Sunday, 5 December 2010

The End

The past 18 months since i started this blog have been a great part of my life. I love my job more than ever and trully believe i will succeed in my chosen career path and with a lot of hard work and determination, be the best at what i do. It's come to light recently that maybe not all the content on the blog is seen as in good taste. I have always posted what i have seen as interesting things that show the inside workings of what we do, not only at stagecoach but in the bus industry as a whole. Plus a few days out on my bike too. It's been fun but i am unable to continue with it. It's been nice to be able to fight the company corner from the sidelines and i'm sure any problems that are still going on will get solved in time. This picture is my car on friday morning. Was pretty cold indeed. Back to work tomorrow in Piccadilly at 930 here is hoping for an easy day. Hope you all have a good christmas and all the best for the future and thanks for taking the time to read about me and what i do. Simon.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Out of place

Been in Stockport bus station today and noticed this 51 plate optare. I hear it's from preston and that there are a few of them at Stockport depot? Nice to see the snow going now, i was getting a bit bored of seeing it although i doubt it will be long before it's back. I think Ashton suffered the most with the hilly routes but all in all i don't think there has been too much disruption to services. Even first bus managed to stay out and show some willing when the snow fell unlike last year. Off tomorrow and back in town on monday. Hope it's not as eventful as today has been!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Cold one.

Just starting work. Start at 3pm today on a late. Got a few hours on the 100s then over to the 192s until 1130. My first late doing this and i think it's going to be a cold one. Was minus 11 last night. Had to take the car for mot this morning which was fun trying to make everything work as it should. These buses are in the process of becomming magic buses. I see loads of them now and i think the tridents look pretty cool in the new colours. Stockport bus station tomorrow. Should be a nice change of scenery.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

White rest day

I'm off today and the snow is causing problems all over the country. Manchester is no exception. Most services are running fine as per the information on the first and stagecoach websites. There is a few altered routes but nothing too bad. I was at work yesterday which was a bit of a challenge. After digging my car out at 5am i headed to hyde road early to make sure i could get there. I was looking after the 100 services which were all going well until lunchtime when the student population of Manchester decided to have a protest through the city. We had a few delays but nothing too bad. Been a very enjoyable week though. I'm back in tomorrow till 730pm.

Monday, 29 November 2010

One for them in the know!

Here is a few pictures of 12055 Hybrid. I am told that this is a rarely
photographed bus as it was the last to be entered into service due to it
being used in an appearance at an exhibition. It does have a unique
characteristic to it so I am told!

Monday morning

Just in Piccadilly plaza watching the 142s. I forgot how busy it was around here. We get so many questions about things other than buses that we run it really keeps us on our toes. Not too cold today so i can still feel all my limbs for the time being.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Ashton Routemaster Visit

Well it's been a very cold week of standing about watching buses and
checking tickets this week. Was in Ashton for three days with yesterday
being the more challenging. There was an accident in Bredbury which made all
the 330s very very late so I had to do a juggling act with other services to
ensure they ran as best we could until the road was opened. I had a 15
minute services to Hyde from Ashton and back and a bus going through
approximately every 30 minutes. Everything straightened up by lunchtime
luckily. Then this route master came in to collect come people from the bus
station. Looked in good condition too. From next week I am based in the
middle of Manchester on the side I am not too sure about so it will be a
good learning experience for me and I look forward to it. Sadly though I
think it might be a while before I am back at Ashton.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Interesting day.

Had a good day yesterday. The 216 ran like it should once again, with nothing failing on the service. It's nice to see it working so well. The only drama from the day was this Stotts bus having an altercation with a car doing a u-turn in the middle of Wellington road? Yes a u-turn. And this little ex stagecoach, speedwell thing breaking down. I found the two breakdown trucks a little unnecessary though for such a small bus. Oh and a 409 with a drunk that was dart asleep. That was more a comedy moment as the chain of command escalated the issue over the period of 30 minutes. Back here today so hoping for a similar easy day.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Something different?

They say variety is the spice of life. Or so i'm told. It's 5am and like most on a monday morning i can't get back to sleep. Took this pic a while back. Based in ashton bus station 3 days this week. I don't mind it though. Always something going on and the queries from the public are easily answered. 216 were running sweet last week when i was there and so were most things. 347s seem to be the only service struggling but thats down to rush hour traffic and large passenger numbers on small buses at peak time i think. Will see how things are. Managed to get my thermals this weekend so i might be able to move my legs at the end of each day now. If you see someone wrapped up like an eskimo in stagecoach colours it's probably me lol.

Thursday, 18 November 2010


Just on new bridge lane in stockport waiting for the road to open. This is the car that overturned and the picture of it when turned over.

Very mixed week.

