Supporters' Coach Travel to Chippenham 28/9/19

Discussion in 'Dulwich Hamlet FC' started by DHST, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. DHST

    DHST Active Member

    Our second planned supporters’ coach of the season is to Chippenham Town on Saturday 28 September, with adult tickets £19 and concessions £14. Coach will leave Champion Hill at 10:45.

    Dulwich Hamlet Supporters' Trust
  2. DHST

    DHST Active Member

    Chippenham Supporters' Coach - Cancelled

    Unfortunately, due to a lack of demand, the Supporters' Trust have had to cancel the planned coach to Chippenham Town on Saturday 28th September. We have individually contacted the small number of fans who had already booked this service.

    As previously stated, we are unable to run coaches at less than 50% capacity. Whilst we are passionate about helping fans to attend Away matches, we have to balance the financial cost of this with our other responsibilities to our members. Every £ spent subsidising coach travel is a £ we can't invest in the Club or other community projects. Even at 50% capacity, the Trust pays a large subsidy to ensure the running of a coach.

    Please Note: National Express runs a direct service from Victoria Coach Station to Chippenham with adult returns currently on sale at £14. There is a coach at 11.30am (due to arrive in Chippenham at 14.00). For the return journey, there is an 18.35 departure from Chippenham to Victoria".

    If you would like to support the team at Away fixtures, please do consider using the DHST coach in future!

    The next planned coach is on Saturday, 26 October to Chelmsford City. Adults: £16 Conc: £11

    Online booking for the Chelmsford coach will open soon. The last date for booking will be Sunday 20 October. We’ll confirm that the coach is running as soon as half the seats are booked.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
    the 12th man likes this.
  3. Ian Kaye

    Ian Kaye Active Member

    Amazing that we’re averaging 1600 but can’t get 25 people on a coach. In my opinion saying the coach won’t run unless there’s 50% capacity is the wrong approach.
    Dulwich Mishi and Pink Panther like this.
  4. Pink Panther

    Pink Panther Well-Known Member

    Many people like myself simply don't like coach/motorway travel, or being tied to the schedule of a coach, and prefer to travel by train even if it costs a bit more. However there's a disincentive to commit to the coach when it might get cancelled at 5 days notice and the cheapest advance train fares have already sold out.
    editor, blueheaven and Nivag like this.
  5. Dulwich Mishi

    Dulwich Mishi Old Skool Terrace Dinosaur-embracing the new-veau!

    To be honest I’ve always preferred train travel, but go on the coach when I can because it helps some fans who can’t get to games otherwise get to them.
    I think matters aren’t help when hardly any, sometimes one, of the Board who run the service ( or now don’t run it and cancel at the last moment) don’t even use it themselves.
    I can’t make this one as I’ll be in hospital but in future I will only book on a Trust bus as a very last resort, when there is no other option, as I don’t want to have to make arrangements at the very last minute.
    Cancelling at such short notice will surely mean even less bookings in future & this scheme is doomed to failure.
  6. Ian Kaye

    Ian Kaye Active Member

    Maybe we should try the Bath City approach.

    FA CUP COACH - Bookings are now being taken for the @EmiratesFACup match at @BTFC! This is sure to be a popular coach so book now to avoid disappointment!


    This Bath City approach?

  8. editor

    editor hiraethified

    I can never make the coaches because they always leave too early for me (I'm usually up at WTF o'clock the night before working) so a last minute train is the only practical option. Besides, I'm not a fan of coach travel at all.
  9. Latahs

    Latahs Well-Known Member

    A DHST board member is always present on board the coach now as far as I know.

    Organizing coaches is intrinsically difficult for the reasons mentioned.

    Short of press-ganging supporters to book after Home matches i'm not sure what more DHST could do given their brief/workload. So the DHST policy is sensible and sound from a cost/benefit perspective, not to mention consistent with that of other clubs. I'm sure if you have a more ideas they would be listened to... but I imagine this has been the topic of much discussion by DHST and they have already been considered/ explored.

    Finally, on the point of fan involvement if you do have any really innovative ideas of ways to get more people on the buses or involved in any aspect of the life of the club. Just get out there and do it, no-ones stopping you. In fact the incumbents of DHST and DHFC couldn't be more supportive of events, initiatives etc etc. But its just toss and hot air on here.
    pompeydunc, Lyham and scousedom like this.
  10. Al Crane

    Al Crane Well-Known Member

    My thoughts:

    1. If there is the possibility that the coach will be cancelled, could it be done earlier to allow people to make alternative arrangements with sufficient time to take advantage of cheaper rail prices?

