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Author Topic: 'Bristol Greyhound' bus service returns as Pier Buses  (Read 50166 times)
chuffed
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« on: March 06, 2013, 09:57:17 am »

A new hourly bus service Mon to Fri ( using the previous X7 service number) from Clevedon to Bristol Temple Meads is to be introduced from 24th March.
Also the 357/8/9 Bristol to Portishead services to be replaced by X2 and X3 with Service 23 on Sundays and Bank holidays from the same date. The numbering would seem to be in line with the upgrade of X1 services as both Weston and Portishead are now on the upgraded GBBN. Hopefully Portishead will get some 'almost new' buses to replace the disability unfriendly Darts that have been such a feature of recent months.
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JayMac
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2013, 10:28:14 am »

Do you have a link to this information, chuffed? Absolutely don't doubt the information, I'd just like to see what the operator is saying.

I can't yet see any announcements on the First Bristol website. But I am using an iPad so it could be me missing something!
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#NotMyKing
chuffed
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2013, 12:29:16 pm »

Information from www.TravelBristol.org. All the changes to city services and those running form the Bus station are listed there. No timetables yet tho. They say they will try to put these up, a week before the new services begin
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JayMac
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2013, 04:34:23 am »

Thanks for that chuffed.  Wink

Direct link to the Travel Bristol .pdf detailing the changes:

http://www.travelbristol.org/sites/default/files/Service%20alterations%2024%20March%202013_0.pdf

Now.... when will First Bristol, Bath and the West update their website? Somewhat surprising that the local authority is able to detail the changes, but the folk actually operating the buses have thus far failed to do so.  Roll Eyes
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#NotMyKing
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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2013, 11:15:06 pm »

The new X7 Bristol Temple Meads - Clevedon service will be operated by Bristol Greyhound.

The use of the Bristol Greyhound branding may suggest that this part of First Group (FG) is intending not to appear on the First Bus site at all but is hoping to be seen as a 'new entrant' into the local bus market.  Originally a part of the Bristol Omnibus Co (absorbed circuitously by FG), the Bristol Greyhound name implied quality coach services.  Greyhound in North America (name licensed to FG in UK (United Kingdom)) is redolent of adventure and quality 'bus' (coach) services.  I assume that FG has vehicles left over from previously unsuccessful Greyhound services to the South Coast from London. I can't wait to see how the experience matches the branding.  The route around Clevedon will mean that I can drive half way to Bristol while the bus/coach meanders around the town, but then I'm fortunate to have that option.  Notwithstanding all that, full marks for initiative.
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swrural
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« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2013, 07:33:01 pm »

Has anyone views on Wells to Bristol?  Our friend D Redgwell achieved a step change in the bus service on that route, but one feels that a more luxurious service could be overlayed on such a long trajectory.  Not only that but, being reminded of the fact that Castle Cary is, according to NR» (Network Rail - home page), the nearest railway station, perhaps a through fast coach link between Castle Cary and Bristol via Wells (not calling at every farmyard) would pep up the connectivity no end.  Interested in colleagues' views.   
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inspector_blakey
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2013, 06:49:35 pm »

How very dare they do away with the 358/9 numbering?! I used those buses to get to/from school and work for a good few years. X2, X3 and 23 just doesn't sound right...
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trainer
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2013, 11:25:41 pm »

Now that Scott has informed me that Bristol Greyhound has no connection with First (see 'Hello' thread in Introductions and Chat), it seems we are going to have head-on competition between Clevedon and Bristol during the day.  Be interesting to see who wins and who loses: one of the bus companies or the passengers.  I can't help feeling the circuitous route the newcomer is proposing will put it at a disadvantage, although running to Temple Meads past the shopping centres could be attractive.

As to the numbering of all these new services in Clevedon and Portishead with an 'X' prefix, they are misleading if anyone thinks it suggests a fast journey. 
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Scott
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« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2013, 02:19:45 am »

How very dare they do away with the 358/9 numbering?! I used those buses to get to/from school and work for a good few years. X2, X3 and 23 just doesn't sound right...

