Wednesday, 14 April 2010


This is burlington street near ashton pool. It's handy to know that if you have to be in ashton early it's a normal street with no parking charges or restrictions. I use when going to the gym. Don't say i didnt tell you lol. It's been a very average week this week. Nothing special happening apart from my 347 having a fuel leak on monday. I found this out when a very panic stricken 219 driver started beeping his horn and waving his hands at me. I'm not in until 1pm today on one of our shorter duties which sees me doing the 1750 glossop bus out of town. Although i'm sure the 3 people who travel through will love stopping at every stop to drop the 216 passengers off. On another move i notice speedwell are running there new s48 service this week free of charge. It's only running for a week and then launches sometime in june i think for a quid like the s50. Good luck to them i say.


  1. its been fun on the S48....first drivers may need to unload another 10 against speedwells one lol.

  2. Anonymous14/4/10 13:48

    The Speedwell S48 is running for good now!
    Its free this week then next week will be £1. There running every hour until 9th July when they will introduce a 20 minute service.
    Dont forget william when the S50 first launched it was running empty for a good few weeks. Once people now there is a 'cheaper' service im sure they will flock to use it.
    I noticed this morning every S48 that left or entered the bus station was followed or lead by a First 348. I wonder if this is tactical or just luck. lol

  3. oh i'm fully aware of that...but some people in the carrbrook/stalybridge are becoming aware of this service alot quicker than previous.

    The advantage is though, there is a advert on the side promoting the 'Free' service, with a price livery lined up for next week, also with local papers. So this service has got advertisement on its side, which should help.

    I also know that the current Marshalls are being shifted to the S48, with some newer buses coming in soon to take place on the S50. These newer buses are being painted and stickered up with the price list, so this should fully establish the 'S' services. For any 'S50' users, I can asure that these buses are larger, but I don't want to reveal all...yet lol

  4. I also think that the 'no resticted' parking zone will now change soon lol

  5. Anonymous14/4/10 14:55

    I think everyone already knows William. Speedwell mentioned they have purchased two Enviro 300's for the S50.
    The S50 has really taken off now. I've even noticed alot of OAP's using the Speedwell service instead of First [even though its free on both buses for them lol] and with the cheaper Kids fair its very busy at school times as well.
    Its a shame the Manchester - Ashton bit didn't take off as well but they seem to be doing well.
    I think they have done the right thing launching hourly for a few months. By the time they are running every 20 mins it should have steady loadings.

  6. Damn, I didn't know everyone clocked on the up and coming Transbus's lol but I reckon they're perfect for the route.

    The OAP's, I guess, would rather get on the bus to back their local, plus speedwell's are newer and cleaner than first's lol (not targeting Stagecoach in anyway lol)and with the fairly new'ns coming in soon with adverts, it shouldn't be long before they're pestered for more routes by the public.

    It is a shame 'bout the manchester bit not running now but you never know, plus the metrolink has been to bring in more bus users rather than less (route 135 now a bendy bus).

    The hourly route is a good intro, plus if there is a good reception then it could be brought in earlier if demand is there. Good luck to them.

  7. Anonymous14/4/10 15:57

    Sorry to steal your thunder William lol.
    Im looking forward to seeing these buses in Speedwell livery, they should look nice.

    Any news on them using there D/D Olympian on the S50? They did mention they were planning to use it some time after Easter at school times but haven't seen anything of it yet.

    Personally i think a Speedwell value service between Oldham and Ashton would be good. First are rather expensive. Maybe the S09 lol

  8. lol I'm not sure about the double deck being used, but the enviro300's are larger so its hard to tell. Plus throwing a double deck in and out for two seperate journeys is a bit innefficient.

    An S09 service sounds top, hitting it where it would hurt first the most. But I reckon an S30 (330) is likely as it would be speedwell's local challenge.

  9. Anonymous14/4/10 16:27

    Taking on the mighty Stagecoach would be a big step though.
    My money's on a service to Hyde next.

  10. Its a shame First use all the sheds for Ashton,I was told that officially when I was at the Oldham Depot,all the new buses for Oldham !

  11. Anonymous14/4/10 18:29

    But isn't it the same at Stagecoach?
    All the newist buses seem to go to Daw Bank with the other depots getting Stockport's older un-needed vehicles.
    There was talk of newer buses coming from London to replace the Arrows and Olympians at Dukinfield.
    First have always had a bad reputation in Tameside stemming back to the days of PMT when they ran some right sheds and were never on time. Now they run sheds, are never on time and charge a fortune for the pleasure.

