DRM Staff Shortages

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AdamH
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Location: Worcester

DRM Staff Shortages

Post by AdamH » 16:01 Sunday 25th June 2017

It would seem DRM are struggling to find staff at the moment. Boss man David Morris has been spotted driving a bus himself, and for much of last week Dudleys Coaches could be seen working certain journeys with a notice in the window to say "on hire to DRM Bus". I met a Dudleys Coach at Whitbourne the other morning while working the early 420 to Worcester. He was working the 420 from Great Witley in the other direction, resulting in 3 different operators sharing the 420 on that day!

I understand their PVR drops by 4 during the school holidays, so hopefully they will be able to use the time to get back up to straighten ready for September.

On that note, I believe the contract for their local Bromyard Service 400 to Winslow Road is due for renewal in September, so in theory the service could pass to another operator. With Perry retired I doubt there will be much competition for that one though.

DD12
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Re: DRM Staff Shortages

Post by DD12 » 00:24 Monday 26th June 2017

AdamH wrote:
16:01 Sunday 25th June 2017
It would seem DRM are struggling to find staff at the moment. Boss man David Morris has been spotted driving a bus himself, and for much of last week Dudleys Coaches could be seen working certain journeys with a notice in the window to say "on hire to DRM Bus". I met a Dudleys Coach at Whitbourne the other morning while working the early 420 to Worcester. He was working the 420 from Great Witley in the other direction, resulting in 3 different operators sharing the 420 on that day!

I understand their PVR drops by 4 during the school holidays, so hopefully they will be able to use the time to get back up to straighten ready for September.

On that note, I believe the contract for their local Bromyard Service 400 to Winslow Road is due for renewal in September, so in theory the service could pass to another operator. With Perry retired I doubt there will be much competition for that one though.
That's odd - I thought all the 420s would need to be operated by fully accessible, low-floor buses (?) - I didn't think that Dudleys have got any (?)

Also; First have registered an amendment to the 420 timetable, from July 24th.

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AdamH
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Re: DRM Staff Shortages

Post by AdamH » 07:41 Monday 26th June 2017

The journey I saw was being operated with a coach. They don't need to be DDA compliant until 2020.

The afternoon return journey operated by First will become "School days only" from the date given. First's morning journey will continue to run Monday to Friday during the school holidays, unchanged.

Noggin1
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Joined: 13:58 Sunday 16th October 2016

Re: DRM Staff Shortages

Post by Noggin1 » 12:33 Monday 26th June 2017

I'm fond of the 420 service because it reminds me of BMMO days. These country services must be more interesting to drive than boringly round and round Worcester housing estates. However I was surprised First Worcester continued their morning and evening service because it takes a vehicle from other full-time services at peak time, and so I assumed that it was subsidised as it was one thing to help out Hereford, but another to help out DRM. When Hereford closed, First had the choice of somehow running the service from Worcester, or at least running, say, a two-hourly service to Bromyard, but I presume it was not financially viable, and indeed DRM did cut the Worcester section a bit a while back. Bromyard is smaller than Ledbury, but it does seem to have a lesser service than other Herefordshire towns, particularly as Ledbury has the train as well. It's just such a pity that bit by bit the service is reducing.

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AdamH
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Re: DRM Staff Shortages

Post by AdamH » 21:28 Monday 26th June 2017

Noggin1 wrote:
12:33 Monday 26th June 2017
...and so I assumed that it was subsidised as it was one thing to help out Hereford, but another to help out DRM...
Except of certain Sunday or evening journeys, there has been no direct subsidies on the 420 since September 2004. Before that time First ran the service every two hours (more or less) commercially, with funding from Hereford Council to increase the frequency to every hour. When the funding ended First continued to run a two-hourly service and tenders were invited for the additional journeys. DRM offered to run the extra journeys on a commercial basis so for a while both operators ran the whole route at the same time. DRM soon found this didn't pay so dropped a number of journeys and cut back the rest to run only between Bromyard and Hereford.

In about 2011 (I think), a small amount of funding was made available to First as part of Worcestershire County Council's Severn Card student ticket scheme. First got, and still gets, a fixed amount to carry student but they must meet a minimum service level, and this includes a morning journey from Bromyard to Worcester with an afternoon return journey. It was only because of this contract that First continued to run the two short journeys after Hereford depot closed. As it is a student pass scheme, the money is only for journeys on school/college days, which is why it doesn't run on Saturdays.

Until now First have run the service at the same times during the school holidays, and the morning journey has been quite successful since DRM withdrew their morning journey. The afternoon journey is often empty during the holiday period, hence it is being withdrawn.

There is more information about Service 420 operated by Midland Red West / First Midland Red in the Services section of this website... Here.

Noggin1
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Re: DRM Staff Shortages

Post by Noggin1 » 08:40 Tuesday 27th June 2017

Adam
Thanks very much for taking the trouble to explain the rationale behind the 420 service. The insight you give is much appreciated. I see the financial reality. I note also that the route info on the website is kept up to date.

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