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Thursday, 25 March 2010

How is your reception?

I've been to two receptions in the past couple of days.

On Wednesday I was at the FirstGroup Parliamentary Reception at the House of Commons which is an opportunity for MPs and Members of the House of Lords to talk to us about issues affecting their constituents or areas of concern.

Sir Moir Lockhead, in his speech, paid special tribute to all of our staff who worked so hard to deliver service during the worst winter in 30 years. In particular the efforts of road staff who walked to work and rail staff who were de-icing trains even in London (which is not normally that cold!).

He also reminded us that published statistics lag behind what is happening today. In fact First Capital Connect is delivering very good levels of reliability now having left its period of poor performance behind. However recollections of poor performance live longer in the memory and are seized by the media.

And then today we had the editors of the bus trade press with us for a discussion on current issues. They will be reporting this but we did announce a trial in Bradford using a new lightweight bus from Temsa, a leading Turkish bus manufacturer with whom we have been working closely, and how pleased we are with the performance of Greyhound (without saying where it is going next!).

You'll already know about Bristol Superbus and the benefits we are seeing from DriveGreen having written about them in this column recently. See - you really do get the news here!

The new Temsa 'Avenue' is a 41 seater +29 standing single-decker powered by Cummins but weighs less than 10 tonnes. Lighter weight, and our DriveGreen technology, may make this the most fuel efficient bus on the road.



  1. Ah, the power of the media to bend (distort?) the news! A cross we all have to bear.

    Now, the Temsa Avenue? Would that be the same Temsa Avenue already in service with A****a?

    Seriously Leon, your blog is always a fascinating read. Keep up the good work!

  2. Accepting it was a parliamentary "do" but don't serious questions have to be answered in respect of why such appalling performance was delivered by First Capital Connect and why it took months to get any sort of resolution? It strikes me that things only got better when the "mud slinging" about FCC started to reach the front door of First HQ at Aberdeen!

    As for the Temsa Avenues well I'd strongly suggest canvassing some views from people who've travelled on the Arriva North East versions. I have yet to read a good word about ride quality or seat comfort. Light weight is fine but not if the passenger experience is so awful people stop travelling.