Thursday, 26 February 2009

Bus to work week – a mum's story

First week back after the birth of my son and already my turn on the bus! But which bus? Traveline tells me I need two buses to get to work. That won’t do! It’s only 5-miles, surely I can get there without having to change? The local operator’s website say’s number 11 and it’s direct, but from a different stop not far away. The 8.27 gets me to work for 8.54, no margin for lateness but still, maximises cuddle time with my baby boy.

Keen to get it right, I pitch up a little early. The digital display shows the next arrival time (I feel spoilt, they didn’t have these when I caught the bus to school...

to read more click here to download a PDF

Friday, 20 February 2009

Bus to work week – a virgin’s story

How did other virgins to bus travel cope in my position? How do you plan a journey, find out times, fares, frequency, if you have to change etc?

It really was quite easy for me; I was now working in an office of public transport specialists. After a quick lesson from a professional bus user I was on the Traveline website. Put in where you want to go from/to and when and it tells you your options, brilliant. But what if I didn’t have internet access I wondered...

to read more click here to download a PDF

East Midlands Trains a TV first!

The benefits of East Midlands Trains new timetable will be broadcast to hundreds of thousands of viewers this week as the company launches its brand new TV advertising campaign. The TV adverts, which were created by M&C Saatchi, are intended to raise awareness of East Midlands Trains new timetable, with a particular emphasis on the benefits of faster journey times from the East Midlands to London as well as the company’s cheaper online fares.

I personally think they work really well. I love the catchy soundtrack and the slick animation helps to reinforce the intended message of faster trains. They are very well branded too, the red dot cleverly appearing throughout the ads, and across their digital and print campaigns. The key was keeping the message simple. Faster trains and from only £12. All too often advertisers try to include too many objectives – this just weakens the whole exercise.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

GB rail fares 'more than Europe'

A new study by Passenger Focus has found that UK rail fares are on average 50% higher than on the continent.

Not good news considering the current economic climate. But it's not all bad news, most British passengers appeared better served than other European passengers by the number and times of trains available. A previous survey by the watchdog found that most (83%) of British passengers were broadly happy with the quality of rail services.

Average Day Return
  • Britain £6.92
  • Germany £5.08
  • Spain £2.52
  • France £1.85
    Passenger Focus, averages for journeys of three to 10 miles
It also found that passengers wanting to travel at short notice or who needed flexibility in journey times would generally be charged more, compared with European ticket-buyers.

For example, in Britain long-distance turn-up-and-go fully flexible day-return fares to the principal city (London) were 87% more expensive than in the next most expensive country surveyed - Germany. This type of British fare was also more than three times as expensive than in the cheapest country surveyed - the Netherlands.

read the full article here

Monday, 16 February 2009

Friday, 13 February 2009

Today's best bus eaves drop

A little innocent eaves dropping can make a bus journey.

I chose my seat, not realising I was sitting infront of the brother of the little girl sitting opposite me (in a tip up seat), and to the right of her mum and dad. This family had apparently decided sitting together wasn't for them, I think I know why:

Mum - "Oh, there's the woman that bought our washing machine."
Daughter - "She's got a big nose that lady."
Son - "Not as big as your ears - that's how we get Sky+. Mum only lets you stay up so she can watch Skins, when you go to bed we have to turn the TV off. Why do you think mum makes sure you do up your coat, she doesn't want you to catch a cold 'cos when you sneeze it flips over the channel! When you were little we could only get cable, by next year we could have HD!"

Poor girl looked very affronted, I was trying really hard to keep a straight face and her brother just went on and on until they got off the bus. Bless her, she didn't even have big ears. Made my journey :)

New train fleet for the Great Western and East Coast main lines

Finally we're set to get a fleet of new trains for the South!

We were selected by First Great Western to produce the launch material for their last attempt at introducing a new fleet in 2002 - the ill-fated Adleante. These went down well initially, however due to reliability problems with the doors, the units were handed back to Angel Trains between 2008-2009. After 30 years let's hope these units will finally be the answer. Only time will tell.

Article from BBC News website:

A multi-billion pound order for a new fleet of inter-city trains is to create or safeguard 12,500 jobs, the government has announced.

A group including Japanese firm Hitachi won the £7.5bn order to build and maintain a new "super express" fleet.

The stock will replace high-speed trains 20-30 years old on the Great Western and East Coast main lines.

read more...

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

What do customers prefer to be called?

A recent survey by passengerfocus.org.uk found that:
  • 68% said a passenger.
  • 17% said a customer.
  • 15% Don't mind.
Interesting that people care that much about how we refer to them! What do you call your customers? Or should that be passengers?

Bus livery of the week

Just shows what can be achieved with a little imagination and a receptive client!