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 Glasgow - Balfron route is dying slowly and needs new routes 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:31 pm
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Post Glasgow - Balfron route is dying slowly and needs new routes
I regularly use the FG no. 10 hourly service between Glasgow - Balfron. I may be wrong but I think FG somehow want out of Balfron completely. However the depot is in an important location in terms of providing an important service for the high school.

The fares on the no. 10 are very high. A 4 week FG ticket to cover the route between Balfron - Glasgow is £132! They have started using a couple of nicer buses, but they are not always used specifically for the peak journeys, so no incentive to use the bus. This route also needs to be limited stop as it was previously under Midland Scottish, especially at night. Catching the last bus to Balfron requires making a decision as to whether you want to risk the possibility of a couple of drunken or junkie nutters from Maryhill sitting next to you on a single decker.

My point is do FG actually look at a route such as this and look at ways to improve its appeal and usage. If you need some ideas can I suggest giving the following some consideration:

Revise the no. 10 as follows:
Change the route to Glasgow - Balfron via Botanic Gardens, Anniesland, Canniesburn Toll, Milngavie, Strathblane and Killearn (every hour)
also with a service extending to Stirling via Kippen every 3rd hour so people from Milngavie, Strathblane and Killearn don't need to change buses at Balfron. I'm sure there are people from these areas using the train to go to Stirling, this might get them on the bus. Also the younger generation (i.e. teenagers) will use it more!
Provide a limited stop service on the no. 10 at peak times and for the last bus from Glasgow. Would suggest via Balmore Road with the first stop being at Milngavie (Station). People out late in Glasgow will use the bus at night if they feel safe and it is comfortable!

Live in hope!


Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:03 pm
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Post Re: Glasgow - Balfron route is dying slowly and needs new ro
Hopeful this company with happily expand even more!

http://www.aberfoylecoaches.com/buses/AC01/

There have much cheaper fares!


Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:03 pm
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Location: Somewhere in Central Scotland
Post Re: Glasgow - Balfron route is dying slowly and needs new ro
The analyst in me says the problems about the Balfron routes is that its bad bus operating territory. What you have is a deeply rural area with the population spread out with a lot of relatively high speed, high mileage running on twisty turny national speed limit single cariageway roads which makes running these routes more expensive to run per mile and this would inflate the costs, hence why a lot of mileage is financially supported by both SPT and Stirling Council.
This is why First Scotland East use buses that are cascaded though the fleet- that is they have repaid their investment on the more lucrative routes and their allocation to Balfron is their second or third life. Accounting and balancing the books has to include vehicle depreciation which on a new/relatively new bus is treated like any asset with a depreciation value and a net book value and all that financial gobeldygoop!

Running the services to Glasgow limited stop would really reduce the journey times as drivers could just put the hammer down along the bus lanes Maryhill Road and not be constantly checking and slowing to see if anyone wanted on and you wouldnt have so much low life scum some with with First Glasgow day tickets on them. However in Edinburgh First Scotland East did this with both their services 38 and 43- they ran X38 and X43 services which were the same as the normal services but were limited stop from within the Edinburgh City Boundary to Edinburgh City Centre. While popular with the passengers who got on outwith the City Boundary they were sailing past other willing farepaying passengers who might have got on within the City Boundary who ended up getting a Lothian Bus instead, the off peak X38s and X43's were eventually reverted back to normal stopping 38's and 43's. Unfortunately the passengers who get on along Maryhill Road like them or not they help make the services more sustainable commercially.

FirstGroup as a whole has with its Devon and Cornwall operations proven that they are not comfortable with operating services within a rural area and prefers the more lucrative high volume urban areas. Which is kind of strange when you consider that Stagecoach spent a lot of money purchasing Highland County/Rapsons which is an area you wouldnt consider a big Multinational Transport Corporation to want to purchase. Stagecoach can run buses in some of the more remote areas of Scotland like in deepest Dumfries and Galloway, Skye and the North Highlands- operate them profitably and to high quality but First struggles- First Scotland East loses money- in fact it haemorrages money, meanwhile not one Stagecoach subsidary lost any money last year.

