Thursday and I am in Dublin.
Important meeting with the senior Government officials as there is new and continuing new legislation affecting the whole arrangements for transport provision in Ireland. Their licensing system dates back to 1932 and is undergoing a radical overhaul.
We are one of the very few major operators there in the private sector and the liberalisation agenda is important to us so today's meeting is of huge value.
Despite the real recession in Ireland Dublin city is still busy - lots of tourists and for the first time I appreciate just how big an impact our tri-axle Volvo B12B/Jonkheere coaches are now that all 20 are in service. There are very few tri-axle coaches in Ireland anyway. I took the Aircoach service of course and appreciated the legroom, wifi, and smooth ride. Fortunately so did quite a number of fare-paying passengers and my journeys were busy both ways.
Out team in Dublin is working really hard in the current climate - we are in side-by-side competition with Dublin Bus for passengers.
The day before I arrived there had been a dreadful collision between a Luas tram and a Dublin Bus vehicle. They were still clearing up the derailment as I came along O'Connell Street and the investigations are still proceeding as to what caused it all.
On this trip I was on Ryanair out of Bristol - a fine airport since we at First built it when we owned half of it in the late 1990s. That's why the seats are in our purple colour scheme and why there are some 'London' Dennis Darts in use as airside buses. As you may know Ryanair charges a premium for Priority boarding - not worth it at Bristol as although you go through first you are all put on the same bus and the last people on are nearest the doors and first on the plane! [One of my travel tips - keep a note!]
Ryanair has a pre-recorded fanfare and congratulations announcement for "another on-time arrival". I wonder if we should do that on our buses and trains?