I've seen lots of complaints about this, but the main point is to blend the service in with the X1 to Weston - the X2 and X3 will eventually get the same branding style as the X1. The 23 is basically a merger of the two, shown to indicate that it isn't an X-route. I agree it's a bit - actually, more than a bit - of a gimmick to prefix the routes as express services, especially given the main difference between the X2/X3 and the 357/8/9 is the reduced confusion in the service, but it's something that I expect will expand over the coming months. I wouldn't be surprised to see the 361/2 undergo the same transition in future months, but that is purely my opinon and not official in any way.

Now that Scott has informed me that Bristol Greyhound has no connection with First (see 'Hello' thread in Introductions and Chat), it seems we are going to have head-on competition between Clevedon and Bristol during the day.  Be interesting to see who wins and who loses: one of the bus companies or the passengers.  I can't help feeling the circuitous route the newcomer is proposing will put it at a disadvantage, although running to Temple Meads past the shopping centres could be attractive.

I honestly can't see this service lasting for very long...
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« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2013, 03:48:44 pm »

Your comments about the impending X2/3 changes made interesting reading, Scott

1)Isnt it more a case of following on with the branding from X1 now that both Weston and Phd are on the GBBN with the improved shelters and digital displays?. Are these real' time' or do they just duplicate the paper timetables ? 

 2) Did you realise that many of the 'all stops' timing points as detailed on the Traveline timetables are in fact several years out of date, and that many places don't exist any more or have changed their names?

 3) What was the thinking behind running all buses the same way round the Portishead loop, instead of alternating them as they have been for the last 60 years ?

 4)Why is every X2 X3 bus being sent up West Hill . It is a nightmare with just one bus an hour let alone 4 from next week. The double parking is horrendous and will only get worse once the new Tesco Express at the top of Avon Way opens!

 5) Well, thats what the maps on the timetable says.. doesn't show any buses going up and down Avon Way...the most heavily used part of the route as it's a 350 ft climb in about a mile !

I have put these points to First, but now that CS is based in Southampton, you might as well be in Timbuktu! The cynic in me says it was as close as they could get to outsourcing to India without leaving these shores !
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Scott
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« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2013, 12:16:02 am »

Just a quick note to everyone on here - I do not officially work for First and at present only do informal verification work for them. It is likely that this will change within the next few months though. Almost all information I pass on is second-hand, but there will be occasional first-hand information that I have discovered before even the company have.

Also, with the exception of a brief visit to Nailsea last September, the only place I have properly visited in North Somerset ^ as opposed to passing through (on either the X25/125 or train) ^ is Weston. I will try to answer questions in these areas however, and aim to visit both Portishead and Clevedon on Wednesday as well.

1)Isnt it more a case of following on with the branding from X1 now that both Weston and Phd are on the GBBN with the improved shelters and digital displays?. Are these real' time' or do they just duplicate the paper timetables ?

They *should* be real-time, but it is dependent on the vehicles having the equipment modified. I know Bath are likely to complete their installations towards the end of May (they are averaging about seven buses a week and have about 70 to go), but I couldn't comment on any other depot - even Wells, in spite of it effectively being an outstation of Bath - but it seems likely that GBBN routes will have been prioritised, so hopefully the RTI (Real Time Information (displays)) will be fully operational come next Sunday. I also wonder if the wider Express Yourself livery might be extended to other GBBN X-routes, but that is only an opinion; I guess we will find out in May when the new Wright Streetlites arrive for the X39.

2) Did you realise that many of the 'all stops' timing points as detailed on the Traveline timetables are in fact several years out of date, and that many places don't exist any more or have changed their names?

This is being kind to the Traveline system! It is hopelessly inaccurate and difficult to use. The "All Stops" facility is often about as accurate as saying Newcastle United will win the Premier League in 2013 - i.e. not at all (sorry to any Toon fans!) - and in a small number of cases they even manage to omit stops. The best method to use is to simply go on experience, or failing that logic, and ignore the All Stops information. Traveline stops also use their own names, which are often clearly erroneous.