  12. First would act if they tried to run a service to match the 409. It's a premium service and takes a lot of money. I always thought the s50 should have carried onto haughton green instead me manchester. That again is a very lucrative route and would probably entice a huge flooding of buses and but price fares by sc if they did.

  13. Well, with the introduction of these newer buses and the potential expansion of more routes by Speedwell, it may be a matter of time before they tread on more serious territory. The 350 has been on a superhyped frequency and its only a matter of time before they get a rollocking.

    The key difference between first and stagecoach in tameside though is that stagecoach provide decent buses and a consistent service, thats why I think they don't get problems with complaints...first have only recently got rid of the N reg darts and replaced them with other dismal vehicles, yet charge more than any other company in Manchester. First also do some dirty tactics when it comes to competition, including today and when up with Stotts years ago...

  14. Anonymous14/4/10 19:45

    Thats the exact word i was looking for William, Consistent. First have this reputation in Tameside for running what they want, when they want. When the 343 was up for tender there were alot of people praying it didn't go to First for good which says something.

    Stott's have always been a threat to First. Firstly on the 398 and then on the 427. Just as Dennis's were to Stagecoach, but the big companies have to be careful these days as the Competition Commission takes a dim view to 'Dirty' tactics these days - just look at the Preston Bus fiasco!

  15. Exactly, and even that Fiasco has been mentioned on here...Lets see if the comp commision will come out to play, as i'm sure that using the Huddersfield rd truckstop as a hub for extra 350's is illegal...oops

    I'm also glad they didn't get the 343 as theyre emergency service was just...eurgh!. It's also a shame Chris that the Volvo's have been dodged from here, with the exception of the 409 which just got them.

    I remember a suggested 'Action' from Stagecoach that may be happening to another company...any news on that?

  16. M Branson14/4/10 21:29

    I hope people will see through First's beefing up the timetable and see tham for what they really are. Glad to see Speedwell doing well and being able to invest more in the S50 with these new Enviro300s. In the year or two before the Speedwellvalue launch, Speedwell seemed to go a bit stagnant. Nothing was happening for them, no new buses since very early 2007 and of course the maintenance troubles.

    Now though, and maybe they'll be able to afford brand new buses soon for the S50 service and cascade the Transbus Enviro300s to the S48. The Darts and Excels will do nicely on the 394 and 343, the Solos (and possibly the MPD) do the 341, 342, 344 and 397, and Speedwell can get shot of a lot of their old crappy Mercedes Varios. Except keeping the best ones behind to provide the 353/354 service and spare buses for the other routes. And everyone's happy.

    On another note, the S48 timetable does look a bit silly in the evening though, with buses timetabled to leave Hey Farm and only go as far as Stalybridge, with none in the opposite direction. Imagine getting on an S48 at Hey Farm, going into Stalybridge and doing a little bit of shopping at Tesco maybe, only to find out you can't get back!

  17. Anonymous14/4/10 22:32

    Its interesting hearing about the 350 because i was pretty sure a while ago they were running 'floaters' on it but was told the 350 timetable hadn't changed since well before the S50 started. It all depends on whether Speedwell feel First need reporting to the traffic commissioner, or if they are breaching traffic regulations thats another issue.
    I dont know if its being done on purpose but i have noticed 348's leaving directly after S48's this week.
    Alot of people forget that when Speedwell first started in 2003 there entire fleet was made up of brand new Solo's, its only in recent years they have gone for older second hand vehicles.

    Mr Branson - have Speedwell still got the little K-reg MPD Dart? I haven't seen it for a while.

  18. I do know that Speedwell are obtaining Plaxton Primo's for some of their contracted services, I think its for the 341 and 353/4 services...but yeah i'd like to see some of the plaxtons go, especially with the disabled act coming in soon.

  19. oh....and the S48 Hey farms are basically the S50's returning home, hence why they are not doing the full trip.

  20. M Branson15/4/10 21:51

    The MPD I am referring to is an SLF version. V256 BNV, which was drafted in to help with the Speedwellvalue services. Last I saw of the K-registered Dart, it was on top of a pile of scrap metal in the scrapyard down the road from their depot.↲↲
    I heard about the short S48 trips from Hey Farm being S50s returning home on the Facebook pag. Thanks for that info on there, that is assuming you are the same William lol.

