Thursday, June 15, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 371

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. She's called Wendy, not exactly confidence-inspiring.

9. If you're not dressed in 15 minutes then there's no point.

8. Don't put a sauce on it, otherwise it turns it all gloopy.

7. They kept on going on at her about getting a pay rise, but that's been years ago.

6. The temporary headteacher that replaced the one that was fiddling the money.

5. A lot has been put into the report, but we all know it's flawed.

4. She has to resign now.

3. Boris better just be sent away to a desert island for a few decades.

2. She voted Labour, she's never voted for them in her life.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. It's all about the exit poll.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last (Last) Week ; 370

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. No, it went all yellow, then it fell off.

9. No, Snapchat is where I'm at like all the time.

8. The wrath of Clive is what we'll call it.

7. There were no shoes left, so I ended up going in my socks and pretending I was being ironic.

6. Just because she turns up to your party it doesn't mean she should have been allowed to come.

5. They're every 5 minutes, it's ridiculous, most are empty, but more work for us.

4. A bucket got left out the window which the cat jumped on and got stuck in.

3. We had cod, which isn't my favourite, but certainly isn't my worst.

2. Outrageous to think he got a promotion having been at home for 7 months.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. Lunch should be a fun affair, not a shrink-wrapped torrid hell.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.


Friday, June 09, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last (Last) Week ; 369

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. Keeping my mind open to all possibilities that may crop up in the finance department.

9. I'm pleased to meet you after wearing your uniform.

8. It's finished, it's going to close and they've only told us three.

7. The top only fits into my left arm, which makes wearing it out a toughie.

6. There was the stupidest hashtag I've ever seen in the history of the world.

5. Black coffee is the strong thing I can ever smell, forget petrol fumes.

4. Believing what you believe isn't just backwards, it's shortly to become illegal.

3. The recipe asked for sugar so I put in a whole packet of sugar substitute pellets.

2. Sharing my crisps, no, I don't think so.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. Just cos he dealt a bit the police won't leave him alone.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Swindon Election - Lib Dems Chase Ambulance in Swindon!

If the Lib Dems learn anything from their Swindon campaign this election, it's get someone professional to do your leaflets.

And don't just photograph each candidate in front of the same ambulance at the Orbital in separate photos. At least Liz Webster's North Swindon leaflet doesn't feature bits of ambulance sticking out of her torso as her South Swindon colleague's does.







Thursday, June 01, 2017

Swindon Election - Stan 'Local' Lassoed Man's Your Photoshop Fail Candidate

It seems Swindon's Liberal Democratgs Liberal Democrats aren't spending their money on their leaflets, as the Adver's Chris Humphrey's has found.


Plus, as seen here, the same leaflet for Stan (you remember him from being your 'Local', but not quite  Eastcott councillor) Pjaka Pajak shows he's only been photographed once, with the same photo of him in front of an ambulance, that's then been badly photoshopped to show him with bits of emergency vehicles sticking out his torso.

Someone needs to ring for help, plus his bad hair cut needs some trained professional assistance.





Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Swindon Election - Tomlinson's Favourite Train 'The Flipping Flopsman'

For an MP of a railway town, Justin Tomlinson's attitude towards railways doesn't seem to know if it's coming or going.

Tomlinson talked in August 2014 of working hard to limit annual ticket price rises (despite it being government who control the rises), but has voted four times to not controlling public transport ticket prices.

He also appears to have remained silent on pleas from bus companies for help on the Bus Service Operators Grant.

He also sees fit to claim that Labour did not invest money in the railways. Once again, Tomlinson has not read his recent history, that it was Labour who announced the Great Western Main Line electrification, but that's not stopped him claiming the investment for himself and the Conservatives Theresa May party on every single one of his election leaflets.

Stand back from the platform edge, it's the 'Flipping Flopsman' storming through.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last (Last) Week ; 368

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. I suspect it will all blow over when she confronts him.

9. It was all dark when I woke up to find him moving around.

8. Claire doesn't strike me as the drinking type.

7. It's not vegan, look it's got extracts of nylon in it.

6. I don't care what gets said, I know who to vote for if I had to decide.

5. There's more reason to suspect he's been having fun behind her back.

4. There aren't any toilets nearby any more.

3. The Wetherspoons chain has much to answer for.

2. It scans it now, like some checkout ticket checking machine.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. He sneeze right in my face, it put me right off what we were doing.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

1. Standing on top of stuff, that's my main thing at the moment.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Swindon Bus War Round 3 : The 2nd Battle for Bassett

Someone did blink first, it turns out to have been Stagecoach, but not in the way expected.

