I AM CHRISTOPHER LEACH THE ARTIST. I started this blog so that I can share with everyone my vast collection of transport photographs showing a personal and nostalgic view of the industry with images that span some 45 years taking in the U.K and some of Europe. I have no darkroom and so rather than being the perfectionist after tidying them up I upload the images warts and all, and even those that won't scan squarely or are scratched. In a way it adds age and character. You are all free to download these for your personal use but please remember I still own them and you are not just free to use them without prior permission for any knd of publishing. Click on images to enlarge them and if you want to see more leave your comments or visit my website for the mother-site with galleries including those Buses & Girls: PICTUREWORLD

Monday 17 August 2015

D92 CFA: A Budget Bus Indeed

A budget bus indeed and at the time some might think hardly worth the film film but as you can see from this view at the back of M&S in Stafford as usual I get my money's-worth and one day people will admire the way I managed to capture all this nostalgia from the 1990's and indeed 'cut price' Budget Bus was gone again almost before one realised it had arrived. Of course my patch is not the Taj Mahal of even Trafalgar Square but of course many many others will have pressed the shutter to freeze images of those.


Anonymous said...

That's Midland Red North livery not-too-carefully-hidden under those Budget Bus labels, a MRN destination blind, and indeed a driver in full MRN uniform (I still have a pair of those blue epaulettes somewhere).
I wonder who MRN were trying to run off the road with the Budget Buses? I never really thought of Stafford as being a hotbed of competition!

That said, nor really did I think of MRN as being in a fit state to out-compete anyone by 1990 after they'd nearly destroyed themselves immediately post-deregulation in 1986 when their stupid ventures in Walsall and Derby had almost bankrupted the company, and as a result they'd had to almost cut the company to nothing and indeed very nearly committed hara-kiri with their Night of the Long Knives in 1987...

Ironic now that the only part of Midland Red that seems to be recognisable in terms of network coverage is Stagecoach's Midland Red South, which back then had seemed to be particularly unpromising territory and likely to fail fairly quickly. FirstGroup has all but destroyed MR West, and neither MR North or MR East/Fox have done much better under Arriva's stewardship.

christopher said...

Your memory is letting you down as not only did Chase go head to head on the Lichfield service but at this time with mostly minibuses County Bus gave them a hard time in Stafford and I think Peddle dismayed at what MRN did to Stevensons had a hand in it. I'm afraid their German owners have left Arriva to muddle on, but they don't show a lot of initiative and they run such a tight ship financially should they have even something as simple as a breakdown they don't have a bus to cover the turn and I wish they would bring back inspectors as those drivers who don't care about things like early running or missing bits off a journey just get away with it. In places like Brewood it is taken for granted that the bus might just not turn up which is a terrible state of affairs. As for First Group I'm sure they are selling off the good with the bad. The Potteries is potentially a money pot for anyone who put their mind to it and what it needs is someone like Stagecoach with experience and flair to take it over as with good market reasearch, network planning and new vehicles could breed new life into what was once a busy urban network.

Anonymous said...

I'm genuinely surprised at the extent of the competition you mention. In my defence, in 1990 I was working 12 hours plus a day, 13 days in 14, so I'm amazed I was awake enough to notice anything at all!

Stevensons I recall was an interesting organisation at the time, having carved one heck of a niche for themselves in the West Midlands; I'm never really sure why Peddle sold out, but then I don't pretend to understand the financial side of the industry. He must have had his reasons...

I live in Stagecoach territory nowadays; whilst they're nowhere near as bad as First or Arriva, they're not the panacea people elsewhere believe - they're very tight on vehicle and service costs, which means that if you're not in a high-profitability area, you always get third-hand vehicles, everything's geared to "How much subsidy can we screw out of the council?" and if there's no subsidy available the last bus will be at 18:30 just as in First or Arriva territory. In their defence, their fares do seem rather more reasonable than First's, particularly where day tickets are concerned.

christopher said...

Well Stagecoach does have a Scottish base so one might expect them to be tight with money just like the rest of them. However confident at the outcome they are far more likely to do a proper risk assessment and do some marketing to turn a service around rather than just pull out leaving the local council to pick up the passengers. It will be interesting to see how they get on in Plymouth where Go-Ahead CityBus should be no pushover. I think one of the reasons why Peddle sold Stevensons was because no doubt the fun of it is building something up and so with the proceeds can start again somewhere else.