    2. Advertising of the coaches has been pretty good. The list of prospective coaches for the season was released at the end of July so plenty of notice. I’ve seen posters up at the ground, social media posts and PA announcements at games for individual coaches. An article did go up on the club website but only 4 days ago so this could have been done earlier, and it does also provide details of the other planned coaches for the rest of the season.

    3. You can take a view that advertising coaches on the basis that if there isn't enough people they will be cancelled is very negative, but the alternative is that the Trust simply has to suck it and see how much money they lose if they don't have sufficient numbers. The cancellation policy approach is one that lots of clubs take (including the Bath City example above). The Trust could advertise without mentioning the cancellation policy but then there would be plenty of moaners if they didn't.

    4. Have the Trust looked into a smaller vehicle which could make trips viable if numbers are low?

    5. The point about Trust Board members not using the coach is a moot point because (a) the main thing is that there is a service for supporters to travel to away games (b) I’m pretty sure Shaun couldn't always travel on all the coaches he organised…but you could say it reinforces a view that there is a general lack of demand / desire for coach travel from supporters.

    6. I think the Trust should publish what their coach contingency fund is for the season, alongside the costs incurred to date. Perhaps if this information were released, people may look at the situation slightly differently and consider that throwing money away to an external coach company is not a good use of funds.

    Ultimately, whether you agree or not with the way the service is promoted, it boils down to this: not enough supporters want to travel by coach. There's little the Trust can do about that unless they change their mind and accept that they might lose thousands of pounds per season to an external coach company rather than put money into the club - a decision which I would not support.

    Full disclosure: I have travelled on both Dooley and Trust-organised coaches in the past but prefer to travel by train for reasons of flexibility and not travelling very well on coaches.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
    pompeydunc, dcdulwich, editor and 4 others like this.
  11. Monkeygrinder's Organ

    Monkeygrinder's Organ Dodgy geezer swilling vapid lager

    What's so great about the coach anyway?

    OK that's a bit flippant but the tone in some of this stuff is almost like there's some form of moral imperative there, as if people should be prepared to travel in ways that don't suit them for a greater good. I guess the argument is that it enables people who otherwise couldn't go to be able to go. The numbers of those people seem to be pretty limited though - is there any other way they could be supported? Liftshares etc?
    editor likes this.
  12. B.I.G

    B.I.G Well-Known Member

    In life people should always in prepared to inconvenience themselves for the greater good.

    I can lend you my Tony Benn CD if you like.

    “up until then we’d all been individuals on a privatised train, but now we helped each other, lending phones and sharing sandwiches, and by the time it arrived it was a socialist train”.

    Selfishness is rife in modern society.
  13. Pink Panther

    Pink Panther Well-Known Member

    That just makes me want to travel to matches by train.
  14. B.I.G

    B.I.G Well-Known Member

    To make the train socialist like Tony Benn witnessed? Good man.
  15. scousedom

    scousedom Well-Known Member

    From memory, there is very little difference. Say £50 off on a £600-£700 coach for a 39 vs 53 seater. Costs - driver, petrol, coach company profit - are fairly fixed.
    Al Crane likes this.
  16. Cat Daisy

    Cat Daisy Active Member

    Personally, travelling from Herts to Dulwich to then pick up a coach means a far-too-early start for me - and I am not a great coach traveller anyway.

    But, is this the team coach? Are spare spots available for supporters on that coach? Obviously needs the team management to be OK with the idea but works at other clubs and allows you to make a "profit" based on as few as 10-15 travelling fans.
    pompeydunc likes this.
  17. Dulwich Mishi

    Dulwich Mishi Old Skool Terrace Dinosaur-embracing the new-veau!

    Generally not done by clubs at our level.... Usually down to what individual management teams prefer, club by club.
  18. dcdulwich

    dcdulwich Well-Known Member

    Yes, Al Crane we ran a 27 seater to Eastbourne in the FA Cup last year which saved money but we still lost a little on the trip despite it being full. The ride quality was not very good either so you would have suffered (as a couple of people on board did). Anyway, the coach company we use don't keep a coach of that size any more.

    We also switched from 49 seat to 36 seat coaches on a number of occasions last season but as scousedom says, that doesn't save a huge amount. So it mitigates the level of loss rather than having a huge impact upon it.
    Lyham, scousedom and Al Crane like this.

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