They've increased the frequency of their 55 service to every 10 minutes Monday - Saturday and up to 15 minutes on Sundays.

A small but welcome move will see westbound services serve Lydiard Fields in weekday morning peak times.

There will now be 9 buses an hour in each direction when the 55 is combined with Thamesdown's R1 route, and a hyper 5 minute frequency at some parts of each hour.

As robust a bus route as Swindon to Wootton Bassett is, unless there is fundamental modal shift on the corridor, the capacity will not come close to break-even on those frequencies.

Meanwhile, if you want a personal taxi at a reasonable price with wi-fi to Bassett, you're quids in.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Swindon Election : Swindon Tories Leafleted during Suspension

Swindoncentric received reports of Tory leaflets being dropped through doors on Thursday, before general election campaigning was due to restart this morning.

Not really appropriate.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Swindon Election : Town Tories Silent on Honda Accord for Brexit

'Strong and stable' may be Theresa's mantra, but for Swindon's incumbent MPs 'silent and still' would suit on the Honda Brexit elephant in the room.

The government has promised Sunderland's Nissan something (but has not admitted it), no doubt officials from Honda UK have been keen to get similar treatment, but nothing has been revealed in public.

But never mind our MPs since June last year, who have gone into the election campaign without a word about the 3,500 workforce's future outside the EU, or those many thousands locally in the supply chain for the South Marston plant that will depend on whatever deal is eventually struck on exiting the EU.

The industrial backbone (along with at least 3,500 voters) of Swindon deserves better treatment from it's local incumbent Tory candidates.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 367

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. There's so much product placement.

9. He's got a button for that on his desk.

8. It got so dark I had to feel my way to the door when he rang.

7. I'm talking about decorating and why are you mentioning chicken?

6. They're going to be brightly coloured and as fast as anything.

5. Every time I read something by him it's got a hectoring tone.

4. There's a Chinese supermarket now.

3. The 17 is changing numbers, I think it's going higher, or possibly lower.

2. He's got a coach now, who's meant to help him with other people's anger.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. There's breadsticks, but I'm not in the mood for anything of that length now.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

1. Standing on top of stuff, that's my main thing at the moment.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 366

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. It's like a business transaction these days.

9. There's no excuse for not knowing what you should be doing.

8. It's an alien concept to many.

7. One of his fantasies is really quite boring.

6. What are you going to do? Invade Ramleaze?

5. Mary has many objections to those trousers.

4. That's a bit stark don't you think?

3. It's not pink, it's a jolly red.

2. Donald Trump should try appearing less nutty on odd occasions.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. I'm basically a one-man-band at this point.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

1. Standing on top of stuff, that's my main thing at the moment.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Out-of-Town Tomlinson Plays Sim City, Badly

Justin Tomlinson's attitude to his own party's council-owned Forward Swindon seems tied to political opportunities as they come along.

He recently slagged off Forward Swindon for 'stubbornness' with regard to the old carriage works on London Street and why they hadn't just let developers get their hands on them like the buildings north of the railway that he toured with a fellow minister on a visit.

Tomlinson's argument is as shallow as his depth of knowledge on his own town's history, and, oddly, the way government processes work. The reason the Historic England offices (along with the Outlet, Steam, the Test Chain flats development and the Bottelino's restaurant) are as high quality developments as they are is because all the buildings were hurriedly listed when it became clear the developers of the works site wanted to pull down, or heavily alter, most of what was there. As a result of the listings, the developers of the works have had to meet high levels of sympathetic development.

Private developers don't retain nice old fittings just because they're nice, but because they legally have to if the building is given a Grade Listing.

He also suggests that developers have been chomping at the bit to get their hands on the old carriage works buildings, hardly, they've been mostly empty for over 10 years!

Tomlinson isn't adverse to riding on the coat tails of Forward Swindon and others when there's publicity for the asking, such as when TNT praised the organisation's help in getting them to South Marston.

It says much that Tomlinson's office is now in a brand new glass carbuncle at the Orbital and not in one of the empty 1980s/1990s units at one of the many business parks across North Swindon.

