Difficult times?

Bus and Coach operations, new or changed services and timetables for Arriva Midlands North Limited or its predecessor, Midland Red (North) Limited.
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Joined: 20:20 Monday 4th July 2016
Location: Solihull

Difficult times?

Post by JustinTyme » 20:03 Tuesday 30th August 2016

As well as closing Stafford garage, cutting back at the fringes seems to be the order of the day at Arriva Midlands North, some of it seemingly due to competition.

During July the Telford - Wolverhampton direct service (8) was cut back to run Telford - Shifnal only. Banga Buses of Wolverhampton had come onto the route a few months before and presumably got a slice of the trade going.

At the start of September Stafford - Wolverhampton (76) will be withdrawn except on Sundays (Staffs contract). National Express West Midlands have been running a similar service which operates via the i54 site to the north of Wolverhampton. NXWM also operate a Wolverhampton - i54 - Cannock - Hednesford service, and Arriva are now halving its Wolverhampton - Cannock to hourly.

At the same time, Arriva are withdrawing its long-standing 116, Tamworth - Kingsbury - Birmingham. Central Buses will replace it with a new parallel X16. Tamworth - Kingsbury has had competition for a while, most recently from Central Buses, and Central will now have the upper hand.

This reduces the number of services Arriva runs into Birmingham to just one - the 110 Birmingham - Sutton Coldfield - Tamworth. Thankfully this is doing quite well, running every 15 minutes Mon-Sat (30 on Suns) and was restocked with new "Sapphire" Enviro 400s some 18 months ago.

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Re: Difficult times?

Post by chason » 09:05 Wednesday 31st August 2016

Almost every month, 'Buses' magazine has reports of independents going out of business. Some are probably not well run but others are of very long standing and well known such as Silcox of Pembroke Dock which in its time must have survived many recessions and hard times.

It suggests that there is something fundamentally wrong with the financing of the bus industry and that there must be worrying times ahead for its future.

That said, First Kernow having almost given up in Cornwall, now seems to have made a successful comeback following the demise of Western Greyhound and it is to be hoped that the management of the major operators are keeping a close eye on how it's done. Better marketing is but one way forward as I observed in Cornwall earlier this year.

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Re: Difficult times?

Post by AdamH » 16:41 Wednesday 31st August 2016

Margins are very tight. I think that if any operator is to survive they need to have a monopoly in their given area.

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Re: Difficult times?

Post by WR1st » 16:24 Thursday 1st September 2016

JustinTyme wrote:
20:03 Tuesday 30th August 2016
Banga Buses of Wolverhampton
Without a shadow of doubt THE very best name for a bus company ever...

Every time I hear that name or see it I laugh my Pope Pauls off :twisted:

Wye Bucks
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Joined: 19:18 Monday 11th July 2016

Re: Difficult times?

Post by Wye Bucks » 21:40 Monday 5th September 2016

I must admit it's a very apt name for this operator.

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