Yorkshire Concluded

Open top bus services are both an attraction and a lifeline to save
locals walking long distances in Yorkshire.
Yesterday brought an end to the special Norwich Buses Blog on Holiday series; one which has created a few discussions and caused a bit of interest. As promised, a conclusion post will end the week with my findings from the time away.

Yorkshire is brilliant, particularly the part which I stayed in, and this is certainly something which has added to my views of the local bus operations. The routes are just more picturesque than at home on the comparably flat landscape of Norfolk, and although we can't possibly say this is the reason for better bus services - it adds something of a charm and a bit of excitement during bus journeys in the area.

The key to the predominantly hugely successful operating is investment. Investment by the operators, and investment by the local authorities. Investment has lead to a number of well used initiatives, which frankly any area of a similar kind is missing out on if they do not have it. I said it in last year's holiday to Lincolnshire: open top buses. East Yorkshire Motor Services and Shoreline Suncruisers make incredible revenue on their services in Scarborough - and although they are somewhat more of a tourist attraction than a local bus service, in their own right they are essential in moving people around. Scarborough's North and South Bays are quite a walk apart along the lower cliff edge, but visitors and the locals use the buses to get from end to end.

Investment into services such as Bridlington Park and Ride has
maximised loadings and has maintained essential links.
In Bridlington there is the seaside park and ride with integration with the land train. All of it comes from investment on the local council's behalf. To reiterate, the cost to park and use the bus for up to 7 people all day is just £3.50, an excellent price and an excellent service. Full bus loads were taken during my visit, even though it is a mere five or ten minute journey into the main town centre and seafront.

I doubt the local council has much more, if not any more, capital than here in Norfolk - but the usage of the local buses is, from what I can make out from a week's stay, potentially the main contributor to the success of the bus services. No bus operator is going to run a service if it is not making enough money for it to be financially viable, quite rightfully, which is something some people seem to overlook when their bus service is cut. Take in Norfolk recently, cuts to bus services in Stalham. Buses simply are not getting enough loadings to make the profits to make it viable to operate, yet when it is cut there are questions raised as to why so. In East and North Yorkshire, particularly in Whitby, similar services are used by so many more people - as a result, they have survived.

Even the older members of the EYMS fleet are in an excellent
condition, like this Plaxton President.
I cannot possibly sing East Yorkshire Motor Services enough praises. Even my entirely non-enthusiast family commented on how smart and well kept the fleet is. Each and every bus is maintained to such an impeccable standard. Even the older Plaxton Presidents look as new as the brand new MCV EcoSeti double decker.

Branding is not used across Yorkshire as commonly as it is here in Norfolk, especially not in the areas I visited. York used it more than others, but even here it works well and is not plastered all over buses. Instead, it is used to identify buses at stops and on route maps. The occasional vinyl number appears on East Yorkshire Motor Services buses, but never once did one appear "off route" - so to say.

One thing which cannot go unmentioned is the attitude of bus drivers towards enthusiasts in the area I stayed. A number of East Yorkshire Motor Services drivers would slow down where safe for a photo, sit still after stopping or simply wave, smile and flash their lights in acknowledgement. It simply does not go un-noticed by enthusiasts, I know I can speak for all of use here.

And the end the special series, this historic gem.
The rest of the Yorkshire Holiday specials can be found as follows:
Part Seven: A visit to Whitby on a breathtaking bus route
Part Six: An East Yorkshire Motor Services history lesson
Part Five: A visit to Hull, with an impressive amount of buses
Part Four: York City Centre and colourful First buses
Part Three: Scarborough town and depot visit
Part Two: Photogenic routes and seaside specials
Part One: First Impressions and Filey visit
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About Kieran Smith

Norwich Buses Blog was founded in December 2013 by Sam Larke after he left another popular blog, Norwich Bus Page. Since it's launch, the site has grown dramatically, especially whilst written solely by Kieran Smith during 2015. The blog is now in it's third year and we look forward to more success and growth in the future. If you think you'd make a good writer for Norwich Buses Blog, please do get in touch via email: samuel.larke@gmail.com
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