Tomlinson has remained quiet on the Swindon Gateway development that was criticised by many of his own residents, labelled 'bland' and 'uninspiring architecturally' by a Swindon Borough Council planning officer (listed under 'Urban Design Comments - 26-05-16'), officially objected to by the owners of Regent Circus and The Parade and was part of an intense lobbying (listed under numerous 'objection comments') campaign against it from the inSwindon BID organisation. Plus according to Forward Swindon, the development rides roughshod (listed under 'Email from Forward Swindon Re Kimmerfields') over rules for available land for the same development closer to the town centre.

So is he on the side of unrestricted privately-led development, or partnership working between Forward Swindon and developers? It must depend on the level of publicity available.


Friday, May 05, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 365

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. May, no, it's June, isn't it?

9. What I'll be seeing will be different to what you see.

8. I was going to go round for dinner, but she was serving peas.

7. You've had way too much, I'm making a cup of tea for you when we get in.

6. No, it only goes out of town, there's no one's back today.

5. The police came round the corner and instantly we all felt guilty, but we actually were guilty.

4. Where did I put my fags? In your pocket?

3. He just hangs around in town, trying to exude coolness.

2. What does she see in him, I mean, he doesn't even claim JSA.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. You know Swindon's on the up when there's couscous spilt on the bus floor.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

1. Standing on top of stuff, that's my main thing at the moment.

Swindon Elections : Welcome to your Rotten Parish

The hopes of the new Swindon parishes being a haven from traditional party politics were dashed, as the usual battles were fought last night.

The only things to note :

- The uncontesting of many wards by the Tories, are they afraid of Labour in their traditional strongholds?

- The number of independents that ran and won.

- The level of 'gotta get a double seat' by candidates who now have the bizarre, but self-inflicted situation of representing the same ward as a local Borough councillor and now as a Parish councillor, surely a conflict of interest and pointless ultimately. Are they going to disagree with themselves?

- The return of the previously politically dead former local Borough councillors that were persuaded by HQ to return as a parish councillor as they can do it while they sleep the sleep of the undead.

- The very unwelcome return of the disgraced former Mayor.

- The family affair of many candidates, often in the same seats, husbands and wives, mothers and sons, partners, you can imagine it must be a riot in those households of an evening.

So parishing has done exactly what people feared, created an entirely unwanted and unnecessary new layer of administration, with, mostly, the same people in charge of the biggest parts of the town (bar the independents) and a lack of imagination, especially from the Tories, with the wheeling out of undead former councillors to fill the gaps.

Onto the general.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Swindon Elections : The Truth, In Shadow Parish Form

When is a a Tory election leaflet not a Tory election leaflet?


When it's accurate and honest!

No change with Swindon's Tories and their election leaflets, even for the imposed and unwanted parish council elections tomorrow it seems.

The leaflet for the new West Swindon Parish is one simple case in point. It makes two claims that are blindingly wrong on a list of achievements the shadow parish has already completed.

Claim number 1 :

- Contributed 16 more hours for the West Swindon library. 

Misleading, as the library, was, until the start of April, open 50 hours a week, which the Tory Borough Council (which includes all the shadow parish councillors as they are all Borough councillors too) cut to 15 hours a week and the West Swindon Parish chose to divert money from the closing of toilets at West Swindon District Centre to pay for an additional 16 hours, bringing it down to 31 hours. So an accurate achievement would have been :

- Cut library hours from 50 to 31 (we're only paying for 16) and cut West Swindon's only public toilets.

Claim number 2 :

- Created a local services hub by using the library for the Parish Council office. 

This is wrong, there is no parish council office in West Swindon Library.

So one misleading claim and one untrue. What other hideous gems are there out there?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 364

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. People were there from all over.

9. You didn't clean the loo did you?

8. I suspect he's lying, but I just can't prove it.

7. I'm not putting him on the guest list.

6. Those pants were on offer, I can always return them after the weekend.

5. Keep all those in that bag and I'll put the knives in this one.

4. I've got vodka, alway helps me get over a Monday.

3. You've not thought it through if you think I'm going with you.

2. I'm not shamed, not at all, I know I'm in the right.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. What does she see in him, I mean, he doesn't even claim JSA.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Swindon Bus War Round 2 : The Battle for Bassett

Engines are being revved in the second round of Swindon's bus war, as a key route is set to be fought over.