The fact that Aberfoyle Coaches has spotted a gap in the market and competes with them on quality unfortunately hasnt given First a good enough kick to improve their commercial journeys is a bad sign towards maybe the commitment First Scotland East has to the area. I would have expected to have seen Aberfoyle Coaches expand to operate throughout the daytime on the Balfron/Drymen to Glasgow routes by now but this has still to happen- the market is there for the taking I think. They could blow First right out of the water on quality and price.


Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:16 am
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:31 pm
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Post Re: Glasgow - Balfron route is dying slowly and needs new ro
I agree with the comments so far. A classic example yesterday my teenage daughter was out with friends in Byres Road and commented on how much they like to go to the west end of Glasgow. The key point raised was why the no. 10 can't simply run more services along Great Western Road both to and from Balfron as it would be popular. Maryhill works if it is limited stop.

Another example that defies logic is the 10A. In the morning they run a service that after Maryhill Shopping Centre, turns down Queen Margaret Drive to Botanic Gardens, then onto Great Western Road and Buchanan. This doesn't really benefit the west end schools, so most of the pupils get off at Milngavie and catch the train to Anniesland etc. In the afternoon they run another 10A service to accommodate the west end schools that does go via Anniesland.

Why can't they just run a 10A in the morning that covers Canniesburn, Anniesland and Botanic Gardens?


Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:19 am
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Post Re: Glasgow - Balfron route is dying slowly and needs new ro
First Edinburgh might just be willing to get rid of this area now since the change of management, King lynns have been sold off, I get the feeling First will get rid of Cornwall and Northampton the other two piss pouring compaines.

Problem is the fare are far to high and the routes are, well there becoming better, but there still need to overhaul Falkirk routes. It will need major overhaul if this company is to finally make a profit, livingston is not helping, there keep adding more resources which not cost even more money yet the service a just hanging out most of the time ( I said there should just cut the Edinburgh route in half: Edinburgh to livingston and Then Livingston - rest of west Lothian) Surprising Balfron covers the cost.

I did hear Aberfoyle Coaches were planning to explain, I Think there waiting until re-tendering process has taken place stilring council sub bus routes: Im sure I postage a link on here a while ago. Here it is again: http://www.stirling.gov.uk/south_west_r ... n_2010.pdf

saying that this may be of some use to some: http://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/ gives details about ALL contract in the council :twisted:


Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:05 am
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:31 pm
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Post Re: Glasgow - Balfron route is dying slowly and needs new ro
Basically the entire rural area between Stirling / Aberfoyle / Milngavie / Balloch needs an innovative, localised bus company that will make an effort to actually identify what type of services the public want and will use. They could then provide a reasonably diverse and decent range of services and routes at appropriate intervals and days that will service those areas and provide the bus operator with a decent return.

FG Edinburgh have no ideas or vision for this area and they really just don't care. Stirling Council (SC) should take note of this before throwing more council tax money at FG to subsidise outdated services that are seemingly just being operated for the sake of it. When are FG and SC going to realise that not everyone actually wants to simply jump on a bus to Glasgow City Centre via Maryhill in the evenings. The empty C10 buses are a classic example of money being wasted.

FG you can't run a rural bus service on the same basis as you do in urban areas, stop listening to the accountants and interject a little more imagination and vision. Sell you service, make it appealing to the type of people who live in the areas and they will pay to use it! Charging the equivalent of a monthly car payment for a 4 week ticket to Glasgow, while also being subsidised by council tax and providing buses where the floor lets in the rainwater from the road is taking the proverbial.

