Emergency timetable, route 89
(20th December 2021)
A personal notice from our Managing Director to our passengers:
As a result of National circumstances, which amount to a Government lockdown by stealth, today I was forced to take a difficult decision to curtail route 89. Firstly, I would like to apologise to passengers for the lack of warning, but the current National events are fast moving and we are having to act similarly fast. The Government has seemingly learned nothing from its disasterous and expensive (13.5 billion GB pounds) track and trace project and yet again we are seeing perfectly healthy staff who have been in contact with perfectly healthy people who just happen to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, have to self-isolate for ten days. For a similar reason, support engineers are not turning up when scheduled and even diesel deliveries are becoming erratic.
I am sure that you have heard similar reports from other operators. Of course, with a smaller fleet like ours this becomes far more obvious and we cannot hide it behind a 'slight reduction here' and 'a slight reduction there'. As a result I had to take a decision over the weekend (late Sunday) to curtail route 89 to one return journey per day, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday leaving 0930 and retuning at 1130. This gives people one hour in CMK, around 1 hour 20 minutes in Wolverton and one and a half hours in Stony Stratford.
In planning how to deal with this unprecedented situation, I have tried to protect as many journeys as possible for as many passengers as possible, whilst still keeping a weather eye on the commercial sustainability. The reality is that with drivers out of action due to 'pingdemic', buses out of action due to engineering availability and the ongoing erratic diesel situation, we had no choice but to cut the services. I had two scenarios presented to me, one that would allow us to operate 3 off-peak 89 journeys and one as described above. However, I felt that it would be better to advertise one journey that we can be 99.99% certain will operate rather than 3 journeys that might be a lower reliability.
We do know of a very small number of people who are going to be disadvantaged by this change and they have our deepest sympathy; that there may only be two or three of them is not the point- each and every passenger is important to us and we do not like leaving anyone behind. But after running this route for 3 years at a significant financial cost to the company, I think most passengers already know this.
It is my hope and belief that once the latest lockdown by stealth is over that we can return to running a more comprehensive service, as well as introducing our new routes to Furzton, Woburn Sands, Weston Favell and Whittlebury. However, I know no more than our passengers about what the Prime Minister (may he retire in peace) is going to do next; indeed, I don't think his cabinet does either and therefore I cannot predict what, when, where, how.
I hope that my actions to protect as many services for as many people- and indeed, protect the whole future of our project- will prove correct. Maybe I will have made the right decision, maybe I will have made the wrong decision. I- we- will only know that once we get out of this National mess. In the meantime, my colleagues and I welcome suggestions to email@example.com perhaps you may have thought of something that we missed.
Finally I would like to add that routes 86 and 90, being only once per week and a vital lifeline have been protected and our 31 route, being local and a short town route is running as it has been for the past 2 years.
Derek S. Taylor, Managing Director, Britannia Bus Ltd
The war on passengers continues
(9th December 2021)
In a further desperate attempt to deflect attention from 'partygate', in which the government has clearly and systematically been ignoring the very rules that it has inflicted upon the population over the past nearly two years, the Prime Minister has announced further restrictions in his war on people continues. Despite there being not a single identifiable case of Corona Omicron variant resulting in any deaths anywhere in the World and the South African Professor who identified this strain declaring it virtually harmless, followed by the Chief Medical Advisor to the United States President declaring the same, followed by the usually alarmist World Health Organisation all declaring that this may well be the beginning of the end of Corona virus as a threat, our own Prime Minister has seen this as an opportunity to further destroy the relationship between the electorate and the elected, with businesses and individuals being simply collateral damage.
To be clear, this company is not politically aligned with any party and we will never will be; primarily because there's not a single solitary organisation that we could rally behind anyway. But also, we are a provider of public transport, not journalists, not a politically lobbying organisation and we would never dream of trying to tell our passengers what to think or how to react. However, we feel not only entitled but compelled to explain how the Prime Minister's conduct is affecting our business; we cannot speak for other operators, but equally cannot see any situation in which any bus operator would have any different view to continued restrictions either.
However, the war on people and business has gone too far in this Country and for us the line has been crossed by the Prime Minister this time. Far from apologising for his organisation not following the rules that they inflict on us (whether that is driving to Barnard Castle for an eye test, SAGE members breaking lockdown for an adulterous affair or the PM's special advisor openly mocking us all for obeying their laws), the Prime Minister has instead sought to inflict further damage on people and businesses such as ours.
It is all very well for the political class and their hangers-on to shut down the economy when they are on guaranteed income, but the rest of us- both business and individuals alike- are too often seeing our income decimated, without any reduction in our expenses. This has to stop. We are trying very hard to resist changing our rural services (86, 89 and 90) in response as, quite frankly, we suspect that the overwhelming majority of our passengers probably have also seen through the Prime Minister's indifferent relationship with the truth and will not change their travelling plans. But the reality is that if we see any notable reductions in passenger loadings from the few who remain trusting of this discredited PM, then we have little choice but to reduce or suspend these rural services. For anyone who is as sick as we are with the way boris johnson is playing with lives and business, we recommend contacting his local representative, Dame Andrea Leadsom DBE MP, who is a good and decent MP in our opinion and would surely like to know the strength of opinion that is building against what we believe to be the very worst PM in history.