Thamesdown Transport are to launch at the start of May a service in direct competition with Stagecoach in Swindon to Royal Wootton Bassett. R1 will run on a 15 minute frequency Monday to Saturday daytimes, hourly in the evenings and half hourly on Sundays. At some times during each weekday daytime hours, this will give Bassett a 5 minute frequency when combined with Stagecoach's 55 service.

There are clearly not enough passengers to demand this level of frequency across both operators, so it remains to be seen who'll blink first and thin out their timetable after a month or so.

The same saturating of routes and markets is happening with Thamesdown's other service changes on the 14th May, Cavendish Square will have the newly created number 5 from the severing of the current 13/14 running on a 7/8 minute frequency weekday daytimes, the rerouted 17/17A to serve Park South, plus the hat-trick of frequency with Stagecoach's number 3.

There are other welcomed minor changes, especially the 1/1A remaining on it's combined cross-town route to the GWH on evenings and Sundays.

Welcome changes in the second battle, and if you live in Swindon's Cavendish Square, you've never had it so good bus-wise!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 363

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. I've got 14 in my garage, complete with the boxes.

9. There's no context, on it's own, it's pretty amazing.

8. Big day for our business, shame it was the last.

7. Here we go, I'm ready for you.

6. You can't sit there, it's over the engine.

5. Hummus, not bloody likely with my skin.

4. It's not cheap though, you're paying for the supposed convenience of it.

3. What a mistake, why did I think it would work with him?

2. The market is only for maybe 12 different customers and 9 of them don't spend more than a tenner a time.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. She'll never call an election, not until she's bought some fancy heels for it.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last (Last) Week ; 362

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. I've never watched it, I don't trust the presenter, she's too tall.

9. He's very handsome, which is as far as I'll go.

8. Terrence, what kind of a name is that?

7. Let's keep some perspective can we, I've been punching above my weight.

6. You've not got those jeggings on yet again?

5. It's like when you eat too many crisps and you regret it instantly.

4. There is a complaints process, you've just not followed it.

3. Claire is going to tell her story and when she does it's all going to be everywhere online.

2. If she's got anything to say, she can say it to me, right to my face.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. At what point did you think kissing him in front of his girlfriend was a good idea?

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last Last (Last) Week ; 361

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. He's a right sort, not to be touched with the longest of barge polls my dear.

9. You don't have to rush into anything if you don't want to.

8. This music's crap, Gaga is so over.

7. Stacey can make milk turn vegan.

6. Here we go, there's the red car like he said.

5. I'm not going to pay to gallivant around just because you want to.

4. It'll go into town eventually, this town I hope.

3. There's no prizes for finishing first.

2. Plenty for me to get bothered about when I get in, the garden'll not have been done for a start.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. I don't want to talk about it in public, but I can't marry him.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Routes 1, 2, 3, 4, Swindon declares a bus war

Clippies get your small change holstered, the 'alight' bell has been sounded in the first round of the Swindon bus war.


The bloodless sale of Thamesdown Transport to the Go-Ahead group has shaken things up in very short order.

Best of all for passengers are more routes as the two main companies in Swindon are now backed by two of the UK's biggest bus companies, Scottish-owned Stagecoach and Newcastle-owned Go-Ahead.

The first shot has come from Stagecoach in Swindon, with it's new route number 3, which now directly competes with Thamesdown's numbers 13/14 from Asda Walmart, to the town centre and as far as Walcot. 

The route then serves Walcot East, Park North, then provides a link to Park South (always the poor-relation in bus provision of the two areas of Parks), then terminates at the Great Western Hospital.

Good on Stagecoach for giving Thamesdown a little heat. In the grand scheme of things, it makes commercial sense, the 13/14 are easily the most heavily loaded cross-town routes (along with the 17) and at times on weekdays can be overloaded. For passengers it will provide more services, ease congestion, especially between the town centre and New College, and possibly improve timekeeping to the 13/14.

Plus the revenue abstraction from Thamesdown will probably only be marginal, though in a clever trick, the 3 shares the same bus stop at Fleming Way as Thamesdown's 13/14, making easy passenger poaching. Swindon Centric suspects the biggest improvement appreciated by passengers will be the new direct routes available, especially between Park North and Park South, the hospital, and the Orbital. 

