Feature
First is back on track in the West of England

First is back on track in the West of England

It’s been a big year for First’s West of England bus business and managing director Paul Matthews     The fortunes of First’s bus operation in Bristol, and the wider West of England region, have largely mirrored that of its parent company’s UK bus division as a whole and have suffered in recent years from...
Brian Souter's PolskiBus moves up a gear

Brian Souter’s PolskiBus moves up a gear

Sir Brian Souter brings in Polish pipers to herald new services, new destinations and new coaches     In the space just three short years, Sir Brian Souter’s PolskiBus.com has mushroomed from an initial launch fleet of 18 vehicles to a complement of 132. The inspiration of the Stagecoach co-founder and chairman has been embraced...
Labour's DOR idea ‘costly and ill thought through’

Labour’s DOR idea ‘costly and ill thought through’

The Labour Party’s plans to create a public-owned TOC has been condemned by the rail industry The East Coast rail business is again proving a magnet for controversy. Last month, shadow transport secretary Mary Creagh announced a new policy commitment of transforming Directly Operated Railways from the government’s operator of last resort into a vehicle...
Yorkshire Tiger, hidden dragon?

Yorkshire Tiger, hidden dragon?

  Arriva is aiming for a different approach for its recently acquired low cost operation in Yorkshire Last September Arriva found itself in an unusual position. Since 2008 the group had been in a joint venture with Julian Peddle, David Shelley and Peter Harvey and their Leicester-based Centrebus operation to take on the former Stagecoach...
How Arriva’s team crafted a new gem

How Arriva’s team crafted a new gem

  Arriva is giving 11 services the ‘Sapphire’ treatment in 2014. We spoke to Nigel Featham, who led the development of this brand Any bus company worth its salt is constantly looking to improve its passenger experience. Bus fleets are improved continuously with the aim of maintaining competitive edge. The major beneficiaries of these improvements...
Arriva's national strategy for social media

Arriva’s national strategy for social media

  Arriva UK Bus has developed a national, co-ordinated approach to social media across its businesses. We spoke to Nick Gordon The rise of social media has presented Britain’s bus companies with a challenge and an opportunity. Channels like Facebook and Twitter offer new ways to reach out to existing customers and attract new ones,...
‘Catch the Bus Week’ returns for second year

‘Catch the Bus Week’ returns for second year

  Claire Haigh of Greener Journeys says week-long spotlight on buses will be bigger and better in 2014 Greener Journeys, the sustainable transport group, has a mission to promote more sustainable travel and get people who don’t normally travel by bus to leave the car at home and give it a try. That’s why this...
‘We need young entrepreneurs’

‘We need young entrepreneurs’

Former Norfolk Green boss Ben Colson fears the bus business is no longer attracting free-thinkers Inept regulation and government interference is in danger of preventing a badly needed injection of young entrepreneurs from entering the bus business, one of the industry’s most senior figures has warned. In his presidential address to the Omnibus Society, former...
Omnibus aims to get closer to clients

Omnibus aims to get closer to clients

Scheduling software specialist Omnibus is reevaluating its relationships with clients in order to build stronger relationships It’s not that long since most bus operators’ scheduling functions were undertaken by a large team of specialists working with paper and pen for weeks at a time. During times of major revisions it would not be uncommon for...
Roger French's 'horror file' of bus photographs

Roger French’s ‘horror file’ of bus photographs

Former Brighton & Hove boss urges bus industry to pay more attention to the details Roger French retired from his role as managing director of bus company Brighton & Hove earlier this year. During his 18 years in charge of that company, he earned wide respect for his focus on customer service. His passion for...
FirstGroup promises Star quality with new service

FirstGroup promises Star quality with new service

Group has worked with local authorities to deliver an enhanced Portsmouth-Waterlooville service After five years of decline, patronage growth has finally returned to FirstGroup’s UK bus division. Although the group continues to face major challenges, green shoots of recovery are emerging across the group, and one of these is the busy Portsmouth-Waterlooville corridor. Thanks to...
Makeover for ‘bus stop’ shop window

Makeover for ‘bus stop’ shop window

Two local authorities in Scotland have used technology to overhaul bus stop timetable information Increasingly, the bus industry and local authorities are adopting the mantra of retailers in seeking to personalise and simplify services. A particular challenge is how to apply these principles to the printed information displayed at the bus stop ‘shop window’. This...