On Fri, 4 Sep 2020 16:10:32 +0000 (UTC), Lew 1
On Fri, 4 Sep 2020 08:24:11 +0000 (UTC), Lew 1
The few commercial services near me are back to full timetable, so
where were these bothersome trips that have been pulled?
Evening buses are the best example. In the Home Counties, youíre lucky if
any bus route runs after 5pm. They rely on the pensioners and their bus
passes during the day, but they donít go out past 4, so the bus company
But if Iím going to get a bus somewhere during the day, I also need to be
able to get a bus back after 5pm. There isnít, so I canít. Hence the bus
option isnít available to me even in the part of the day where they are
One of the great unforeseen consequences of the National bus pass was the
way that they became the only customer a bus company needed to cater for.
Ever since it came in, regular bus fares have skyrocketed because, well it
doesnít affect the vast majority of riders who get on anyway so why not.
If you could make your money in the daytime out of pass-holders and not
need to bother serving other people paying cash fares but probably needing
a wider-ranging service to tempt them on... why would you?
This problem was recognised: Some of our local commercial routes began
having evening services subsidised by the local council where operators
cancelled their evening services. But because they went out to the cheapest
bidder, the route wasnít run by the same bus company as the daytime and,
guess what? Return tickets were not valid!
Then even they were cut when the local council made more budget cuts.
When COVID struck, the first thing my local routes pulled was their already
scarce evening services. As timetables have been brought back up to
frequency... guess what? No more buses after 5pm - even on the routes that
did have a paltry late bus or two that ran if they felt like it.
They are now reforming their timetables based on current loadings. Since
those current loadings now exclude anyone in the sort of situation I state
above, it seems doubtful theyíll be coming back.
Outside of London and other major cities, buses in the UK are a sea of
disappointment and frustration which only serve as an almost cast-iron
reason why you should always use a car.
I agree with your overall view that buses outside London aren't what
they should be but I'm still not sure I agree with your opinion that
operators used Covid as an excuse to ditch 'bothersome' trips. You've
said that evening journeys are often LA-sponsored, so an operator
simply can't stop running them until the contract's up. Commercial
services, on the other hand, have always been at the whim of the
market. Nobody forced operators to run bothersome trips so they never
needed an excuse to stop running them.