So, 1-0 to Stagecoach, but Thamesdown have a host of new routes planned for May, more on those, and a possible levelling of the score, in a few stops time.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Culture Deserts

Swindon's new museum and art gallery is now dead in the water.


The action of one petition (which was misguided at it's very basic level, just poking at one hole as an example, they never once said where the money would come from to purchase the London Street carriagework buildings from Network Rail) has caused the main financial backer to leave.

Robert Hiscox takes with him his project man, his connections and most importantly of all, his money. The reason, the perceived negative reception locally to the Wyvern car park site, as opposed to the London Street site.

While the petition received coverage, at 700 signatories, it really didn't amount to much, simply the usual Mechanics Trust/Civic Voice loud shouting and easy Adver headlines but with scant detail at all behind it. The rest of Swindon, population 209,156, didn't really have their voices heard. There was no groundswell of opinion either way for or against the project, or strong views on the proposed site. This shows a lack of basic lack of public engagement on the part of the museum, Swindon Borough Council, the museum trust and most notably, Robert Hiscox himself. You can line up as many big name backers as you like, but if you've not spoken to the people who are to have the place on their doorstep, then you really are approaching it arse-backwards. Mr Hiscox's comments when interviewed about being able to get good quality coffee in Swindon struck a strange and patronising tone.

The big money donation has gone, as has the influence, the very highly-qualified Mr Van Dekker and the momentum. SBC were very lucky that the energy needed to push the project was being provided by Robert Hiscox and the trust, this will not transfer to SBC. The council have no money any more and no staff to spend time pushing this project.

This best hope is that another influential individual or group fills the shoes, but that's a big ask.

If the vacuum is filled by the Mechanics' Trust, who still seem to operate under the misapprehension they represent the will of all Swindon people (those people being about 7 individuals and probably a dog), then I look forward to seeing them try to buy enough scratchcards to raise the money.

Congratulations to the petition-raiser, the 700 people who signed it and the Mechanics' Trust, Swindon now has no chance of a museum and art gallery for at least a decade. The project may not have been perfect, but it was the only one there was.

Swindon Centric hopes you're proud of yourselves. 


Sunday, April 02, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last (Last) Week ; 360

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. Don't be such a cheeky cow.

9. He went to KFC even though I explicitly told him not to.

8. They Snapchatted it without another breath, totally, absolutely mortified.

7. They're closing it next week and turning it into a carpark for finance.

6. Over that period I had my head in the sand.

5. That view is possibly the best in town bar none.

4. There were huge bits all over the road, I couldn't miss them.

3. It's a wonder you didn't hurt more people when you were taking it so frequently.

2. More than you know I've enjoyed your company thoroughly.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. Just don't forget to bring it with you.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 359

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. You can't expect me to like the idea just because it's the right one.

9. I just can't keep up with you.

8. That's fine, but have you thought about her feelings in all this?

7. It was a very low light, almost not there when you looked back.

6. I thought you were closed today when I saw the shutter halfway down.

5. Keep some perspective, just because she said no doesn't mean she'll always say no.

4. I thought it was Mars bars there was a shortage of.

3. Butter beans she was after, well I couldn't bloody well find them could I?

2. They'll have sold it off by next week.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. The parish is meant to take over running my local supermarket, they seem to be being handed everything else it wouldn't surprise me.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last (Last) Week ; 358

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. You can apply for it online.

9. If it accidentally falls over, please catch it.

8. It's a mistake, that's all.

7. They've sold it, that's it really.

6. He's a survivor, not a victim.

5. Everyone was surprised.

4. Who knew she really, really fancied him

3. I'm amazed you'd never tried popcorn until last Thursday.

2. Bad things they may be, but they are fun.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. I got a top in Urban Outfitters, we went to Wagamamas, Dunkin' Donuts and Elliot fell asleep on the way back and I gave him a wet willy.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last (Last, Last) Week ; 357

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. She threw her feet right into it.

9. I can't take much more of this, I thought you'd sorted all of this underpants business out.

8. Let's keep it all private and not talk about it here.

7. Fish fingers is where I'm thinking.

6. He always doing impressions of people, not very well.

5. Snapchat him for god's sake.

4. I shall protest most strongly if it goes ahead.

3. They're going to start giving change again.

2. Keep it clean please.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. I only shop their for my loo cleaner, everything else is far too cheap.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Omnibusshambles

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

As goes the Wichelstowe quality bus corridor plan.

