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Author Topic: Milton Keynes Council May 2011 changes  (Read 13056 times)
Suzy Scott
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« on: March 27, 2011, 07:34:12 PM »

Suzy,
Here's what I posted on my blog a week or so ago from MK Council's website, It lists Arriva's commercial plans from May

Annex D – Milton Keynes Bus Service Changes proposed for 22 May 2011
D.1 – Arriva Commercial Proposals
1
Bletchley – CMK – Newport Pagnell
Half hourly service continues between Bletchley and Newport Pagnell
At Bletchley the hourly extensions to Fenny Stratford and Newton Longville
will continue; at Newport Pagnell there will be hourly extensions to Olney and
Lavendon and Cranfield. The section between Olney and Lavendon is
subsidised by MKC.
All journeys beyond Olney to Lavendon and Bedford, and beyond Newport
Pagnell to Bedford will be replaced by changes to Stagecoach services part
subsidised by MKC.
The current evening and Sunday provision beyond Olney will be revised with
loss of Sunday journeys to Bedford.
2
Westcroft – CMK – Newport Pagnell – No changes.
3
Woburn Sands – Kingston – CMK – Bradwell – Bradville
Between Woburn Sands and CMK the journey time will be reduced by no
longer serving Fishermead (this section is subsidised from developer funding
from developments in Woburn Sands and at Lovat Fields).
The section between CMK and Bradville which is a commercial service is
withdrawn and will be replaced by MKC subsidised service.
MKC subsidised services will provide a replacement service for Fishermead.
4/4A Bletchley – MK General Hospital – CMK – Two Mile Ash or Shenley
Church End
No change between Bletchley and CMK.
CMK – Two Mile Ash buses will extend via Hodge Lea and Greenleys to
Wolverton, restoring the direct link between Two Mile Ash and Wolverton and
giving a faster journey time between Greenleys and CMK.
The commercial service between CMK and Crownhill/Shenley Church End is
withdrawn. The change to service 7 will cover Shenley Church End and
Crownhill will be covered by a MKC subsidised service.
5/5A Lakes – Bletchley – MK General Hospital – CMK – Wolverton or Stony
Stratford
No change between Lakes, Bletchley and CMK.
Bus will no longer run via the Hodge Lea loop (replaced by change to service
4).
7
7A
Greenleys – Wolverton – CMK – Furzton – West Bletchley – Bletchley
Greenleys – Wolverton – CMK – Furzton – Far Bletchley – Bletchley
The Greenleys – Wolverton section is replaced change to service 4.
Service 7 will run via Shenley Church End and Portway to replace 4A (but not
via Crownhill). Evening and Sunday buses on route 7 to Bletchley will
continue to be subsidised but reduced to hourly.
Service 7A via Far Bletchley is withdrawn and replaced by changes to MKC
subsidised services.
8
Westcroft – CMK – Kingston – Walnut Tree – Bletchley – No changes.
(21)
 



 

D.2 – MKC proposals in response to Arriva changes:
(1C) Newport Pagnell – Bedford
These journeys will be replaced by new Stagecoach service 51 which will give
an improved link from Newport Pagnell via Sherington, Chicheley and
Astwood to Bedford and is part subsidised by MKC
(1A)
(X9)
Olney – Lavendon – Bedford
The Olney – Bedford link will be provide by diversion of Stagecoach P1 which
will once again serve Olney and will be part subsidised by MKC.
X9 is replaced by change to Arriva service 1 noted above.
(3)
Bradwell village
An hourly service is to be maintained between Bradwell village and CMK by
diversion of service 33. This restores the link from Bradwell village to
Wolverton.
(3)
Bradville
An hourly service is to be maintained between Bradville and CMK which will
include the Heelands section from route 23.
(3)
Fishermead
A half hourly service is to be maintained between Fishermead and CMK by
changes to route 29 and new route 28. This will restore the link from
Fishermead to the hospital.
Evening and Sunday journeys will also be provided.
(4A) Crown Hill and Shenley Church End
An hourly service is to be maintained between Crownhill/Shenley Church End
and CMK by new route 28 which will continue via Fishermead to the hospital.
Evening and Sunday journeys will also be provided.
(7A) Far Bletchley
An hourly service is to be maintained (half hourly at peak times) between
Bletchley, Far Bletchley and CMK by new route 28 which will restore the link
from these areas to the hospital.
Evening and Sunday journeys will also be provided.
Existing service 29 will be incorporated in this timetable but with reduced
number of journeys
 
