Friday, 20 May 2011

New Focus Transport blog


Our apologies that the main Focus website has not been updated regularly, but we have been working in the background to prepare a new section of the site that will deal with the regular postings, covering news items and other topical matters that need to be brought to your attention on a daily basis.
Our new Focus Blogger site will be brought to you by the regular team of contributors and the Focus Flickr site gives regular updates of photo collections relating to the current transport scene and also shows archive material from slides and prints that are relevant to various subjects under review.
Please bookmark these sites and visit them on a regular basis.
This main Focus Transport site will remain in use to cover more in depth articles, reviews and interviews so continue to keep and eye on happenings here as well.
In the meantime we hope you enjoy visiting our three websites and if you have any contributions or comments we would be pleased to hear from you.

Bargain Bus update

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Matlock and Buxton

Way back in 1972 I worked for the Trent Motor Traction Company when it was announced that fellow NBC subsidiary the North Western Road Car Company of 2 Charles Street, Stockport was being broken up and that Trent were inheriting Matlock and Buxton depots. Somehow these two depots never really fitted into the Trent network which was centred on Nottingham and Derby. Matlock was a small town/rural operation and Buxton looked towards Manchester. Over the years all the rural services were withdrawn or replaced by tendered service run by other operators leaving Matlock with the 6.1 service from Bakewell to Derby via Matlock and Wirksworth and Buxton with a cross town local service, the 199 to Stockport and Manchester Airport and a share of the Transpeak Manchester, Buxton, Matlock, Derby, Nottingham service.
Yesterday it was announced that Centrebus subsidiary Bowers of Chapel-en-le-Frith who operate most of the tendered services in and around Buxton and trent barton have formed an exciting new bus company called High Peak. This will have the effect of partially recreating the old North Western company’s Buxton operations with services to Ashbourne, Macclesfield and Glossop.
However these kinds of changes are never straightforward as tb’s Derby depot operates some Transpeak journeys. TM Travel also have a number of tendered services running into Buxton and both TM Travel and trent barton are owned by the holding company Wellglade.
Which will be the dominant partner in High Peak? My guess is that it will be Centrebus as the new company is called ‘High Peak’ and not ‘high peak’.
Former North Western 921, an AEC Reliance on Buxton Market Place in March 1972.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Leos Bus and Coach tours

Leo's Bus & Coach Tours has now ceased all enthusiast based operations due to problems on recent trips.

However 'J.B. Tours' have agreed to provide the trips which we had planned over the next few months.

For those of you who are interested in future enthusiast based trips which they are running please visit:

Saturday, 14 May 2011

New buses for Spondon Flyer

Four new Optare Versas entered service on the Spondon Flyer today. In the morning they were displayed on Derby Market Place. The guy in the centre is Ray Stenning, editor of Classic Bus, the guy on the left is Alex Hornby, trent barton's Commercial Director but I don't know who the lady is.

During the morning the service was operated by Wright bodied Scanias and ...

...this Optare Excel arrived back at 12:55 to be replaced by new Versa 808 for the 1:00 pm departure.

Kath boarding 808 on its first journey.

Bespoke interior.

This is the 2:00 pm departure by which time all four Versas were in service.
More pictures on Flickr.

Friday, 13 May 2011

News items

The Competition Commission has issued its provional report which is riddled meaningless with acroynms like AEC. However Nottingham was used as a case study which may be of interest. 

Tomorrow (Saturday) new Optare Versas are launched on the Spondon Flyer. This info from Trent Barton Live on facebook
'Come fly with us tomorrow at Derby Market Place! See our new spondon flyer buses from 10am, and then in the Bus Station from 12.45 and maiden flights after 1pm. Freebies galore with Mr MANGO and the team :)' 
I think the first enters service at 13:00 (sorry 1:00 pm). I hope to publish some pictures tomorrow.

New door mat for Derby bus station

A couple of weeks ago trent barton rerouted the Allestree service through the city centre. It now travels in a loop and doesn't call at the congested bus station. However not everyone agrees with this decision.
Protest in Allestree?
Call for watchdog.


Thursday, 12 May 2011


I'm glad I'm not a student.

Very similar to the buses I saw in Tallinn last week.

The former Midland Red service numbers 112 and X12 are still in use.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Gills Travel of Ilkeston

Gills operate a half-hourly commercial service between Long Eaton and Sandiacre. The bus is a former NCT Optare MetroRider. The challenge now is to get a picture of this bus alongside the new Optare Versas on the common section of route with 'my 15'.
(Thanks for the correction Peter. I have made the necessary change.)

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Former Silver Service number 4

Number 4 now in the livery of Burtons Coaches of Alfreton at Crich on Easter Sunday.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, 9 May 2011

Number 4

My old friend Jim Jordan has sent me this picture of Silver Service number 4. Jim writes:

"A Silver Service Regal on the last day of trains through Rowsley until the restorers moved in. Is this No4? Bill Gardener bought their Q but I am not sure about the Regal."

Sunday, 8 May 2011

What's going on?

A few old pictures inclding this one have been published by Focus Transport.
Following on from my Soviet Union theme can anyone remember what is happening here or perhaps suggest a humerous caption? Here is a clue it was taken in Matlock before the days of 'health & safety'.

Saturday, 7 May 2011


On Monday 9th May trent barton's Swift between Derby and Uttoxeter is to be extended to Tesco in Uttoxeter and the Optare Excels to be replaced by refurbished Wright Eclipse bodied Volvos. (Perhaps the record temperatures in April have enabled the Swifts to fly early this year.)

The next upgrade will be to the Spondon Flyer the following Saturday, 14th May.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Tallinn Autobussjaam

There is only one long distance train from Tallinn, the overnight sleeper to Moscow, so the coach station is quite busy.

There are several departures to St Petersburg - this was the 14:15.
 I have also published some pictures of Tallin Trams.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Tallinn local buses

In the Soviet Union local city transport was usually provided by trams and trolleybuses owned by the local authority. Buses were used for services to outer suburbs and the surrounding countryside and were separately owned and managed. I didn't see any former Soviet buses.
I suspect this bus is second hand.

There is a basement bus station under a new shopping centre. The bus is a familiar Polish built Scania.

The airport bus is operated by a different company but is integrated into the city network.

A selection of country buses near the railway station.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

EU May 2011 - Tallinn

There were 9 trolley bus routes in 1990 but one closed in 2000. The Soviet era Skodas are being replaced by Polish built Solaris.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Fewer bargains?

I think Saturday was the last day of operation for Bargain Bus 4 from Nottingham Broadmarsh to Long Eaton via Stapleford. From Tuesday it will operate from Victoria bus station to Stapleford. I also understand that the 20 minute frequency on Bargain Bus 2 from Broadmarsh to Cotgrave will be reduced perhaps to hourly.
Thhe former Long Eaton terminus outside ASDA.

The Bargain Bus timetable has been removed at Broadmarsh.

Leaving Broadmarsh.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

my 15's first day

The 11:40 from Ilkeston to Old Sawley.

The 12:00 departure.

The interior is very orange. The digital clock thought the time was 20:25 (I'm surprised that tb hadn't specified an am/pm display).

In Long Eaton just after 12:30.

On our return in a completely different bus I saw two new Versas following each other through Stapleford but I wasn't quick enough to get a convincing photograph.. Traffic congestion and badly parked cars and vans plague this route and delays are common.
Focus on Flickr has more pictures of colourful Ilkeston taken on Thursday.