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, 5 September 2016

Arriva Closes Stafford Garage

It has actually happened Arriva has closed it's garage at Stafford. It had already been downgraded a couple of times to an outstation of Cannock but there has been a bus garage in the town since the 1920's when the fast expanding Midland Red arrived to be joined a few year later by  PMT. Arriva says it has done everything it can to get people on to the buses, and that is true as buses often don't turn up and if one looks at the fares they charge it's hardly surprising the town has a problem with too many cars. On the other hand D&G operate the now combined former Stevenson's and Greatrex service to Great Heywood and on to Uttoxeter which despite it's rural nature one often has to share seats as the buses run almost to capacity at various times of the day. But here after they took it over from Arriva not only did they cut the fares to make them more attractive buses miraculously almost always run to time. A team of regular drivers are also a feature and I cannot count the times they have waited for me when they've seen me running in my heels. Right to the end Stafford had it's own allocation of Plaxton Pointer bodied Dennis Darts but as can be seen here on August 26th Cannock buses were drafted in to help out like Wright bodied VDL 3740. Final closure was on 2nd September 2016 a day which also saw services at the other end of Staffordshire in Burton on Trent pass to Midland Classic. I think as the Arriva hold weakens we might see more significant changes in the not to distant future especially as First isn't doing a very good job in the Potteries either. Will National Express West Midlands spread it's wings or maybe even Stagecoach might see some potential here especially as they are experts at getting fresh blood out of a dying Stone.


Anonymous said...

I know that in the enthusiast community (if there is really any such thing) it's always been de rigueur to hate First Group, and I can understand why, but it's always struck me as strange that Arriva has generally not attracted quite the same level of contempt despite behaving in much the same way as First across its network: high fares, service reductions, an increasingly aging fleet and an ever-shrinking network are as much a hallmark of Arriva's bus operations as they are of First's.

Perhaps it's just because Arriva's blue livery isn't quite as depressing as First's grey?

Not sure that Stagecoach would be any better really; they're just as monolithic as the other Big Two and despite generally being more successful with their PR they haven't done a huge amount to improve services here in Lincolnshire since they took over RoadCar.
Daytime services in Lincoln City are reasonable, but only the south-west of the city has any buses after 18:00 and whilst day & weekly tickets are reasonably priced they clearly aren't priced well enough to attract many people out of their cars - and the fleet is now about the oldest anywhere in the Stagecoach empire.

christopher said...

Arriva's livery has improved with more dark green instead of that sand colour and before they paint out all the black trim can look reasonable. Barbi-Two was an scruffy mess but excpect for all thar depressing grey I thought the actual look of Barbi was rather pleasant. However I much prefer individual liveries and something a bit more traditional.