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Posted: Sat 07 Jun, 2014 1:28 pm
Going through some of my old photo's. Sovereign Street garage riverside parking mini bus fleet. The blue ones had just been purchased from West Midlands and were awaiting repaint
Posted: Sat 07 Jun, 2014 1:45 pm
An interesting photo amber. I had almost forgotten the Yorkshire Rider buses. Interesting also to be reminded that buses still used the Sovereign Street area near the river in 1986. PS. Does the arrow have any significance?
Posted: Sat 07 Jun, 2014 7:06 pm
A brave idea, but they were terrible to travel on and the maintenance required must have been astronomical.As part of the scheme to use minibuses, the 42 was directed through the Grange Parks from Dib Lane, then the Fearnvilles before emerging onto Oakwood Lane and rejoining the traditional route. Through that section it was a 'hail and ride' with no bus stops - you simply flagged one down if you wanted to board and provided the driver saw you they'd stop.Well, to us teenagers, this was too good to be true - armed with a Dayrover we'd position ourselves every 50 yards up the street and as the bus approached, the first of us would flag it down and we'd repeat this all the way. Some days there could be 8 or 9 of us taking part. Once we were all on board the first of us would ring the bell and ask to be dropped off - this would then also be repeated by the rest of the group.No doubt this was incredibly annoying to the bus drivers (some clocked on and refused to stop / let us off), not to mention messing up the running times, so if that was you I'm sorry and I won't do it again. Perhaps I should write in to Simon Mayo's confessions on the wireless...?
Posted: Sat 07 Jun, 2014 10:31 pm
Raveydavey your first sentence is 100% correct.Re hail and ride,on Halton moor service kids stopped the bus boarded and ran through opened the emergancy door and jumped out. Gipton police contacted me and said they would be sending plain clothes officers to sort them out. I thought I had better drive over as I was the manager and they were my responsibility. I drove round the estate and not a kid to be seen so I parked up near the terminus to see how the service was going. Two burley rough looking guys approached me they had observed me driving around slowly what was I up to. They were the Gipton police and they brought over the driver of the bus to ID me. Happy days but the service drove me crackers. The boss decided I had done my job getting the service up and running and put me out to grass at the biggest depot in leeds Torre road garage another massive challenge
Posted: Sat 07 Jun, 2014 10:36 pm
Leodian wrote: An interesting photo amber. I had almost forgotten the Yorkshire Rider buses. Interesting also to be reminded that buses still used the Sovereign Street area near the river in 1986. PS. Does the arrow have any significance? Leodeon the simple answer is no, I retired in 1989 and the yard was still being used as was the transport office before being converted to the hotel
Posted: Sat 07 Jun, 2014 11:54 pm
Am I right in thinking these were the 'MicroRider' mini buses that were run for a couple of years or was that something different? I can remember these things I remember as being called 'MicroRiders' which were similar looking mini buses with tinted windows and comfortable seats which ran along regular bus routes. I can remember these too you could hail from the side of the road although peculiarly most folks still used to wait for them at the designated bus stops. I thought it was a good scheme as there were plenty of them and as I lived in Morley at the time they certainly made the long bus ride more pleasant. I know getting a bus to Morley from Leeds city centre these days is like getting a bus to Outer Mongolia! The services are very limited so there are lots of people at every stop and if you miss the bus or one 'knocks' its up to an hours wait for the next one. It was a good idea that rather than having large buses running with only 4 people on them it was economically more sound to have a smaller capacity bus running for less fuel consumption but to have a more frequent services. I dont know the reason this service was withdrawn but I've recently noticed some bus operators seem to be returning to using smaller vehicles - the number 9 bus between Pudsey and Seacroft being one example.
Posted: Mon 09 Jun, 2014 10:46 am
Jon - I'm sure Amber will agree, with inside knowledge, that frequent minibus services on former "big bus" routes are a financial disaster with huge hidden costs which the marketing experts should have recognised in advance. First of all the fallacy that "maintenance will be cheap and easy because you can get parts "Off the shelf" from the van dealers" - you could indeed, but the frequency of such procedures ruled it out. Its no criticism of excellent commercial van chassis (Transit/Sherpa etc) to say that they wouldn't stand up to the hammering involved in urban bus service use - it should have been obvious. Then look at the gigantic staff costs - uniforms, NI contributions, spare cover, pension contributions etc etc plus the quite unpleasant experience of riding in the little vehicles in busy conditions. I don't condemn the idea totally - most useful in a limited way for tight remote estates/roads where the use of normal buses is physically impossible - but on major urban routes, to quote the mother of the idea of privatisation/deregulation etc in a speech in Parliament on another subject - "NO,NO,NO !!" Now, as far as essential small buses are concerned, a most successful solution was to come - specially designed mini/midibuses built specifically for the purpose. Up to retiring from Arriva and predecessors at Pontefract depot (and CastlefordWakefield/Selby quite often) some of my happiest driving was on the excellent MCW (later Optare) Metrorider vehicles which were up to any degree of hard, busy and fast work. The design was simply a masterpiece - low entrance (pavement level nearly), good headroom, power galore with smooth automatic gearboxes, superb brakes, good kneeroom and adequate luggage space. They came in three sizes for all requirements - 23, 27 or 31 seats, the latter perfoming competently even with the permitted 13 standing - driver fatigue was unknown as the little heroes perfomed "big bus" work without a whimper.
Posted: Mon 09 Jun, 2014 12:40 pm
I was under the impression that the minibuses were brought in for one sole purpose only - and that was to bring in different rates of pay and conditions, divide the drivers and weaken the union. Positive that this was the case in fact. The minibuses were very very soon got rid of, not because they were rubbish but because the company realised they had got the union exactly where they wanted. Would'nt be surprised if the union was in on it.
Posted: Mon 09 Jun, 2014 3:03 pm
BillyBritvic wrote: I was under the impression that the minibuses were brought in for one sole purpose only - and that was to bring in different rates of pay and conditions, divide the drivers and weaken the union. Positive that this was the case in fact. The minibuses were very very soon got rid of, not because they were rubbish but because the company realised they had got the union exactly where they wanted. Would'nt be surprised if the union was in on it. I can assure you the reason they were brought on to the streets of Leeds because a company called Busy Bee had moved into Manchester with mini buses and had played havoc with manchester corporation routes by flooding the profitable routes and were preparing to move into Leeds and do the same. The YR board were aware of this and decided to get a fleet of ther own. They were very expensive to operate clutches being the main problem and once the threat of Busy Bee subsided they were taken off main routes 6 - 42-52-53 and put on much quieter routes and many drivers transferred to double decker operation. Once Manchester got its act together Busy Bee disappeared
Re: 1986 yorkshire rider. Mini bus fleet
Posted: Tue 17 Sep, 2019 9:56 pm
Hi Amber, don't know if this will get read but here goes. I remember the mini's and the idiot that took on the job to run them "all hail the conkering hero" (know that's spelt wrong, but it is the right word ) bad enough you stuffed up Sov street you then proceeded to stuff up Torre Road. We all (bus drivers) knew that something had to be done butt the top idiots ran scared of other operators jumping in, did that ever happen don't think so. So we had vehicle cutting us main drivers off at stops, jumping all over the place, many a near miss you probably never heard of. How much staff did you go through, if they turned up for the shifts....what a waste of time and money. In hind sight , good thing that things could have been done better all round, all that really happened was we alienated the public even more, harassed the drivers and put out a crap service that continues today, thank god I live in NZ as Leeds is a terrible transport place. ps. before you think I am some stupid idiot, I had the decency to try and improve my worth by doing all the possible course that the company right through to the then CIT at Manchester Uni.