The aims of the project already seem to largely exist. The buses in use by Thamesdown are the newer vehicles, fitted with Wi-Fi and information displays, with a highly-recognisable brand (despite the soft market research currently being undertaken by the new owners), with a high frequency of service.

The only aims not already in existence seem to be a quicker journey time, limited stops and traffic priority.

Over £3 million is allocated to speed up the number 11 from 22 minutes journey time to 10 minutes, as the original plan for Wichelstowe foresaw a rapid transit (posh name for fast bus) route.

Swindon Borough Council propose to achieve this by getting rid of pedestrian crossings in Old Town and diverting buses along Wood Street and diverting general traffic in other ways.

Firstly, the 22 minute journey time is from Waitrose and as anyone knows, no-one commutes from Waitrose into town. Secondly, the pedestrian crossings in Old Town are necessary. The footpaths on Devizes Road at the northern end are narrow enough currently that two people have trouble squeezing past each other, let alone if the crossing is removed. The shared space at Regent Circus does work well, but pedestrians only have to look one way on each crossing. Try removing the northern Devizes Road crossing and then attempt to cross over, looking both ways, with no traffic lights and a roadway surface that matches the footpath with a lorry pinning you to the wall of the buildings.  Thirdly, Swindon Centric can't imagine the Wood Street glitterati wanting such common things as omnibuses zooming along ferrying working class people to work.

Trust SBC to want to spend wonga without realising what they've already bought, already had installed, and already don't use. The bus gate, lights and junction on Wootton Bassett Road are currently only used for westbound buses, despite being built for townbound buses from Wichelstowe and has never been used.

Why to goodness does SBC not investigate running a bus from Wichelstowe via Redposts Drive and into town either via the unused bus infrastructure via Penzance Drive and the Outlet or east along Wootton Bassett Road and the former bus route of William Street? The journey time would be nearer the 10 minute mark via William Street than the expensive, strange and dangerous proposals through Old Town.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

The Mechanics of Trust

If the Mechanics' Trust got a pound for every column inch of coverage of their cause then the building in question would be gold-plated by now.

The latest grand plan from them deems that they want to take over the entirety of the Railway Village. The trust also want £15 - £20 million of Heritage Lottery Fund money to cover the cost of repairing the Mechanics', but they fail to see the wood for the trees.

There's no way the HLF will give two bids of money of such quantities to Swindon for two projects, the Mechanics' and the new museum and art gallery (regardless of whether it will be on the Wyvern car park site or if they get drunk and decide to go with the London Street carriage works site that the Mechanics' Trust are so certain on).

Swindon Borough Council and Forward Swindon already have a plan for the carriage works site, plus Forward Swindon have their own feasibility study into the Mechanics'. The latter was missed out of the Adver piece.

The track record of the Trust is patchy at a very generous best :

- Bakers Arms. Given to the Trust after closing in 2012. Still closed.

- Central Community Centre. Given to the Trust from SBC. According to news provided by an independent source (that independent source being, erm, the Mechanics' Trust), it's being run well.

- The Old Railway Cottage. Given to the Trust from SBC. Opened a handful of times, but no prospect of opening regularly.

- An allotment plot. Given to the Trust (along with the purchase of new tools). Has been overgrown ever since.

- A People's Lottery-funded development officer who left part way through his tenure due to creative differences.

On top of this, the Trust want to be given :

The Health Hydro.

The old Railway Museum.

The Cricketers Pub.

Plus they want £50,000 to put together a business plan for their plan for the Mechanics' building.

Do we trust the Trust?

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 356

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. Clinton should do it again.

9. Put it away, everyone does not want to see that.

8. They were getting dirtier than was reasonable.

7. She's round mine, no, not yours, 'cos if she was at yours, she wouldn't be round mind.

6. Chaos is so massively overused.

5. It's just chicken with a fur coat on.

4. They say their priority is to the shareholders, which it always has been.

3. It doesn't mean anything if she doesn't leave him.

2. What's that sound this morning, is someone running an electric saw?

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. Let's try something new, you not lying to my face.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 355

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. If you get this wrong everyone will blame you.