Aberfoyle Coaches (AC) are a breath of fresh air and everyone I speak to recommends them for the nice clean buses and reasonable fares. I wish AC the very best of luck and I will start using their service to Glasgow, when possible. I believe they could become a real dominant force in this area within the next 5 years as FG gradually and cynically reduce services that SC are no longer willing to subsidise.

I have started another topic titled "Do you think these routes would work", which includes a 3 hourly service linking Stirling & Balfron to Balloch, Dumbarton, Paisley, Braehead & the west end of Glasgow. I think this as an example would work as a joint venture with another Glasgow bus company and would provide one alternative to the drab services we currently have.

Rural Stirlingshire....fantastic area to live in, but the bus services are dreadful.


Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:15 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2007 11:39 pm
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Post Re: Glasgow - Balfron route is dying slowly and needs new ro
peanutbutter wrote:
First Edinburgh might just be willing to get rid of this area now since the change of management, King lynns have been sold off, I get the feeling First will get rid of Cornwall and Northampton the other two piss pouring compaines.

Problem is the fare are far to high and the routes are, well there becoming better, but there still need to overhaul Falkirk routes. It will need major overhaul if this company is to finally make a profit, livingston is not helping, there keep adding more resources which not cost even more money yet the service a just hanging out most of the time ( I said there should just cut the Edinburgh route in half: Edinburgh to livingston and Then Livingston - rest of west Lothian) Surprising Balfron covers the cost.

I did hear Aberfoyle Coaches were planning to explain, I Think there waiting until re-tendering process has taken place stilring council sub bus routes: Im sure I postage a link on here a while ago. Here it is again: http://www.stirling.gov.uk/south_west_r ... n_2010.pdf

saying that this may be of some use to some: http://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/ gives details about ALL contract in the council :twisted:


The consultation document actually makes for some grim reading on passenger usuage. The C13 is particularly eye opening- the average passengers per journey is quite scary; Monday to Friday you could fit everyone into a people carrier and still have capacity and on a Saturday some journeys are so quiet the average passenger numbers is 0.2-0.7 which basically says sometimes on a Saturday theres no one on the bus at all! Which to me is a bit shocking considering its a high volume tourist area and clearly theres a lot of supressed demand which could make the services pay, instead Stirling Council must be spending an absolute fortune commercially supporting the C13 which is carting around more fresh air than passengers.

There has always strong demand for better services and if First and Aberfoyle can both justify commercial services and indeed compete on a couple of journeys then theres definetly a case for improving the services overall.


Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:49 pm
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Post Re: Glasgow - Balfron route is dying slowly and needs new ro
I think running the buses along Great Western Road would be a great idea, as afterall its got better bus lanes and theres the fact that Byres Road cuts through it and the services would pass the Gartnavel Hospitals and Anniesland and then up the Switchback Road which has over the years seen a dramatic decline in services despite the existance of a lot of housing in the area. As theres actually not a lot of good "destinations" along Maryhill Road apart from the Tesco and McDonalds.... :D


Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:53 pm
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Post Re: Glasgow - Balfron route is dying slowly and needs new ro
One issue that could maybe kill off a permanent route change via Anniesland is that the no.10 now serves Kessington as a replacement for the withdrawn 119 Glasgow - Baljaffrey.

This was obviously agreed in order to increase revenue for the no.10


Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:39 pm
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Post Re: Glasgow - Balfron route is dying slowly and needs new ro
jimblane wrote:
One issue that could maybe kill off a permanent route change via Anniesland is that the no.10 now serves Kessington as a replacement for the withdrawn 119 Glasgow - Baljaffrey.

This was obviously agreed in order to increase revenue for the no.10


More likely first glasgow wanted rid of its dead duck route. and past the buck :?


Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:41 pm
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:57 pm
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Post Re: Glasgow - Balfron route is dying slowly and needs new ro
I live in Balfron, originally from glasgow, id be fucked if balfron depot was to shut in near future as i have epilepsy and not allowed to drive atm , Though the service is DIre from Milngavie station onwards takes too long and usually full of arseholes at maryhill .

