Timetable Thursday – with a twist – Stagecoach Perthshire Area timetable 27th June 1998

Timetable Thursday – with a twist – Stagecoach Perthshire Area timetable 27th June 1998

This week’s Timetable Thursday actually has a twist, reverse, whatever – five services from one timetable of the same date

The timetable is Stagecoach Perthshire Area timetable 27th June 1998, which you can find at https://www.dropbox.com/s/2n8gwzgjvgcc9os/001%20002%20003%20004%20005%20006%20007%20009%20010%20011%20012%20013%20014%20015%20016%20017%20018%20019%20022%20023%20024%20025%20026%20027%20028%20030%20034%20041%20045%20047%20055%20070%20071%20100%20200%20%20Stagecoach%20and%20Dochertys%20Perthshire%20Area%2027th%20July%201998.pdf?dl=0 . John Tal sent me this one, and this genuinely takes me back to when I was a young 19yo. That time I was working in Perth Bus Starion parcel office for Goldstar, who had taken the parcels from Citylink and later Strathtay too. However it was interesting for sake of having a wide variety of scheduled and non scheduled (tours, NX or Citylink dups etc.). At that time the majority of Stagecoach Perth services didn’t use the Bus Station – as Raymond (the “whistler” who reversed buses during his stance controller shifts) would say, “Brian Soutter is too poor to pay departure charges”. Especially given that, it was always interesting to see the number of Stagecoach 15 16 etc bus drivers that were using the drivers facilities – or usually the stance Café! There were a few additional unadvertised journeys (like a morning 07xxish from Bus Station to Dunkeld 22) bought back after Citylink timetable changes that Spring. PKC Tendering was in the background for Autumn 1998 but the Rural Bus Grant money delayed this to January 1999 where the rural network saw the changes mostly as they are now, with more changes in planning for improving things like 19 and “North Road” to hourly, Crieff’s own bus – which happened in February 2000. As well in October 1998 a Blairgowrie town service all day was introduced as 63 – now just another staple in a Perthshire network. Incidentally this was actually the second last edition of this book in that format. After January 1999 Perth & Kinross introduced an expanded range of 6 area guides, covering every service outwth Perth City. Jan 1999 saw the last one, with a May 1999 reprint of City only services taking things forward.

So the five services today – the first one is the first of the changes on that date in this book – Services 1/2 Perth – Letham and Tulloch circular. In the Converted from crew operation to OPO with low floor Volvo B6LE’s on  a 10 minute service, with off peak journeys via Scott Street and Tesco Crieff Road (Previously  15  mins full circle  with Routemasters and 15 mins City – Letham shorts with Olympians or VRs if I mind right). At this point the low floor buses would be used evenings and Sundays on many other services as scheduled, except for Muirton services where the speed tables were a problem. This change saw the daytime  reduced from 10 minutes to 12 minutes. However the timetable remain scheduled so that a 1 waits 6 minutes before leaving, then a 2 6 minutes – so there would always be one at Mill Street one direction or the other. The Mon-Sat daytime was still largely the same in 2000 timetables but by 2002 was back to every 10 minutes – around that time slightly larger buses at different points of the year. The Sunday daytime service enhancement to services tied in with Perth St Johns Centre opening for Sunday trading the previous year. These lasted until Autumn 1999 when the bus went back to half hourly Sundays.

Second one is Service 16 Dundee to Perth. At that point there were a most hours service via Errol  with 3 or 4 tendered journeys along the A85 to serve Glendoick and The Horn. This was leftover from the former Service 19 Dundee-Glasgow which largely used the A85, before being meregd with two Stagecoach Errol-Dundee/Errol-Perth services a little before deregulation to form 16. The aforementioned rural changes in January 1999 saw this split into two – every hour via Errol as Service 16, and a peak and shopping service Mon/Wed/Fri as Services 54/54A, which also provided the first public bus to Castle Huntly. The Thursday Abernyte shopper 55 had bene changed to 53A/53B and run Tuesday and Thursdays, so essentially filling the most of the “main drag” gap. The via Errol was always busiest of the two, with decent loads right into the evening. The new hourly 16 had 1 bus Strathtay, 2 buses Stagecoach Perth. The daytime services usually full size single decks (some journeys double decks), with evening/Sunday largely minibuses.

