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D&G Bus
RE: D&G Bus
Seems the Metrocity has returned to Adderley Green. The one thing I found surprising is we hear all these reports about how economical the Metrocities are compared to the big Enviro 200s, including what David Reeves was quoted as saying in an Optare press release. Yet someone decided for two days to have the big Enviros out all day on the 88/89, while the Metrocity did two short early 88 journeys, then the Handforth Dean shuttles (significantly less mileage.)

153, which appeared on the 88 on Wednesday is also back at Crewe, 26 remains on Wincham services with 120 returning to the 88 today.

It may be a mistake but 30 seems to have disappeared from the fleet list on bus times.
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RE: D&G Bus
30 is away for accident repairs. Has been for some weeks. The Metrocity was on the Handforth Dean shuttles at the request of the driver. 41 is also now at Wincham


(27/08/2021 12:25)knutstransport Wrote:  Seems the Metrocity has returned to Adderley Green. The one thing I found surprising is we hear all these reports about how economical the Metrocities are compared to the big Enviro 200s, including what David Reeves was quoted as saying in an Optare press release. Yet someone decided for two days to have the big Enviros out all day on the 88/89, while the Metrocity did two short early 88 journeys, then the Handforth Dean shuttles (significantly less mileage.)
It may be a mistake but 30 seems to have disappeared from the fleet list on bus times.

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RE: D&G Bus
(27/08/2021 21:56)Rick Hunter Wrote:  30 is away for accident repairs. Has been for some weeks.

I noticed it hadn't been in service for a while. It might be one of the strange quirks on bus times that sometimes a bus which hasn't been in service for a while drops off the fleet list and sometimes it doesn't. 32 and 139 also disappeared overnight. 34 is still there, even though it's not been in service for weeks, as is 138 that's not been out for a week.

Hopefully the missing bigger vehicles can start returning to service in the next week, otherwise they'll be short for when the schools return.

Quote:The Metrocity was on the Handforth Dean shuttles at the request of the driver.

I wonder if anyone knows if Go Goodwins ever used a Metrocity on the Handforth Dean shuttle before D&G got it. I'm not aware of one doing Altrincham-Wilmslow-Knutsford before and even if GHA did use one to cover for one of their 'Gold' Enviros it wouldn't have operated via Longridge and may not have gone both direct via Altrincham Road and via Morley Green. Howards regularly used a Metrocity on the 289 and on rare occasions both Howards and GHA used a Metrocity on the 27, so Metrocities were tried and tested on those routes.

Quote:41 is also now at Wincham

All the fleet swaps does beg the question of what D&G are going to do about the Greater Manchester clean air zone from next year. If the 130 continues to Wythenshawe when the current 1 year contract ends then on Tuesdays and Fridays they'll need at least 8 vehicles which meet the requirements. Based on that I wouldn't imagine it would be too hard for them to get grants to convert 11 or 12 existing vehicles but they've used at least 18 vehicles on those routes this month. I doubt when they'll get funding to convert that many and if all the operators multiple the number of vehicles they need for GM routes by 2.25 and then try to get that many converted, where will all the fitters come from?

I'm not sure if the newer Optare vehicles in the D&G fleet are already compliant, if they are one option could be to cascade those or to have them at Crewe, so they can be sent up to cover for any of the regular vehicles.

I'm also not sure what the situation is with the 2 x MMCs in the Chaserider fleet, given they remain in plain white livery and have been allocated fleet numbers 1 and 2. That does seem to draw similarities with vehicles D&G have used which have officially been on loan from Centrebus.
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RE: D&G Bus
(28/08/2021 10:59)knutstransport Wrote:  I noticed it hadn't been in service for a while. It might be one of the strange quirks on bus times that sometimes a bus which hasn't been in service for a while drops off the fleet list and sometimes it doesn't. 32 and 139 also disappeared overnight. 34 is still there, even though it's not been in service for weeks, as is 138 that's not been out for a week.

Hopefully the missing bigger vehicles can start returning to service in the next week, otherwise they'll be short for when the schools return.