3) What was the thinking behind running all buses the same way round the Portishead loop, instead of alternating them as they have been for the last 60 years ?

I have no idea. If it was my decision, I wouldn^t run them as loops at all because it is just too far for a loop to work effectively. I guess it^s too make it simpler for the less frequent user as they will know that all buses depart from the same side of the road.

4) Why is every X2 X3 bus being sent up West Hill . It is a nightmare with just one bus an hour let alone 4 from next week. The double parking is horrendous and will only get worse once the new Tesco Express at the top of Avon Way opens!

5) Well, thats what the maps on the timetable says.. doesn't show any buses going up and down Avon Way...the most heavily used part of the route as it's a 350 ft climb in about a mile !

It^s what the map says, but it^s not what the All Stops facility on Traveline ^ that same All Stops facility we^ve both criticised ^ says. The service will be travelling along Avon Way in both directions and then along West Hill on the way back into Portishead. At least, I hope this is accurate, because otherwise there might be a complaint or 50! There is at least one other error on the map though (the X2 on the High Street is shown as X3), so I wouldn^t put it past them. When I validated the timetable last month the map wasn^t ready so I couldn^t verify it then, which in hindsight is proving somewhat annoying!

I should stress though that I can only go on what I can find and/or am told. So when an ambiguous situation like this comes up, I can^t give a definitive response. Lousy conflicting information...!

I have put these points to First, but now that CS is based in Southampton, you might as well be in Timbuktu! The cynic in me says it was as close as they could get to outsourcing to India without leaving these shores !

I won^t tell Customer Services this if you won^t Wink I^m sure Ms Tagholm would love to be told she may as well be working in Timbuktu (or India).
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 04:13:43 am by Scott » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2013, 09:05:05 pm »

Having visited Portishead today, I can now add further comment to the above post.

The bus stop flags along Avon Way have all been updated to show the new route numbers, i.e. X2, X3 and 23. This would suggest that the services will definitely continue to serve Avon Way.
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GBM
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« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2013, 05:28:58 pm »

Quote
Hopefully Portishead will get some 'almost new' buses to replace the disability unfriendly Darts that have been such a feature of recent months.

Goody, another set of vintage vehicles enroute for us maybe.  Would replace our existing vintage Darts (although a few are still good!).
Cynical personal comment from me before anyone wants to bite my head off.
Interesting to see the number of bus spotters we see gleefully taking pictures.



Edit note: Quote marks amended, for clarity. CfN.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 09:40:18 pm by chris from nailsea » Logged

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Scott
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« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2013, 03:21:25 am »

Something that has only just occurred to me: The Traveline data for the X7.

Its route seems almost identical to the 361, apart from the differences at either end of the route.

Quote
Hopefully Portishead will get some 'almost new' buses to replace the disability unfriendly Darts that have been such a feature of recent months.

Goody, another set of vintage vehicles enroute for us maybe.  Would replace our existing vintage Darts (although a few are still good!).
Cynical personal comment from me before anyone wants to bite my head off.
Interesting to see the number of bus spotters we see gleefully taking pictures.

You won^t see me taking a picture of a Step Dart unless it^s on a route it shouldn^t be on Smiley

Mind you, maybe I should have when I went to Portishead on Wednesday. It kept stalling!



Edit note: Quote marks amended, for clarity. CfN.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 10:02:34 pm by chris from nailsea » Logged

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trainer
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« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2013, 09:30:44 am »

As far as I can see there has been zero publicity for the X7 in Clevedon and nothing I can find on line apart from Traveline, which chuffed referred us to in this forum.  I don't have a bus pass (too young!) and don't know if  Bristol Greyhound will join the Avon Rider multi-operator ticket scheme.  The route between Clevedon Town Centre and Bristol Centre is identical to the 361 and because the First route is more direct in town it will remain my choice except when I want to go to Temple Meads, although even then, the 66/125 to Yatton will still be first choice for joining the rail network by bus.  The outlook for this service continues to look gloomy.
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