9. There's not enough solicitors in the world to stop it.

8. It's coming right towards you, look.

7. Personally Sarah has had her chips lots of times.

6. I'm not a medical professional you know.

5. No they're playing at home after the shambles of last time.

4. Just get it done and choose the bulgar wheat.

3. He's not elected, he's a lazy tosser.

2. It got sold, to Stagecoach I think.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. Keep thinking you're as good looking as you believe and we'll all pretend to go along with it.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 354

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. They're going to sell them and convert them into shops.

9. He spent 15 minutes reading out loud the email he'd written making sure it sounded okay.

8. Oh babes, I really don't care.

7. Some things are best left unsaid.

6. She keeps all her packets and tins in alphabetical order.

5. He thought that there was an East Korea.

4. They're selling it today, so sad, they should have let them do a management buy out in the 1980s like they asked.

3. No, there's a burst pipe, you'll have to go right round past the roundabout.

2. That exposes the whole thing of how you communicate enthusiasm.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. I drink goats milk, but only on a Thursday.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Thamesdown Sold - Go Ahead and dump Dayriders & Travelpasses?

The deafening silence from Swindon Borough Council on the sale of Thamesdown Transport was bound to break and it has. The company has, or is about to be today or tomorrow, sold to the Go-Ahead Group

It's a pretty poor show on SBC's part, as it essentially means SBC staff (but at arms length as Thamesdown), have been caught up in a quick sale to the private sector.

Go-Ahead are far better than some of the other big national bus companies, with a history of keeping local company names (will Thamesdown live on?).

But nothing, not a whisper, has been made to the most important people in all of this, the passengers.

Firm assurances are now needed from SBC and Go Ahead on whether DayRiders and TravelPasses will remain inter-available.

Otherwise, SBC may have just doubled the price (at the least) of bus travel for the poorest in Swindon on top of the loss of routes due to SBC cutting investment/subsidies in social necessary services.

Lets hope they didn't use the words 'innovate ' and 'vibrant' in the discussions with Go-Ahead, otherwise we are all doomed.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

New Swindon Parish can't set it's tax level as Borough gives it wrong numbers

Yes, that's right, as if the Swindon Rotten Parishes story couldn't get worse, Chris Humphreys reports a new gem.

The new Central Swindon North Parish will not be able to set it's parish precept by the Swindon Borough Council deadline due to SBC providing it with incorrect information.

This can only be the tip of the iceberg, especially as the Borough needs to provide as vast amount of information to all the new and existing parishes as services are foisted upon them. The Borough also need to provided them each with an asset transfer register, now considering that the department that is due to carry out this work is due to be slashed to two officers in the near future, well, you can imagine, it'a almost as if the parishes are being set up to fail.

Surely not?

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last (Last) Week ; 353

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. How will it be divided up?

9. None of this is your fault you know?

8. He got trapped and I had to grab his legs.

7. It's meant to happen in three months if you're to believe the packet.

6. They want to wrestle control of the board of directors then they can sell it.

5. It sounds just marvellous.

4. You heard about this, it was all the man who visited from Birmingham was brought up for?

3. There were loads of charred bits so I had to cover it with the gravy.

2. I only knew him for two weeks, but he thinks I'm his best mate.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. I was going to apply for a visa but I'm thinking twice and reckon on New Zealand instead.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Throwing Employees Under the Bus

Swindon Centric has just learnt that the employee conditions for the rumoured buyer for Swindon's Thamesdown Transport are markedly worse than those that currently apply.

These include less than 20 days holiday a year, reduced sick pay and less tolerance of employees who may have recurring sickness.

If Thamesdown is to be sold, then, what you can consider a Swindon Borough Council 'arms length' company, will see it's 'arms length' Council employees given worse conditions than presently enjoyed.

And as for the future of service quality to passengers, will multi-operator tickets (DayRiders and TravelPasses), got the same way.

Still no comment from SBC or Thamesdown on the rumours of a sale.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Feckless & Cowardly Conservative Councillors Hang Parishes Out To Die

There's an awful lot of skulking happening around Swindon's Civic Offices at present and with good reason.

The biggest transfer of power at local government level in Swindon since the creation of the Borough in 1997 is currently afoot with the foisting upon of Borough responsibilities to current parishes and the newly (yet to properly be created) ones.

As a result of this, there's a scramble to set the parish precept (the amount with the annual council tax bill that covers the services carried out by the parish within your area) with all these newly foisted upon services suddenly having to be taken into account. This is quite a shock administratively and politically as many simply cut the grass until recently.