D.3 – MKC proposals in response to 2011/12 budget:
Old 1 Bedford – Newport Pagnell
Changes to the peak service out of Bedford will result in saving to MKC but at
minimal impact of services MK villages.
1B
Stoke Goldington – Olney – CMK
Through bus from Stoke Goldington to CMK to be withdrawn due to high cost
per passenger, alternative facility to be secured by alteration to Stagecoach
36 (which MKC part subsidise in conjunction with Northamptonshire CC).
10A CMK – Woburn Sands – Leighton Buzzard
Changes proposed by Central Beds but still to be finalised will result in saving
to MKC, but there will be a reduced number of journeys to/from Milton
Keynes.
14A CMK – Stony Stratford
The additional peak journeys between Stony Stratford and CMK to be
withdrawn due to high cost per passenger.
17
CMK – Kingston – Cranfield
Withdrawn between CMK and Kingston; MK Village and Moulsoe lose direct
link to CMK but can change at Kingston or Coachway (example of feeder
service into a hub).
18
CMK – Bletchley – Bow Brickhill – Kingston
Revised with link to revised service 17 giving though links to Coachway from
Woburn Sands and Bow Brickhill.
18E CMK – Kingston – Bow Brickhill – Bletchley
Service withdrawn due to high cost per passenger (loss of Sunday buses in
Woughton-on-the-Green and Bow Brickhill)
20
Walnut Tree/Old Farm Park – Open University
This peak hour service to be withdrawn due to poor use.
33
CMK – Wolverton – Hanslope
1834 bus from CMK to Hanslope to be withdrawn due to poor use.
The additional peak journeys between Wolverton and CMK will also be
withdrawn due to high cost per passenger.
Sunday service to Hanslope to be withdrawn due to poor use (loss of Sunday
buses in Castlethorpe, Haversham and Hanslope).
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Suzy Scott
Dundee, Scotland, UK
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Suzy Scott
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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2011, 10:18:03 AM »

Since this was compiled, Arriva are to operate a Sunday service between Bedford and Lavendon only.
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Suzy Scott
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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2011, 02:21:33 PM »

In addition to the above, I understand that evening buses on route 158 and Sunday buses on route 150 are to be withdrawn due to cuts by Central Beds and possibly Bucks CC. Both of these are worrying as they are important
strategic routes. How about extending the 70 (Luton-Leighton Buzzard) to Aylesbury, providing a much needed
through service and allowing Aylesbury people to catch a train to MK at Leighton Buzzard ? And how about sending selected short workings on route X5 between MK Coachway and Bedford via Cranfield, Wootton and Kempston, all
big enough to deserve an evening service ?

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Simon Norton
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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2011, 03:04:26 PM »

Sorry, I can't see any possible rhyme or reason for a bus from Bedford to terminate at Lavendon. If it's supported by Bedford BC and they are only interested in looking after their own, then it would terminate at Turvey. If it's commercial or supported by MK Council then surely it would run from Olney and link with its MK service. Indeed I would suspect that the Olney-Lavendon section could be added commercially to any supported Lavendon-Bedford service, especially as it's presumably operated from a depot in the MK area.
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Suzy Scott
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« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2011, 09:50:13 PM »

In addition to the above, I understand that evening buses on route 158 and Sunday buses on route 150 are to be withdrawn due to cuts by Central Beds and possibly Bucks CC. Both of these are worrying as they are important strategic routes. How about extending the 70 (Luton-Leighton Buzzard) to Aylesbury, providing a much needed through service and allowing Aylesbury people to catch a train to MK at Leighton Buzzard ? And how about sending selected short workings on route X5 between MK Coachway and Bedford via Cranfield, Wootton and Kempston, all big enough to deserve an evening service ?