Wow, what a week it's been long days with little time to think about anything other than work. But it's been great. Learning so much every single day. This week has been checking revenue monday. Ashton bus station tuesday and on piccadilly yesterday on the 200's stand. Today i'm in stockport. So the first week was very mixed and totally interesting. I think i can get used to this anyway. Not getting much time to blog so will do as and when. Just on my wax to an accident on new bridge lane as the road is blocked. We are not involved in the accident just need to check the road for the 383.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Off Out

Just heading into ashton and this is at the bus stop. I have not been on one of these buses yet but i'll give it a try. The driver is an ex ashton driver so had a good chat. He was telling me about the bullying tactics first are applying on the 's' routes and that speedwell are in the process of complaining to the authorities regarding it. Sad really that it has to come to it because i have always been of the opinion that competition is healthy for the consumer. Going for a few beers with the guys from ashton should be a good day.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Last day

Last day as an Ashton driver today, and it's a long one. Got 3 on a 216 which is good as it passes quickly. Then a slower pace on the 7 for a trip and end the day with a trip on a 330 finish at 4. I start at hyde road at 9 on monday morning so at least i get a little lie in. The new road was very quiet yesterday but yet there was still queues into droylsden sadly causing issues with service. The works at beswick street look almost finished so it might not be long until we are using pollard street again. Hoping for a nice hassle free day today.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Horrible day.

Spare driver this morning. I started at 530 and i'm just at glossop about to do a 236 to Ashton. This bus runs 10 minutes behind a piccadilly bus which gets all the students going to Tameside college. The one i am on too gets a fair few so i hope they all have there scholars passes or there might be a few upset faces in the next hour as i know the bus is front is going to do the same thing. Why should most people pay the right fare and others get away with it. Last night on the 347 was the same. Two forged day tickets and a weekly pass 3 days over was snatched. That part of the job i am looking forward to. 2more days after today. Both early duties too which is good. Got a bit of a leaving do in Ashton on sunday so should be a good afternoon out. A trip too gee cross international bus station after this.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Very nice

Took this the other day when i went for a ride into manchester. It's one of the new centreline buses. I believe they are hybrids. I didn't get chance to have a ride but they look very suited in the city. Seem a bit larger than the crappy solos too. On another note. The past few weeks have been a little busy for me. Having always been someone with ambition. I applied for the position of inspector with stagecoach. 80 people applied and went for an aptitude test. From this 14 people got an interview for the 6 positions available. I was very pleased when i came top of the 80 in the test and subsequently have been offered the position which i take up on Monday. This does mean i am leaving Ashton depot and heading back to hyde road on monday morning. I'm not sure how the blog will go but have no plans to abandon it as yet but will have to limit what i do i think. Looking forward to it anyway. It's been a great adventure at ashton and i have made many good friends. I will be sad to leave it behind.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

How petty

Off today and whilst its a bit cold i thought i would come for a ride to town and back just to stretch my injured muscles. I'm on old mill street where the 217/8 comes. For some reason the council have put in these huge wooden logs so people can't park in the spaces anymore. I find it somewhat petty as the cars that parked here caused no issues to passing traffic. There are a few spaces left near ancoats clinic but they of course are pay and display! Sad. Going to head into piccadilly for a coffee then back up the new road.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Lovely View

I'm just heading to glossop to start the first trip on the 390. Couldn't help but stop to look at the valley towards stockport. The mist looks great at this time of day. It's a bit nippy today but this bus is lovely and warm. Got 4 hours on here which should twist my mind somewhat. It's an easy morning but i would have liked something a bit busier. Just a trip on a 346 later and finish for 330pm. Off tomorrow and back in sunday. No gym and no bike this week as i have an injury on my back from last weekends antics! Enough said. Lol.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Here again

Just back at hyde road for an hour or so today. There seems to be more tridents waiting to go in the paint shop to be made into magic buses i assume. I think they look pretty smart when they are freshly painted in the new magic livery. The 59 plate also in the picture is just here for steam clean not for repainting. Got a couple of trips on a 7 later, thats all today should be an easy day once i leave here lol.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Busy route

I'm just at shudehill bus station waiting to leave on the 218. Been watching the 17 service for past 15 minutes. There has been 4 buses leave in that time all with a fair few on. The bus behind is a jpt number 17 too that only goes to middleton. Seems a bit cheeky to be honest. I somehow don't think they would get away with it on some of our major routes. I think queens road run the 17. Just a trip to mossley and finish in ashton. Get loads of time on this route now so there will be no rushing about.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Not so long weekend.

Working overtime today. It should have been my 4 day weekend but i thought i would work the friday and monday. Very little going on at the moment apart from a new batch of britains finest cones turning up in droylsden this morning causing even longer queues. Luckily not for me. I'm on my second of two trips on a 7. Did 2 on the 347 earlier which was totally hammered. I couldn't squeeze another sole on from crown point to guide bridge. Them man buses are ok but don't hold enough people at times. The magic bus has left the depot now. The 842 school is going to have the small dart on it, 33098. Should make it easier to get across the bridge and there is just enough seats on it for the kids so i'm told. 530am spare for the next couple of days so not sure what i will be doing tomorrow or wednesday yet. I suppose it will be a suprise lol. Hoping for some good news this week and will share it as and when it happens. We will see.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Half Term.