Haydon Wick has voted a 50% increase in tax.

Stratton has voted a 27% increase in tax.

Wroughton has voted a 16.5% increase for a band D property.

Meanwhile the Borough Council has not raised council tax in Swindon since 2007, teetered on the brink of service-provision oblivion, dumped said services into the laps of parishes (and where they've not existed, just forced their undemocratic creation), and seen them have no choice but to raise tax to eye-watering levels.

Other authorities have and are doing it differently. Surrey County Council is proposing a 15% council tax increase, it, like Swindon, is Conservative-run and has had enough of government nationally sticking it's fingers in it's ears and thinking if it can't hear, everything's fine.

Swindon Borough Council's ruling Tories have done nothing of the sort, they have axed, cut and closed services while they could have been lobbying parliament nationally with the help of their Conservative MPs and putting their heads above the parapet and fighting for the people of Swindon.

But they've not. They've done nothing.

Swindon Borough Council's Conservatives are feckless, cowardly and irresponsible with the future of the Borough.

But I'm sure in the next financial year those three talents will be devolved to parishes.

Welcome to the Rotten Borough (now with 50% more parish for 50% more money).


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 352

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. If you'd broken your leg you couldn't have walked the half a mile here.

9. No mate, I'm ugly, I'm much older than my years by bad luck, pure and simple.

8. He'll nip Jayden, she better watch out, but Sarah's got a staffie and he doesn't do that.

7. You're laughing at me, I can hear it.

6. I don't think this goes to the Link Centre.

5. He owes me 80 quid, I'm sure he'll pay me back when he gets out.

4. I have no idea what a Segway is.

3. Just because you don't believe in it, doesn't mean it's not true.

2. It's really hurting now, if it's worse tomorrow I'm going to the hospital.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. She doesn't get out of bed, I mean, I'm lazy, I spend the whole the day in bed, but not like that.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Council hides houses behind GLL in Hydro hoopla

Turns out that GLL discussed the idea of turning the Health Hydro at Milton Road into flats with Swindon Borough Council before announcing it.

SBC suggested they float the idea and see how it's received while GLL received the wrath, SBC hurried a minimum safe distance away from the explosion.

They clearly didn't reckon on GLL being so narked at the bad publicity, they'd just freely talk about how it came about.

Whoops, looks like SBC's been dropped heavily in the deep end (of the main pool of course).

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 351

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. There were three desserts and I tried all three.

9. No he goes left, right, straight on and back round to the main road.

8. I've never expected less of you.

7. She kept jabbering on about his drinking and I couldn't stand it.

6. No, it's the one in your other hand.

5. Keep guessing, but I'm not telling you how much I paid.

4. Sue said it was all a con whilst he was away with his kids.

3. It can be rented out, but he's leaving it empty for now.

2. No parking, can't you read, it's the whole street.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. No, that bus is being gotten rid of to pay for brexit.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 350

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. It'll go all the way to the hospital now, for better or worse.

9. The year was good for me, I got new shoes.

8. Typically it's 4 to 5 percent with no guarantee that he'll be able to sell it all.

7. I've got it all in the cupboard in the spare room, if there's a fire, we're all doomed.

6. Performance is really good when you get past all the apps and rubbish.

5. That drink was what my Mum was drinking in the 90s!

4. She refused to talk to me all Christmas, I just got bladdered and shouted at her.

3. He rebelled, they all got shot and that was the end, I'm not watching the next series.

2. I'm going to get active and walk a lot more, or just a little.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. I could not believe the crap she was saying to me and I didn't understand it.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Top Ten Things Overheard On Swindon's Buses Last (Last) Week ; 349

Click here for the original at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10. Let's just see what happens first and jump to conclusions later.

9. Let it slide right in, slowly though.

8. It's just all in tins this Christmas, you can't taste the difference.

7. I can't get in the mood if you keep repeating that, can I?

6. He hadn't finished it, but she shoved him out the room never the less.

5. It splashed everywhere, I had to go back to the office and clean myself up.

4. The emotional strain was too much for him, he collapsed and there was nothing they could do.

3. Chris keeps swaggering around like he's in an old Western or something.

2. Snapchat is now officially over I do declare.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1. If that mince pie was anything like the last one, you really won't be able to tell it's from last year.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.