Buckinghamshire County Council has just completed some tendering/service reviews, as per usual for this time of year too. They will also be affected by commercial changes in May and June.
As part of this, the subsidised Service 150 on Sundays between Milton Keynes and Aylesbury will NOT be withdrawn, but instead INCREASED to a bus every two hours (currently a bus every two-and-a-half-hours). Not a huge improvement, but a lot better than no service at all.
The Sunday 150 will no longer go to Bletchley, to match what the Monday-Saturday service does. I understand removing the 150 from Bletchley was a passenger request, as well as to improve reliability - hence the council presumably wanted to match the Sunday service to the commercial Mon-Sat service. There are some minor changes to the routing in Aylesbury every day, but no major changes. You can download a full list of forthcoming Bucks CC changes via this link... http://www.transportforbucks.net/Buses-and-trains/Major-changes-to-bus-services.aspx


Sorry, I can't see any possible rhyme or reason for a bus from Bedford to terminate at Lavendon. If it's supported by Bedford BC and they are only interested in looking after their own, then it would terminate at Turvey. If it's commercial or supported by MK Council then surely it would run from Olney and link with its MK service. Indeed I would suspect that the Olney-Lavendon section could be added commercially to any supported Lavendon-Bedford service, especially as it's presumably operated from a depot in the MK area.

No, I will be honest, I did not understand it either... but... (note Milton Keynes is still on the MK Metro Limited O-licence, PF0005074)

Bus Registration Search Results - Bus Route Summary
   
M K METRO LTD - PF0005074/100
Registration Number:    
Variation Number    0
Status    Registered
Operator Name    M K METRO LTD
Service Number(s)    1A
Start Point    Lavendon, The Cross
Finish Point    Bedford Bus Station
Via    
Service Type    Normal Stopping
Date Received    24-MAR-2011
Effective Date    22-MAY-2011
End Date    -
TAOs covered by route    Eastern Traffic Area
Local Authorities covered by route    Bedford County Council
Milton Keynes Council
N&P Reference    2098
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Suzy Scott
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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2011, 10:14:11 PM »

The removal of Bletchley from the 150 is what makes it possible to run the service on a 2 hourly basis by reducing the end to end journey time to under an hour.

It was reported that Bucks CC were considering removing all support from Sunday services, which was one of the factors that lent credence to the report I'd received from another source that the 150 was being axed. But if so they appear to have relented. However the most scenic section of the 161 Aylesbury-Whipsnade will be disappearing -- the route will be curtailed at Ivinghoe (and renumbered 50). What a pity Bucks and Beds (now Central Beds) councils couldn't cooperate to run a through service between Aylesbury and Luton, based on the weekday 61 but including what I regarded as the sensible diversions via Wendover and Whipsnade.

I am currently trying to pursue the idea of closing the B4541 between Dunstable and the Chilterns Visitor Centre as it substantially detracts from the enjoyment of the path along the Chilterns escarpment. The road would remain open for use by authorised vehicles including a bus shuttle between Luton, Dunstable, the Visitor Centre, Whipsnade Zoo and the southern end of the escarpment at the Bison Car Park at Whipsnade. It would be financed by car parking charges at the visitor centre.

Then add a 2 hourly bus between Aylesbury and Luton following the 161 through Wendover, Tring, Ivinghoe, Edlesborough, Eaton Bray and Whipsnade, then via Studham, Kensworth, Markyate and Caddington  to Luton, and divert the 70 via Totternhoe instead of Tilsworth. Had the 150 been axed I would have suggested extending the 70 further to Aylesbury; but as it is I'm not sure how to deal with the problem of connections at Leighton Buzzard. Any ideas ?

