The week that was

What a long week it’s been!122 mile round trip to work every day this week as I’ve been over to High Wycombe depot supervising the installation of cab radios for drivers to communicate with the depot while out on the road. 

 This has been my project to implement at Milton Keynes, Aylesbury and now Wycombe. As of course the buses are not available during the day it’s meant I’ve had to be at each depot through the night while the radio company install them in each bus…… You don’t realise how hard it is to keep warm in the early hours when you aren’t doing anything!

  
It’s been weird working at night and having the daytime to do stuff, my PT sessions at the gym were moved to afternoons for the week but I couldn’t get my head round the fact I shouldn’t be at work lol. 

Quite a productive week as I managed to collect a couple of vending machines to refurb and hopefully site in the near future….

Also, I’ve seen these labels to put on machines and have decided to partly Nick their idea and give all my machines names! 😀

  


Antwerpen Calling

So, Professional Matt and I had a little road trip in the T Vend van last weekend to Antwerp, Belgium and Wuppertal, Germany….. It was a very nerdy trip to see Trams and the Hanging train (again) in the hope that the new trains were running. They were not, which means any other excuse to go later in the year.

Most of these night time pictures are blurry because Matthew and I decided after numerous drinks to go for a walk outside the hotel at 1am…

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Showbus 2015

So, today we’ve been to the yearly bus rally, Showbus.

I took one of our electric Streetlites, 5007.

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I have to say this is probably one of the poorest organised Showbus events I’ve been to.  We were lucky with “only” waiting 40 minutes to get parked up, some buses had a three hour wait!

There seem to be quite a number of buses getting stuck in the soft ground too. If it’s held at Woburn Abbey again next year I think I’ll give it a miss…..

 

Anyway, 5007 did us well and only used 30% charge for the whole day. :-)

and to end the post, here’s a picture of Professional Matt eyeing up an ice cream van 😂

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Arriva Bus App updated

The Arriva Bus App was updated a few days ago, Seems to be more accurate than the previous version.

The system works with the ETM (Ticket Machine) doing all the work, Which means that we no longer have to have seperate RTPI equipment onboard the bus.  The ticket machine polls in to the Arriva server every 22 seconds telling it where it is in the world and the server cross references this against the published timetable and works out from that if its Early, Late or On time.

 

You can now select that it shows you the last known position of the bus, Rather than its estimated location… A much better option as you now know that the bus was actually at the place on the map.

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All that needs to happen now is to get more ETM’s polling in to the system accurately.


Bus Driver of The Year

A day spent at arriva’s regional finals of Bus Driver of The Year, Sadly the entrant for MK didn’t get through to the next stage.

MK Depot arrived in style by bus. (Although I'm not sure why it's parked in the Car Park) Thanks to "markkirk85" on Flickr for use of the photo

MK Depot arrived in style by bus. (Although I’m not sure why it’s parked in the Car Park)
Thanks to “markkirk85” on Flickr for use of the photo

Slightly different bus to travel on..

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Bus Fire in CMK

A Redline bus caught fire today at the old Bus Station in CMK today..

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Pictures used with permission from MKFM

Going by the flames in the first picture it seems they were very lucky that there wasn’t more damage done to the Bus Station/Buszy

There has been unconfirmed reports that the bus had mechanical issues earlier in the day, but of course that could be something completely unrelated.


Route 321 – vanished! (For now)

Well this afternoon has been interesting.
With almost no notice, Meridian Bus seem to have suspended their 5 day old route 321!

No explanation given so far, and their website has no mention of the route at all. Rumours on Facebook range from a engineer that’s phoned in sick to the Redline service 21 not charging fares for this week.

MK Council are advising passengers on the City Centre to Olney section to catch the 21. Passengers for the Buckingham end of the route I’d suggest either the X5 or 32.


Route 321 & 21 start

It’s all going on in Olney!

Arriva announced that they were cutting part of the Route 1, With the service now terminating at Newport Pagnell, Which left the Newport to Olney/Lavendon section unserved.

As is normal in these kind of situations, MK Council looked at a Contracted route which was awarded to Redline who started their 21 service.

 

Redline Dart at Olney - Photo copyright of "mk_tom" on Flickr

Redline Dart at Olney – Photo copyright of “mk_tom” on Flickr

The route Runs from Lavendon to CMK via Olney, Newport Pagnell and taking a slightly different route through MK that the Arriva 1

But what makes this route change interesting is that another Bus Company, new to our area, has started a commercial route of their own from Olney to CMK and onwards to Buckingham and Steeple Claydon.

Meridan Bus Dart on service 321 at Newport Pagnell.  Photo copyright of "lucas.d410" on Flickr

Meridan Bus Dart on service 321 at Newport Pagnell. Photo copyright of “lucas.d410” on Flickr

 

This route is run, according to the MKC Timetable Guide by Britannia Bus Ltd, But the buses (and their facebook page) seem to be operated by Meridan Bus.

Note: After a bit of research before posting this blog entry it seems that one is owned by the other

 

So, now you’ve got a Tendered service that’s almost competing with a commercial service, which obviously isn’t allowed… What will happen?? Who know’s!!

I don’t know enough about the legal side of all these events, But if Brittania/Meridan extend their route to Lavendon then I think they’ve got a pretty good case!

 

I do feel that Redline, Through no fault of their own have been kinda landed in the middle of all this, How they would be compensated would be anyone’s guess!

Who’d of thought the quite parts of Rural Bucks/MK would end up with such an interesting bus service!

 

I plan to give both the 21 and 321 a trip over the weekend to see what these new services are all about. I do think Brittania/Meridian need to decide which company name is operating their new route, as some members of the public may be confused on who’s running what, But that’s purely a personal opinion, nothing more.

 

 


Changes to Bus Stops in CMK

The main City Centre stops by The Point had a bit of a switch around on Sunday with services stopping at different stops in an attempt to stop some of the congestion, Mainly caused by the out of town services unable to pull into the stop outside McDonald’s properly and then blocking the road…

 

Picture of coach not quite fitting on the old stop at McDonald’s Copyright of MK_Tom on Flickr

Below is the new map and stopping arrangements.

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