  21. Indeed, I havent seen the little dart...i'd assumed it was abit too small for certain times.

    That step entry darts gone?!? ah well, its seemed to have its usual duties swapped for the excell so thats a step forward. Let's hope these newer and new buses can do the trick.

  22. What facebook page. Send me the link to my fb inbox please. Might like a read of that. Sorry not done ouch this week been very very quiet and boring. Am sure it will kick off next week.

  23. Anonymous16/4/10 06:38!/profile.php?id=100000629133926&ref=ts

    Speedwell's own

  24. Anonymous16/4/10 13:04

    The K reg Dart was reported to have been a 'bump' late last year while on the 343. I wasn't sure if they still had it so thanks for that.

    Yes the V-reg dart is a little small and seems to be used mostly on the 394 these days.

    Its worth mentioning that the Speedwell Facebook page is nothing like the JPT one. Updates are very rare and alot of passenger query's go un-answered.

  25. M Branson16/4/10 17:12

    Queries (especially suggestions) seem to get answered more so nowadays, but hardly any updates posted.

  26. Anonymous16/4/10 17:55

    Im not so sure. I noticed two queries posted over Easter were left unanswered and then were deleted, but they did explain that the page was only set up for information during the very bad weather in January.

    Rather strange allocations today though. A Marshall Dart on the S48 [with a handfull of passengers] and a Solo on the S50 [standing room only]. May have been better the other way around.

  27. The Marshall 'S48' has a large sticker on the side written with 'FREE JOURNEYS' I doubt that lol.

    The Marshalls are getting transfered to the S48 once the Enviros come in to play. But I do admit that a solo seems unusual.

  28. Anonymous16/4/10 19:13

    There was about 10 pasengers on the S48. Probably would have been a few more but a 348 left just before the S48 did, and the last thing Speedwell want to do is upset there loyal S50 passengers by crowding them on a tiny Solo lol.

    I have noticed some good healthy loads on the S48's coming into Ashton but the ones leaving dont look as busy, the problem being the 348's are alot more frequent.

    If your stood in the Bus Station with a load of shopping the last thing most people will want to do is wait 40 minutes for a 'free' bus when theres a bus going to the same place right in front of them. Hopefully when the 20 min service starts in July this will get better.

    But all in all its got off to a good start. I would also hazzard a guess that once the 20 min service starts they will launch a Evening and Sunday service.

  29. Depends...took about 2/3 months before the sundays started after the launch...then 2/3 months later the evenings followed.

    It depends on reception, also bear in mind it will take on all mainstream routes between stalybridge and ashton...would that affect the 236/7's passenger loads?

  30. Anonymous16/4/10 23:05

    How has the S50 evening and Sunday service been taken?
    Im sad to say im never in Ashton in the evenings or on a Sunday but does it get good loads?

    One suggestion was to run evening services between Hey Farm and Carrbrook. Perhaps thats a real possibility.

  31. Anonymous17/4/10 09:41

    They do quite well but they're free anyay. A solo is the usual vehicle on both evenings and sundays.

  32. Anonymous17/4/10 13:55

    There free for now!
    Given the fact that they have only just registered the evening and sunday journeys they must be planning to start charging soon.

  33. true, but logically everyone will know the times so that could bring in more customers who didn't know 'bout the sunday or evening service...and i'd rather pay the price for the S50 rather than first anyday.

  34. Anonymous2/5/10 14:22

    since the S50 started I have seen the buses with loads on hope it will take on the 350 right though to Oldham some of the buses on that route are ready for the scarp yard one of their darts 40433 is now dumped at Wigan I get weekly reports hope bus Vu 02 TTZ is kept on the S50 it is a good bus I hope one day speedwell get both the S48/50 routes to them selfs been on one of the Ervos all ready great bus

  35. Anonymous2/5/10 20:27

    the first buses on the 350 allways seem to be late waited for the 2.55 from uppermill to hey farm and it was at least 12 mins late so yestaday when I walked to uppermill I made sure it was in time for the 354 which came on time when firstbus first ran the 350 to Oldham they just drove straight pass Hey farm heading to Oldham and now Dukinfield has swapped 31924 with Boltons 34252 which is older

  36. Anonymous21/4/11 11:08

    Traffic Commisioner didnt share most peoples views on Speedwell I hear????