04/09/2011

Anglian Tridents, Cambridgeshire adventure, First smartcards & blog news...

Anglianbus get Dennis Trident's!
Anglianbus have aquired four ex Stagecoach London Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Trident's from Ensignbus, they are here for extra school contracts that start on 5th September.

X251NNO
X251NNO pictured in Lowestoft © Syd Eade/East Norfolk Bus Blog

Two fully repainted examples X251NNO and X386NNO have already been sighted in public service, the identity of the other two examples are currently unknown.

A Cambridgeshire Adventure...
A group of members and friends of the Anglia & Thames Valley Bus Forum went on a specially planned tour around Cambridgeshire and South Lincolnshire yesterday on Stagecoach East 110 seat Leyland Olympian 14000 F110NES which is now semi restored and fully repainted into it original livery.

F110NES
Stagecoach Megadekka 14000 F110NES © Damon Powell

The tour took in Peterborough, Huntingdon, St Ives and Spalding with visits to the Go Whippet depot at Swavesey, Fowlers depot in Holbeach Drove and an optional trip on the Guided Busway - a good day out was had by all a special thanks goes to Stagecoach East and the two man crew Steve & Joe for giving their Saturday up free of charge!

Unfortunatly I couldn't make it to the tour, but if like me you would still like to see 14000 F110NES in its fully repainted glory worry no more - its due to appear at Showbus on Sunday 18th September!

First to roll out smartcard technology across England
Firstgroup, the largest transport provider in the UK are set to roll out smartcard technology to all of its buses in England by the end of 2012

Firstgroup have joined forces with Britain's banks to revolutionise how travel is paid for, a new generation of debit cards are being issued, which passengers will be able to use in many parts of the country by the end of next year.

These cards are linked directly to a bank account, and will not require topping up, unlike the Oystercard which has been in use in London since 2003.

There are already 13 million smart debit cards in circulation, they are accepted by a number of retailers such as Pret-a-Manger - while ordinary debit cards require either a PIN or the customer to sign, this is not necessary with the new generation for small purchases up to £15.

This ceiling has made it possible to use these cards on public transport, Firstgroup are to roll out new smartcard readers on its 5,000 strong bus fleet and it is estimated that 2.5 million passengers will use the cards to touch in at the start of their journeys and touch out at the end.

The company has spent £27 million on the technology which will be installed on buses in towns and cities including Manchester, Bolton, Oldham, Wigan, Stoke, Northampton, Leeds, York, Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford, Leicester, Portsmouth, Southampton, Plymouth, Reading, Bristol, Ipswich and Norwich.

In the long term First Group, which carries 17 per cent of bus passengers outside London, expects passengers to be able to use their mobile phones to pay for their journeys.

The use of smart cards has been made possible by the introduction of a technology known as ITSO, a format backed by the Government. It is hoped that a common standard will mean that
passengers will be able to use one smart card for all bus and train travel anywhere in the country.

First will also co-operate in the development and use of multi operator smartcards, to deliver seamless, better value public transport.

Blog News
Andy's Bus Blog is now on Facebook! CLICK HERE to "like" the Andy's Bus Blog facebook page. The page will be updated on a regular basis with snippets of news, travel news and links to the blog.

There are now two new fleetlists available on the downloads page - Coach Services, Thetford and Simonds Bus & Coach, Diss.