Fun With Bus Route Branding

A fun little article on How to brand or rebrand our bus routes

One of the key parts of the Department for Transport’s National Bus Strategy is local branding based on community focus instead of operational needs. At present, there are some examples of best practice with Transdev and The Go-Ahead Group marketing its bus routes under memorable names. So much so that passengers are able to remember their bus routes by name instead of number.

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Leyland Titan, Trans-Lancs Vehicle Rally, 2013.

Bus Back Better: Towards a Second Bus Renaissance?

With the possibility of bus franchising in Greater Manchester and improved local networks, has the government fallen in love with our buses?

There are four things that the creator of this blog shares with Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, otherwise known as Prime Minister Boris Johnson MP. One of them is a lackadaisical approach to haircare, plus we share the same horoscope (both myself and the PM are Geminis). We also have impeccable taste in doggies with Jack Russell Terriers. The fourth one is a love of buses.

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Bower Fold backdrop

Book Review: British Football’s Greatest Grounds

Not only a coffee table book for groundhoppers; a must for any football fan

  • Title: British Football’s Greatest Grounds: One Hundred Must-See Football Venues;
  • Author: Mike Bayly;
  • Photography: various contributors including David Bauckman, Paul Paxford, Colin McPherson, Andy Nunn, Stuart Tree, Ben Webster,
  • Publisher: Pitch Publishing Limited (2020);
  • Recommended Selling Price: £30.00 (hardback).

At this moment in time, you may be missing your football fix if you often go out to see your favourite team. Due to the lockdown, only Elite League football teams (National Leagues North and South upwards) can continue their season. In what is now known as The Trident Leagues (Northern Premier, Southern and Isthmian leagues), league football has been suspended till further notice. Likewise with its regional feeder leagues.

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Optare Solo, Stagecoach Greater Manchester, MX58 HCK

Exact Fare Policy Raises More Than £122k for NHS Charities Together

Stagecoach passengers thanked for supporting major donation to the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Appeal

  • Over £122,000 raised by Stagecoach passengers for NHS charity with £19,271.72 raised by Stagecoach Greater Manchester passengers;
  • Passengers thanked for their support in the exact fare scheme, though passengers still encouraged to use contactless payment wherever possible.

The Stagecoach Group has thanked its customers across the UK for helping to raise more than £122,000 for the NHS Charities Together COVID-19 Appeal. As part of this total amount, Stagecoach Greater Manchester’s contribution was £19,271.72.

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Northern Class 195, Manchester Airport

Rail Franchising, 1994 – 2020: An Honest Obituary

System exacerbated fragmented nature of National Rail network

Rail Franchising, a part of British railway policy since 1994, was laid to rest at the age of twenty-six. Its original aim was to raise standards across the rail network and improve on services launched by the outgoing British Railways Board. Today, it was announced by Transport Minister Grant Shapps that all franchised operations will be replaced by Emergency Recovery Management Agreements for six to eighteen month periods.

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Preston Bus Station, 2011

Seven Bus Station Wonders of the United Kingdom

Britain’s most iconic bus stations – past and present

In the great scheme of things, architectural critics look at structures like Egypt’s Great Pyramids, St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, and the vertical skyline of New York City. Sports venues around the world are revered for their iconic status due to famous victories or unique atmosphere. To get to any of these places may require a bus or two. (Well, other private or public modes of transport are available).

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SV and GMT face mask image

Face Masks to be Made Compulsory on Public Transport

Face coverings compulsory from the 15 June in England

If you haven’t already ordered a face mask or face covering like the genius behind East of the M60, now is the time to buy one. Especially so if you make your daily commute on public transport.

In today’s COVID-19 statement from the Houses of Parliament, Transport Minister Grant Shapps stated that all public transport users in England will have to wear a face covering. He also stated that the face covering could also be purchased or made at home. (Some posh folk like this gentleman could go for a custom-made one, manufactured in the UK by Contrado).

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Stagecoach Manchester Enviro200 MX11 HHC, Ashton-under-Lyne bus station

Bus and Coach Worker Support Day: Stagecoach Pays Tribute

Industry united in supporting Britain’s bus and coach workers

On Tuesday, Stagecoach paid tribute to the country’s bus and coach workers, to mark Bus and Coach Worker Support Day. This recognises the thousands of people involved in keeping key bus services running during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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OCTD 163 Leyland Atlantean upper deck interior

Carry On Up The Fare Stage

An irreverent look at unusual places served by everyday bus routes

11: Cemetery Gates, 125: Doffcocker, 583: Dangerous Corner, 666: Hell…

From our disjointed list seen above, could you guess which one of our four bus routes is actually a fictitious one? Well, you may surprised to find that the 11 is a fictitious route. Cemetery Gates was the terminus of Stan Butler’s usual route on LWT’s ever-popular On The Buses. The only 11 bus I knew which ran close to a cemetery is today’s 346 route.

In a previous article, we did find you could catch a bus to Hell in Poland. With 666 as its route number. Dangerous Corner and Doffcocker are both in Greater Manchester, near Leigh and Bolton respectively. Somewhere along this soggy (well, scorching at this time of writing) island alone, are a plethora of unusual places that are served by everyday bus routes. Some of which might raise a titter due to their Carry On… style nature.

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The Greatest Cover Versions by The Toy Dolls: The Not So Perfect Ten

Ten “must-listen to” cover versions by Sunderland’s finest musical export

Nellie the Elephant
An elephant, in South Africa. Supposedly called Nellie. Image by Chris Hills, 2010 (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).

Hagiographies of punk and new wave music in Northern England seldom breach the Standedge Tunnel’s Diggle end. Lazily, history tells us about the Buzzcocks, Joy Division, Slaughter and the Dogs, and the Sex Pistols’ gig at the Lesser Free Trade Hall. Fewer column inches are devoted to the Liverpool groups, or the Leodisian contributions of the Gang of Four and The Mekons. What about the North East of England? Usually Penetration and another band famous for the cover of a soppy elephant song. Continue reading “The Greatest Cover Versions by The Toy Dolls: The Not So Perfect Ten”