Add a new route between Luton and Leighton Buzzard via Upper Sundon, Harlington, Toddington, Tebworth and Hockliffe (which I would have routed via Heath & Reach if the 150 had been axed), and a diversion of the S1 via
Streatley and Sharpenhoe, which I'm sure can be accommodated within the existing schedule, and we'd have a fairly comprehensive coverage of the Northern Chilterns on Sundays.
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John Hammond
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2011, 01:55:24 PM »

I agree it would have made sense for a service to have run Luton-Aylesbury on a Sunday as frequently people asked about that connection which was possible to Luton (not on paper but due to a slack timetable) however the 161 always left Whipsnade before the sunday bus arrived from Luton. It didn't need to and was poorly coordinated by the two LA's.

However I drove the 'scenic' 161 service for 6 months practically every Sunday and it rarely carried enough passengers along most of the route. During the Winter it carried maybe 2-3 to Whipsnade at the very most, hardly ever collected passengers in Edlesborough or Eaton Bray. A few passengers from Ivinghoe and Marsworth (almost all regulars) and a few from Wendover. It picked up the odd person in Tring but Tring was covered by the 501 which most people used for quickness. The Zoo section was busier in the Summer but it was only certain journeys that carried any passengers with the last bus from the zoo at 18:00 often running totally empty from Whipsnade to Aylesbury. It was not uncommon for the 10:00 from Aylesbury to run totally empty to the zoo as well.

A nice to have, but realistically the service has been cut to offer a better spread of general connections to Aylesbury from those communties that generated passengers on a regular basis. 
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Godfrey Willis
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« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2011, 02:39:49 PM »

Can I remind everyone that Aylesbury, Tring, Whipsnade Zoo etc is way off the BABUS Radar!
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Simon Norton
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« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2011, 04:36:25 PM »

No more so than all the MK stuff which introduced this thread, surely !

If John Hammond had his way we probably wouldn't have any buses at all, I suspect, as whenever I point out somewhere where people might want to go he says there's no demand for it. We will only achieve sustainable transport if we can provide a sufficient range of destinations so people don't feel they have to turn to the car when they want to go somewhere offbeat. Once they do that they'll start using the car for all their travel.

I may say that long before BABUS was born I wrote to all 3 councils on the 161 route saying that I thought it was born to fail and we needed to make it into a through service with the 60. This route means a lot to me as it is close to the Cambridge-Oxford Premier Travel route that I used to use a lot when I was a student for day trips to the Chilterns and it pains me to see it disappear due to incompetence. And that was before I noticed that bus times out of Wendover were timed to miss trains from London.
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Suzy Scott
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« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2011, 08:07:42 PM »

No more so than all the MK stuff which introduced this thread, surely !

 Shocked Angry Shocked Huh Shocked Huh

Service 1 from MK to Bedford is at the very top of the list - certainly not off the BABUS radar - or have we changed the boundaries? I posted that largley for the information on the changes into Bedford... Also, please lighten up on the bitching towards other board users!

... Anyway, timetables went online this afternoon.

Service 1 to Cranfield and Lavendon every hour.
Further to the proposals, Lavendon will still have the evening link to/from MK. It is also worth noting that a through MK - Lavendon - Bedford Arriva service will still run on Sundays - albeit numbered 1 to Lavendon, and 1A beyond to Bedford. (1A timetable is at the end of the 1 file!)
The journeys run very closely timed to those of the 40/41...

... speaking of which, this proposed route (replacing Planets Pluto1) has had a number of proposed numbers, but it looks like Stagecoach has stuck on 40/41. See attached timetable. Buses on the new route leave Bedford 15 mins earlier than now, arriving 5 mins earlier - giving those travelling north on the X7 more time to make the connection! Also of interest will be an even later bus back from Northampton - 40 mins later at 19.20.