I wonder if anyone knows if Go Goodwins ever used a Metrocity on the Handforth Dean shuttle before D&G got it. I'm not aware of one doing Altrincham-Wilmslow-Knutsford before and even if GHA did use one to cover for one of their 'Gold' Enviros it wouldn't have operated via Longridge and may not have gone both direct via Altrincham Road and via Morley Green. Howards regularly used a Metrocity on the 289 and on rare occasions both Howards and GHA used a Metrocity on the 27, so Metrocities were tried and tested on those routes.


I don’t recall Goodwins operating the Handforth shuttle. It was elite for many years, although they used an ex Goodwins solo, still in goodwins base livery toward the end.
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RE: D&G Bus
(28/08/2021 13:27)djb Wrote:  I don’t recall Goodwins operating the Handforth shuttle. It was elite for many years, although they used an ex Goodwins solo, still in goodwins base livery toward the end.

Ah that's probably what I was thinking of then.
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RE: D&G Bus
Last time 34 was at Wincham it was leaving a blue smokey haze behind it everywhere and using lots of oil.

The buses regularly used at Wincham are currently in course of having the new exhausts fitted to make them compliant with the Manchester clean air zone. The work is being done at Cannock. 30-32 have been done as have 120 and 122. 33 is also to be done. Solos 129-131 and possibly 45 are to be done. 3 Solos are used on 130 at the moment usually drawn from the 4 mentioned. Apart from vehicle failures bad planning by engineering means a lot of unnecessary swaps take place. A regular occurrence is a vehicle being sent to Wincham then the day after it has to return to Crewe as its inspection is due.


(28/08/2021 10:59)knutstransport Wrote:  I noticed it hadn't been in service for a while. It might be one of the strange quirks on bus times that sometimes a bus which hasn't been in service for a while drops off the fleet list and sometimes it doesn't. 32 and 139 also disappeared overnight. 34 is still there, even though it's not been in service for weeks, as is 138 that's not been out for a week.

All the fleet swaps does beg the question of what D&G are going to do about the Greater Manchester clean air zone from next year. If the 130 continues to Wythenshawe when the current 1 year contract ends then on Tuesdays and Fridays they'll need at least 8 vehicles which meet the requirements. Based on that I wouldn't imagine it would be too hard for them to get grants to convert 11 or 12 existing vehicles but they've used at least 18 vehicles on those routes this month. I doubt when they'll get funding to convert that many and if all the operators multiple the number of vehicles they need for GM routes by 2.25 and then try to get that many converted, where will all the fitters come from?

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RE: D&G Bus
(28/08/2021 19:50)Rick Hunter Wrote:  30-32 have been done

That explains why different Enviros from the ex-SLT ones are making different noises when climbing hills.

Quote:and possibly 45 are to be done.

I'm not sure how much work is involved or the costs involved but I do find it a bit strange they are considering converting a bus that will be 16 years old next year. It might be one of the least green vehicles in the fleet meaning converting saves more fuel but it might not have long left in service.

Quote:Apart from vehicle failures bad planning by engineering means a lot of unnecessary swaps take place. A regular occurrence is a vehicle being sent to Wincham then the day after it has to return to Crewe as its inspection is due.

In the early days of the Wincham depot things did seem to be consistent, with a regular allocation of 6 x Solo SRs and 1 x Streetlite, with the number of Streetlites increasing if Solo SRs were away. If they can return to that level of consistency then the clean air zone won't be a headache for them. However, the number of breakdowns and other incidents seemed to be much lower back then.
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RE: D&G Bus
Back then the Solo SRs were only around 3 years old and the Streetlite normally worked the 300. Wincham require 8 vehicles for service so if 10 are converted for the clean air zone then there shouldn't be an issue provided a bus going for inspection returns immediately rather than at the moment spends a week or 2 running round in Crewe. The big Solos are already 16 years old but 141 has just had a replacement engine fitted. Being 37 seaters they are a very useful tool. While 45 is 15 years old it is a well liked and reliable bus.