Came into work this morning and noticed a few skips near our new gates. The name on the side made me chuckle a little. Sadly I can’t sit here making up lots of jokes about Enviro and Skips but you get the picture. Interesting choice of company!
Busy day tomorrow. Got to call to Hyde road for an hour or so at lunchtime so hope there is something interesting going on there because Ashton seems to have died this week. It’s been very quiet.
I think the main problems we have had this week have been the road works. And this time it’s not confined to the New Road. However. That has been truly ridiculous. Especially yesterday. But I won't bore you with more stories about how people hate us because the tram is coming lol.

We also have road works on Huddersfield Road Stalybridge, So the 217 218 is going like a 348. Chatsworth turn around was shut so that was missed out on the same routes.  Half of Hyde bus station is closed for refurb so that puzzled some of the lads who don’t know the area too well and some gas leak in Stockport earlier in the week made the 330s run slightly late. Like I say. Luckily it’s been quiet.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Just checking

Just come off my 217. What a drag. This first bus inspector seems very interested in the times of the s50. Very rare to see a first bus supervisor in ashton these days. Mixed day. 3 trips on a 216 spoilt by some little shite putting one of my windows though. Followed by 3 hours of dragging my heals on the 217. Back tomorrow at 5am.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Intersting day.

Back to work today. Metrolink replacement on the bury line. First trip was a bit odd. Had one guy at Bury who was puzzled at why he could not use his first weekly pass on my bus. He was soon sent on his merry way no thanks to the metrolink staff in there pantomime uniforms. Come on. How can you take anyone seriously when they are dressed up like school crossing patrols? Then i had to remember the route. This was interesting as i route learned it in the daytime and right now it's still dark and everything looks different. There was then an announcement on the radio of a route change on corporation street due to roadworks so that puzzled me a little. And top that with very tight times it becomes a very challenging drive. Some of the turns need extra attention too as they seem a little tight. Just got one and a half trips on my first part which ment starting at Bury. Two full trips later. Easy money still though. Although i am expecting some interesting characters getting on today if the woodlands we did the other month is anything to go by. Off tomorrow and back in early monday on a split.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Holiday time

I'm off until saturday this week. Just on the 396 heading home from the gym. Had a very easy late shift on the altrincham metrolink service on sunday night. Almost felt guilty about getting paid to do it lol. Only almost i said. Forgot to mention last week. We have started running some night services out of ashton at weekend. I think it's to attract more people into doing it as previously they were all run out of princess road and this put a few people off. I think all depots now run some if there are drivers that wish to stay on after their late shift finishes. Not much else going on in bus land that i know off. Lots going on behind the scenes but will tell you about that in time.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Tameside Depot 1978

One of our inpectors who started out on the Little Gem buses many moons ago lent me this brochure.
It was produced when the new Tameside Depot was built in 1978. I thought i would share it. Interesting some of the comments in the publication." The pits have been designed for vehicles 12mtrs long - The maximum envisaged in the forseeable future" Now with 15 mtr coaches on megabus work its easy to see how quickly technology moves on in the industry. Hope you enjoy.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Been a while

I'm on the 231 that we do through the day. Only one bus but it's such a relaxing change to come up the new road from town without having to worry about keeping time. On the way down i even had 3 minutes to spare at aldi. The back half of the duty is just as easy. 2 trips on a 330. Made better as the bus comes off the 346 so its going to be a MAN. I prefer them on the 330s. Nice too to see the lights back at bank street. I had missed them so much lol. I got given a great brochure on the opening of the old tameside depot today so i'll scan it tomorrow and post it so you can all have a look. Also found out today we have bought a company in london which has 1250 buses and our md who you might see at most photo ops is moving there to look after it. My thinking is its a move towards doing the bus services for the olympic games. Hope so. I'll be ready for another trip away by 2012. I was off from sunday to saturday but now i'm at princess road on them very same days doing metrolink replacement. Late on sunday and an early next saturday. Few other things going on at the moment but i'll write about them as and when they happen ;)

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Not good.

Here is a lovely picture of the fountain at piccadilly during a bike ride the other day. Thought i'd post it to livid the mood slightly. Today has been so mixed. Firstly did a trip on the 330 nice and easy, was in a great mood. Had my lunch then went and waited for my 236. Whilst i was stood waiting an old lady who was walking with her husband fell to the floor at the bus station. It was pretty clear that the lady had suffered a serious heart attack or something similar. A few members of the public very quickly ran to the scene and started cpr. The ambulance took about 3 minutes to come but there was very little they could do. So it's been a somewhat crazy day that i will certainly never forget for the wrong reason. I'm doing a little extra tonight finish at 7 instead of 4 but i don't mind. Just hope the rest of the week is a little more uneventful :(

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Not a nice day!