See attached timetables!
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Suzy Scott
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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2011, 01:49:48 PM »

Suzy, I completely agree with what you say in the first paragraph. Maybe Simon is missing the point here about the impact of the changes on the routes mentioned that serve the MK-Lavendon-Cranfield-Bedford corridor.
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Simon Norton
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« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2011, 10:36:47 PM »

My reference to Suzy's post was intended to refer to the MK town services, not routes like the 1 group to Bedford and Cranfield. And it wasn't intended as a criticism of Suzy, indeed I wanted to illustrate the fact that changes outside the BABUS area can nevertheless have a significant effect on the journeys made by people who travel to, from or through Bedford and surrounding area.

I had intended to point out the later bus from Northampton and the improved connections to the X7 but Suzy has anticipated me for both !

However there's another bit of good news -- the 158 evening service to Cranfield seems to have been saved.
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Simon Norton
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« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2011, 10:40:58 PM »

I also noted the Sunday through service from Newport Pagnell to Bedford via Lavendon, but Suzy anticipated me for that too.

Incidentally, can the deletion of the Pluto service from the "planets" brand be taken as a belated recognition that Pluto is no longer officially a planet ? I always they should have used Neptune (N for Northampton) instead.
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John Hammond
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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2011, 01:46:23 PM »

Simon, before you launch into personal attacks on me please reread the email in which I clearly tell you that I was the regular driver of the Red Rose 161 for 6 months therefore I am in a place to tell you the passenger loadings on that service and how despite offering 4 Sunday/Public Holiday buses per day at reasonable fares, that the service was often devoid of passengers along large sections of route.
I agree its operation could have been better, and thats due to local authorites not working together, thats why I'm opposed to LA's getting involved when a regional body should coordinate cross boundary services in a better way.

I am all for buses linking places including on Sundays and evenings, but having worked in the bus/PT industry since 2000, I understand you can't simply look at a map and decide everywhere should have a service to everywhere else and that in the interests of providing the best services, places that generate no passengers should not receive resources that can be invested into better connections on more important routes which actually provide better services for more people, and has been demonstrated time and time again become commercial after an initial period of support.

Any observations of mine are based not on looking at a map, or remembering what one could do in 1975 by bus, they are based on being out in daily service driving and surveying bus routes day in, day out and therefore understanding that in reality some routes just don't generate passenger levels. As I have said countless times, once great bus territory in Bedfordshire where poor agricultural communities once generated large numbers of buses are now home to wealthy 3 car types who wouldn't use a bus in a month of Sundays. I am a regular bus user and support the growth of quality useable bus routes where demand realistically exists.

Given a bus and driver, is it really better for it to rattle around places like Old Warden picking up nobody, or is it better to be supporting evening or sunday services to major towns like Bedford helping to grow commercial use of those routes? There is more than the financial cost, empty buses use a large amount of fuel and their carbon footprint is much higher than a well used service.
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Simon Norton
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« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2012, 09:35:15 AM »

In reply to John, I several times tried to contact all three county councils, the Chilterns AONB authority and others to say that the service would be better used if it ran between Aylesbury and Luton (or Luton Airport,
which is served on weekdays, or Hitchin station for trains to Cambridge etc.), as it did before Bucks CC originally withdrew support for the Sunday service -- which they reinstated when the previous goverment introduced Rural Bus Grant and have now discontinued again. I am fed up with local authorities and operators who, because they can't be bothered to cooperate, leave services dangling without onward connections and so betray passengers. If you lived in Aylesbury, would you use this route to get to/from Luton Airport if it meant hanging around for over an hour at Whipsnade ?

I remember the old Cambridge-Luton-Aylesbury-Oxford service as being well used, and not just by end to end passengers who would now be using the X5. Indeed sometimes it was completely full. That is because it served the towns where people actually live or want to visit.

I may add that if John feels that I am personally attacking him it may be because he seems to be one of those people who specialise on squashing any idea anyone comes up with -- and because he is not a BABUS member.
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