(29/08/2021 10:59)knutstransport Wrote:  In the early days of the Wincham depot things did seem to be consistent, with a regular allocation of 6 x Solo SRs and 1 x Streetlite, with the number of Streetlites increasing if Solo SRs were away. If they can return to that level of consistency then the clean air zone won't be a headache for them. However, the number of breakdowns and other incidents seemed to be much lower back then.

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RE: D&G Bus
(30/08/2021 17:37)Rick Hunter Wrote:  Back then the Solo SRs were only around 3 years old and the Streetlite normally worked the 300.

I think it was probably at least 4 by the time Wincham opened, given they are 13 reg and when D&G first took over the 88 towards the end of October 2016 it was operated by the Crewe depot with one of the Evos occasionally standing in for an SRs.

The D&G big Enviros are actually the same age and size as the GHA Gold ones which used to run the 88, both 64 reg. But without the table, leather seats, WiFi, CIS (which I don't think was ever properly set up) and the tinted glass. I remember the latter was a bug bear for the drivers who had the workings through Mobberley in the dark because they reflected the internal lights too much on the section was no street lighting.

It's possible the 300 will return in the near future due to a new house estate being built near Parkgate and developers having just submitted plans to build 225 houses opposite Longridge. So Cheshire East are under pressure to do a S106 agreement including funding for a Knutsford town bus service. However, the provision of doctor surgeries in the town is a more pressing issue.
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RE: D&G Bus
This was posted on D&G's website on Tuesday before being deleted

************************
Since September 2020 D&G Bus Ltd has operated these Macclesfield - Leek - Ashbourne services under contract to Staffordshire County Council.

During the Summer of 2021 another bus company, Hulleys of Baslow, decided to introduce a new commercial service between Ashbourne and Macclesfield, extending to Manchester Airport from 6th September 2021.

As a result Staffordshire County Council instructed D&G to reduce its contracted service to run only between Cauldon Lowe and Rudyard from the same date. D&G accepted this, although a change in our service from the same date was, in our opinion, premature and we felt that time should be allowed for the new operator’s service to settle down.

Subsequently Hulleys service will be withdrawn after 8th September due to driver shortages.

D&G is currently discussing options with Staffordshire County Council as to whether the D&G service should change again. As soon as a decision is reached details will be posted on our website.

D&G will be restoring service 108 to run between Leek and Ashbourne via Waterhouses and Cauldon Lowe, and Staffordshire County Council is currently out to tender for a replacement service 109 to operate from Leek to Macclesfield from Thursday 9th September.

We apologise for any disruption caused to our passengers, but this is out of our control and none of this was caused by D&G Bus. D&G Bus is working in partnership with Staffordshire County Council to minimise disruption following the short notice withdrawal of the commercially provided X1 service.
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The highlighted bit is interesting and perhaps why it was deleted, rather than updated.

They should know that Staffordshire County Council are not legally allowed to use public money to subside a bus service which competes with a commercial one. They had the option of continuing to run the service for a few days without a subsidy if they wanted to but choose to cancel it on the day the funding ended.

Following the collapse of GHA I found there were teething problems when Arriva took over the 88 a couple of days after GHA collapsed. Obviously that was to be expected as they didn't have chance to properly train drivers on the route. However, when D&G first started operating the 88 it worked well from day 1, drivers had been trained on the route the previous week and using a PVR of 5 instead of a PVR of 4 reduced instances of late running. The problems started occurring when D&G started running the 88A and during the first week not one service ran the advertised route (which was via Beech Drive & Woodlands Drive) and one driver who had never done the 300 even managed to miss out Longridge.

Their message suggests to me that they expected the X1 to be like the start of the 88A, not like them taking over the 88. A new service doesn't have to have teething problems.

I also wonder what benefit they think it would be for passengers had the X1 ran alongside the 109 and old 108 for a week or so. People would have got used to the X1 being a rival service, rather than a replacement service and pass holders, in particular, may have then traveled on the old service in one direction and the new service in the other direction, only to find the next week they can't.
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