Good luck to us all.
Face masks. Again...
(27th November 2021)
In yet another U turn on the 'irreversible return to freedom' the Prime Minister has decreed that masks have to be used on public transport from Tuesday 30th November. Although the three cases found in UK out of a population of nearly 70 million are described by the Professor who first identified the strain as 'pretty harmless,' the Government has taken the decision to require all people on buses and trains to wear masks, though bizarrely pubs and restaurants are exempt, as are members of the Government. However, the Government is so terribly worried about this new mild strain that they are letting people fly in from South Africa for three days, unchecked, before the new quarantine rules will take effect on them.
To be very clear, we are not empowered in law to force people to wear masks on our buses and due to legal advice relating to discrimination matters, we are not medically qualified to determine whether someone is medically exempt or not. We are therefore going to do exactly what we did last time and trust our passengers to do what they think is right to comply.
We know some people will like this new rule and others will not. We think it's a much easier way to draw attention away from allegations of sleaze, corruption, fraud, malpractice, cash for honours and contracts for party donors than, say, invading Iraq.
Media panic over weather warnings
(26th November 2021)
Today's media headlines warn of exceptional weather patterns, with excitable warnings such as 'the coldest since...' 'the strongest wind since...' and to make it easier for us all to understand they've even given this weather a name- 'Arwen'. We prefer to call it 'Winter'. but that's just us.
Of course, it's up to each and every person to decide for themselves how much credence to pay to the perpetual warnings of doom, but be assured we will still be running our buses no matter what. When polar bears and penguins are running through Northampton and Milton Keynes complaining about how cold it is, maybe we will revise that view, but until then please be confident that buses will still be running no matter what the media uses for clickbait.
BBC Look East
(23rd November 2021)
Yesterday, this company was briefly mentioned by BBC Look East as part of a programme it was producing about the regeneration of the bus industry. Unfortunately the reporter has edited in such a way that our Managing Director appears to have made a comment the likes of which haven't been heard since the last time Gerald Ratner spoke in public. Whether this was media mischief or a genuine failure on the part of the reporter, Sam Read and/ or his editorial team, we do not know. They made time to discuss companies that wanted to bleed the tax payer dry through subsidies and grants, but seemingly nothing for those companies that are trying to provide services and lifelines without any cost to the tax payer whatsoever.
Our statement: "For the first time in history, we have a PM that actually has an interest in buses, which is good. However no one in his government has stopped to ask what barriers we face that prevent us being a commercially dynamic, customer focused industry, such as you'd find with the big supermarket chains or low fares aviation sector. I think most people would agree that these two are prime examples of private enterprise working not only for shareholders, but for consumers and society generally. I think that's where the bus industry needs to look to and I'm not convinced about the subsidies and grants..."
as spoken by our Managing Director, Derek S. Taylor, became:
"...Our industry needs to be reformed... it is too expensive..."
Our Managing Director went on to describe BBC Look East as "Given the way the BBC is funded, perhaps it is unsurprising that they would opt to disregard any comments that talk of reform, being dynamic or serving the community and instead focus on never-ending subsidies, grants and largesse at the tax payer's expense."
New routes in Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes
(22nd November 2021)
We are pleased to announce the commencement of four new routes, provisionally scheduled to start 31st January 2022:
Whittlebury to Towcester
Furzton to Milton Keynes
Woburn Sands to Milton Keynes
Stony Stratford to Milton Keynes
We are proud to announce that we have agreed to operate routes 92, 440, 450 and 460 from 31st January 2022. This follows on from our agreement to operate routes 86, 89 and 90 and added to our existing core route 31, which is now in its 15th year. We strongly believe in the commercial viability of bus services and as such we can confirm that we are operating this without subsidy or any other cost to the hard-pressed tax payer.
(15th November 2021)
Due to recent internal promotion and the agreement to start new routes early in 2022, we are now looking for a number of new drivers- to be based either in Milton Keynes or Northampton. Above all else, we believe our drivers are our number one asset and as such we are one of the best paying bus companies in the area, currently offering £14 p/h. We operate socially-friendly shift patterns over 5 days (with the possible option of a 4 day week with slightly longer shifts), route times that are comfortable and achievable in a bus (badly timed routes lead to tired drivers, worn buses and upset passengers), and generally you will be treated as a valued professional member of our team- join the team where you have a name and not just a number.
Please click here for details
(15th November 2021)
We are increasing our fleet size and now we are looking for an evening cleaner to work between 2 and 4 hours per evening. This position is based at our Northampton (Kingsthorpe) depot. We are offering £9.50 p/h, 28 days paid holiday and free travel on our buses.
Please click here for details