location: Welland

Re: Possible Non-Runners (?)

Post by MattW » 21:34 Monday 19th September 2016

Tim come out of retirement! Worcester needs you! ;)

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

Re: Possible Non-Runners (?)

Post by TimBrown » 04:50 Tuesday 20th September 2016

WR1st wrote:
20:17 Monday 19th September 2016
DD12 wrote:
17:47 Monday 19th September 2016
P.S. - It ran today :)
TimBrown should be a big part of the Crowngate Midland Red operations. I wouldn't mind betting you are the only person who has noticed this piss poor departure problem even though we currently have more chiefs than indians :twisted:
Thanks for your kind comments, but I think these should be addresses to Mr DD12, I merely replied to his post with a few observations from the point of view of a long retired ex-Worcester bus driver. Being a bus driver has its good points, but also can be very frustrating, if like Mr WR1st, you try to complete all the services on the running card during peak periods. Though I have never been in their shoes, the supervisors at Inspector and Controller level don't have it easy either trying to cope with driver shortages and bus breakdowns against a backdrop of fleet strength cut to the bone, a lot of quick thinking and experience is necessary to keep the buses running.

There was a time when an Inspector stood at the entrance to the bus station in peak periods with a list of services to cover with departure times and I believe he used buses as they came in to cover the next service in line; I have been diverted from my running card in the dim and distant past to run a less frequent route, or a last evening bus at say 17-45 hours. From the driving seat it was difficult to assess how effective this method was at keeping services running, but it doesn't appear to be carried out these days. Did it work?

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