Stagecoach regroups in Swindon battle

Stagecoach has refocused its competitive battle with Go South Coast’s Thamesdown Transport in Swindon by deregistering the cross-town route it added to its network in April and increasing the frequency of the out-of-town route on which the two have competed since May.

Go South Coast’s acquisition of councilowned Thamesdown in February was followed on 2 April by Stagecoach West introducing new service 3 (Abbey Meads- Great Western Hospital), effectively joining together the legs of two routes in the Thamesdown network (Buses April).

From 14 May, Thamesdown revised its network to create new cross-town route 5 (Haydon Wick-Park North) in competition with Stagecoach route 3 and started route R1 in direct competition with the Swindon- Royal Wootton Bassett section of Stagecoach route 55 (Swindon-Chippenham).

Stagecoach in turn doubled the frequency on the contested section of route 55 to every 10min from 28 May, but gave notice that it is withdrawing town service 3 after 12 August, saying that Thamesdown’s route 5 has taken away the uniqueness of the Stagecoach route, reducing the number of passengers carried…

‘We started the service 3 to help link communities that were underserved by public transport, but since we started the route another bus operator in the region has made changes that reflect our own,’ says Stagecoach West managing director Rupert Cox. ‘Customers in Swindon have now started to see a negative impact on their communities, owing to the amount of buses, so we’ve taken the decision to cease the 3 service.’