I wonder what will happen in coming year .


Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:00 pm
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Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:49 pm
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Post Re: Glasgow - Balfron route is dying slowly and needs new ro
When McColls tenders Balamha-Alexandria, Alexandria-Luss and Alexandria-Helensburgh are up for grabs FiEd could possibly apply for them it would be bit of cream for Balfron.
FiGl could part with Glasgow-Milnagvie and Duntocher services or could even inherit a cross city service from FiGl similar to what happened similar to Dumbarton a few years ago getting hold of 42A (now gone) and later the 11.
A good depot along with Dumbarton for West Coast taking the Lomond and Trossachs under their wing. I would'nt like to see it close.


Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:26 pm
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Post Re: Glasgow - Balfron route is dying slowly and needs new ro
I think these linked services below would be worth a go as a joint venture between FG (Glasgow), FG (Edinburgh) and maybe a local provider like Aberfoyle Coaches.

A 20 minute daytime service, then hourly after 7.00pm with one of the following 4 services leaving Buchanan Street every 20 minutes:
115 Glasgow (Buchanan Bus Station) - Clydebank (Bus Station) via Charing Cross, Partick, Braehead, Renfrew, Paisley, Glasgow Airport and Duntocher

116 Glasgow (Buchanan Bus Station) - Faifley (Terminus) via Charing Cross, Partick, Braehead, Renfrew, Paisley, Glasgow Airport, Mountblow, Clydebank (Bus Station) and Hardgate

Every 2nd hour
117 Glasgow (Buchanan Bus Station) - Balloch (Terminus) via Charing Cross, Partick, Braehead, Renfrew, Paisley, Glasgow Airport, Duntocher, Clydebank, Mountblow, Bowling, Dumbarton and Vale Of Leven Hospital

Every 3rd hour
118 Glasgow (Buchanan Bus Station) - Stirling (Bus Station) via Charing Cross, Partick, Braehead, Renfrew, Paisley, Glasgow Airport, Duntocher, Clydebank, Mountblow, Bowling, Dumbarton, Balloch, Drymen, Croftamie, Killearn, Balfron, Kippen and Gargunnock

747: Route replaced
Alternative route for passengers between City Centre & Partick - Faifley & Duntocher
Alternative service & corridor to cover Glasgow - Paisley
Opens up direct link between Braehead, Airport & Paisley to Stirlingshire & The Trossachs
Serves Drymen & Croftamie, so no. 8 could be withdrawn, as well as C13 Balloch - Balfron

Various parts of route would be profitable!


Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:52 am
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:57 pm
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Post Re: Glasgow - Balfron route is dying slowly and needs new ro
Living in wonder land with those suggested services , it takes 70 mins from balfron to glasgow never mind what your suggesting it would take nearly 2 and a half hours no sense in these routes


Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:27 pm
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Post Re: Glasgow - Balfron route is dying slowly and needs new ro
effingee wrote:
Living in wonder land with those suggested services , it takes 70 mins from balfron to glasgow never mind what your suggesting it would take nearly 2 and a half hours no sense in these routes


They're not suggested as an alternative to the Balfron - Glasgow via Milngavie route, but merely another service providing the option to travel from Balfron direct to either Dumbarton, Clydebank, Glasgow Airport, Paisley & Braehead, which would link up with a variety of other services.

The no. 10 needs to remain, but would be much better if it operated along Great Western Road and Anniesland. Or alternatively a limited stop along Maryhill corridor.


Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:41 pm
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:57 pm
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Post Re: Glasgow - Balfron route is dying slowly and needs new ro
Misinterpreted the alternatives
I certainly agree with regards to
Quote:
The no. 10 needs to remain, but would be much better if it operated along Great Western Road and Anniesland. Or alternatively a limited stop along Maryhill corridor.


Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:08 pm
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