Third one is Service 45, Crieff Town Service. At this time this was a hangover from Strathtay Crieff depot closing the early 1990s. At that point all Mon-Sat daytime Perth-Crieff Strathtay journeys not continuing to Comrie or St Fillans would operate an addition loop around the town, providing the first bus services at a time of competition starring on the road. From February 2001 tenders were issued for an all day minibus service similar to the 63 around Blair, as 45 Crieff Town Service, six days a week. At that point the service was then taken over by Crieff Travel, who was founded by the former Strathtay Crieff depot DTS – District Traffic Superintendent. (basically depot manager or Operations manager these days!) The main service is now ran by Sweeny’s with some additional individual day journeys between rural runs from Docherty’s and Burnbrae Garage.

Fourth one is another Crieff service, Service 55 Crieff-Perth via Madderty, a tendered service changed hands so many times. This particular booklet was the last the one to include the service because, January 1999 retendering saw Crieff Travel win their first service work, with some schools in service from the same date. However it was renumbered 155 and extended to Perth Bus Station, with a new Mercedes Vario purchased. When the service changed hands, the 55s were all renumbered as because at that time there were three in Perth – a 55 to Abernyte Strathtay became 53A/53B, 55 to Dunfermline/Edinburgh by Fife Scottish unchanged and the 55 Perth-Crieff via Madderty became 155. (Although after all the Fife 55/56 were renumbered 56 Perth-Kelty,  the 56 Stormontfield off the back of 53A?53B, was renumbered 51). The service is similar now with similar levels of service but some additional deviations via Almondgrove and Ruthvenfield new housing developments. The service is operated by Docherty’s – for the third time – with placing 18s to/form Auchterarder on every Crieff trip, using a Wright StreetLite.

DMC 19 is the last of the five.  Yes – the last page of this guide featured Docherty’s services, for which the operator paid for as they were unfunded. I am also aware of both Merlin’s Ark X90 and Strathtay 24 (but not 101) being in Stoney guide for Bluebird, and probably others that I forget, aside for some odd tendered journeys with other operators covered by GRC (later AC) leaflets too. Back to the 19 and as you can see, one bis every 2 hours, with Perth 19 through 43 seat B9M for most of that year in question. As well as working in conjunction with Gleneagles Hotel thus offering guests free or cheap day trips to Perth. At this point most of the service was commercial, not tendered apart from quieter times, so Docherty’s had built up a decent service after deregulation, mostly with a regular driver. Soon after a short lived DAF Cadet lasted about a fortnight before they went for some Dart or B6 SLFs that I forget which. However February 2001 saw a doubling the service to 2 vehicles – a 19A every 2 hours via PRI (supported by PKC) and 19 every 2 hours combined to give the best service in decades. A few tweaks were made to the evening/Sunday but because of the increased workload on 19 (and 166 renumbered 20), another operator needed to take on the work…First Edinburgh Bannockburn (formerly Midland Bluebrid) with positioning journeys in service to/from Stirling too, generally using a 49 seat Mercedes swingle decker after working 204/304 Kinross-Blairingone-Dollar services and a dry ski slope run in Stirling (amazing what you can see off the back of a running board lol). Now Stagecoach. The19/19A daytime and most of 20 is commercial;, wit evening./Sunday work now done by Volvo / MCV buses. Docherty’s still regularly buy new buses, with one ebery4 or 5 years for both working on 19,with a sligtly older one on the 20. At PM school times the 19, 19A and 20 then swap around for the rest of the afternoon service, but even Saturdays and school hols.

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