A Promise

Updating the blog post on the plight of the 26s and 37s comes a recently published letter in the Stroud News from Stagecoach managing director, Ian Manning, who bravely tries to explain why these services are cut. The essence of which is as follows, plus a promise from Stagecoach and a final thought of my own…

The Essence

Unlike in Wales (and Scotland), operators in England are up against 297 districts each doing their own thing. The “appalling levels” reimbursement to operators in Gloucestershire is among the worst in England, at some 47p in the £. This has spoilt Stagecoach’s efforts of re-routing the 26 (Stroud-France Lynch) and restoring a half-hourly service. 47p is not covering the drivers’ wages & fuel direct costs. Stroud District Council has given a blanket refusal to fund the extra capacity put on for older people on the 37s (Stroud-Cashes Green). The result is inevitable.

The Promise

The 26 still sees a half-hourly service at peak (an extra morning journey, two afternoon journeys and one in the early evening). Manning has promised to restore the full off-peak half-hourly, should full reimbursement be forthcoming.

The Thought

If Stagecoach can afford to operate additional services at peak times, then off-peak mileage is at marginal cost (given that, presumably, the buses cover their costs at the most expensive time of operation—the peaks). This means the savings to Stagecoach of withdrawing off-peak mileage is surely insignificant, given the buses lay idle between the morning and afternoon peaks.  Better to get the wheels turning at least earning *some* revenue.

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