Monday, 2 August 2010
Whitsand Open Top
In this post I'm concentrating on this lovely old AEC open topper rather than the American school bus style BMC to the left of the photo. These are of course both Liskeard and District vehicles.
I heard a very interesting comment that Cremyll Cabs/Coaches were at one point looking to buy the AEC for use on a Whitsand Bay tour type service along the twisting roads of the Rame Peninsula. I, and many others have always thought the Rame Peninsula would be a prime place to operate an open top service in the summer. The question would be where from!
A realistic suggestion would possibly be making certain journeys of the 81C open top. but of course 81C now covers a fair amount of urban driving. Its also not your 'short hop' type open top services that are 'Oh so popular' in many cities across the country. So that knocks this out. There would be little catchment running it from Torpoint. The only other place therefore would be from the Tregantle Fort car park, but then would seem a fairly short dash along the cliff and back, with little market? Its an interesting thought but I do wonder if people would use it. I suppose starting off with something similar to the AEC to experience loadings would be good. A double decker could then be brought in, if the service was to prove popular enough.
As to who would end up running it, well I doubt First would bother with something like that in their campaign to cut down to the core routes in the area. The operation doesn't really suit A-Line in that generally A-Line doesn't operate at all on weekends. Cremyll Coaches therefore seems the one left even though generally they specialise on private hire and wedding work with some contracted services.
As to the vehicle choice though the AEC may be an eye-catching vehicle, as was pointed out it would be a pretty hard job doing many runs in this a day along Whitsand Bay. Even Dart MPDs run into trouble along Whitsands with traffic and badly parked cars. With the crash gearbox things could only be made harder along this stretch and an 'easier' vehicle would likely be needed. Of course 'back in the day' all sorts would have operated the route, but with 'bigger' and more cars on the road these days, it would make the task all that much harder.
So an interesting prospect still, but I doubt we'll be seeing it start anytime soon...unless someone decides to chop the roof off a Dart?