Glad to be home right now. I am totally wiped out from a day on the 216s. It's been a while since i did a full day on there and today was just horrible. The only problem however was getting from Snipe retail to Droylsden. The queue put me 20 minutes late on each trip. I got the time back each time i got to Ashton but lost it again on the next trip. This sign caught my eye whilst i was sat in the traffic. It's a very clear indication of the damage all these works are having on the local businesses. Glad to be home now anyway. My holidays were supposed to start on Sunday but i'm now working a late shift on the metrolink replacement again. Easy money though. The following saturday should be interesting too. The bury line is closed on the 23rd and 24th and i am doing a shift on the saturday. Should be fun.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Troubled times

Just in piccadilly watching world go by. Heard that Bluebird had a few problems this week with fuel. I know of two occasions in the past week of buses running out of fuel whilst out on service. An inside source tells me the company was rationed due to financial issues but i couldn't confirm if this is true or not. Maybe the bus wars are taking there toll?

Where am i?

I'm off today so i am having a little ride out on the bike. I always seem to forget with all the road works we have to endure on the new road that other metrolink works are also ongoing in other areas of the county. This place isn't to hard to figure out. Its changed so much in the past 10 years and is about to get a whole lot busier than this road looks now i'm sure.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Come here often?

Seems ages ago since i have been on the 347s. Just started and on my first trip of the day. Not the best duty today. Got three trips on the 216s after which are chaos at the moment so doubt i will be finishing on time. Nice weekend off and feeling refreshed today. Off for a week next week too which i am very ready for.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Change around

A comment the other day asked about the 217 and 218 service. The tendor was due to be awarded this month and it was anticipated we would lose it completly. Instead an emergency tendor has been put into place i believevc jpt are going to run the service on a sundays and on bank holidays. Now i'm not a big fan of sharing routes. For the main reason it's bad on the punters. Why should someone who buys a megarider have to pay on the same route on a sunday. It's a little unfair. Will have to see what happens to it in january when the decision is made. On a split today, bit crap for the first day back. Just waiting to go do my 216 and 231. The 216s have got to overload again i believe due to more lights going up in droylsden. They have all been coming in 20 and 30 minutes late so i'm not lookin forward to this. Back in at 430am so coming on my bike so i can head out after work.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Back Home

This is the transporter in Newport. Odd device that takes cars over the water in place of a bridge. Apparently there arn't many of them around anymore?
Took this just after we left this morning at 10am. Been a brilliant week which from a company point of view has been very succesful. In the afternoons we were moving over 13000 people an hour with a bus leaving celtic manor every 25 seconds. Its been great to be a part of it and i look forward to the next "big job" as it was called by a few people. I couldnt answer any comments on my phone this week not sure wy so sorry if you asked anything and didnt get a reply. We took an LED programming key with us thats why the 15*** bus had the Manchester detination blind on it. Not sure whats going on with the 217 218 as i have not been in but will find out. Probably best if JPT did the daytime mon-sat too really as its been spoilt since the times changed. I used to like the 5 hours on there bus now its hard work having to sit around waiting time out. I know its up for tender so i am guessing we have won the Mon-sat and lost the Sunday work. Will find out on Thursday. Got far too many pictures to put on here. I have put them on facebook for them who are on there. If you want me to share the album please email me and i will send u the link to it. Back to normal on thursday after i have slept for a day to catch up. The extra day made it special too as most were sent home but we were kept, Even had a leaving party last night which i have to say was one of the best nights i have had all year and i like to socialise somewhat.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Nearly the end?

It's 5am sunday morning. I'm not getting picked up until 7 but the rain and wind are keeping me awake. Not a good sign because if play is stopped again then we stay another day. It's no holiday camp here and i really am ready for my own bed now. It's been a very interesting week though. Loads of waiting around which the manchester drivers are not use to. So as soon as the nod was given you could be sure we were leading the way to wherever we were sent to. When the punters did all come out at once it was brilliant. There was a bus leaving roughly every 8 seconds over a period of 2 1/2 hours. I've never had 50 thousand people wanting to get on my bus so much lol. The organisation was great. The passengers where stored into a pen then the bus pulled up got them and away in just a few minutes. Precision organisation and very well planned i think. The pictures are the wash at the depot which is located within the massive east park and ride complex. The buses are washed and fuelled twice a day and the platform is mopped after every trip. The other pic is how to park a solo in a tesco car park lol. Looking forward to home now and a day off weather permitting. Most drivers will stay the extra day but some will have to leave. We will keep our fingers crossed.