Wednesday, 16 August 2017

The Plot Thickens ...

... And a Map Is Mega-Mysterious
Regular readers will know that fbb  is not enamoured of South Yorkshire PTE's (Travel South Yorkshire's) maps. The full colour fold-out versions are generally very good indeed, but those that accompany non-printed timetables are, on a good day, useless.

We have been attempting to work out where the buses go and where they stop in the village of Barnby Dun, north east of Doncaster.
But there is an even bigger problem. 

Here is Hatfield Lane Barnby Dun with a from-Doncaster bus stop on the right ...
... but covered by a PTE cloaking device to bamboozle passengers. It is there on Google's map ...
... as is one just round the corner in Pine Hall Road.
And to complete the picture, here is an enlargement of the relevant (the irrelevant?) bit of the TSY map.
Hatfield Lane runs left to right, Pine Hall Road top to bottom. Presumably TSY thinks the buses divert via people's back gardens, even their living rooms! No, that's unfair. The loop off Hatfield Lane is Parkhill Road and the loops off Pine Hall Road are Meadow Field Road and Pinefield Avenue, none of which have buses along them.

The network map is simpler, thankfully.
But nowhere in any timetable or on any map does anyone tell the poor long-suffering travelling public which buses go that way.

fbb THINKS he has worked it out. If you click on a stop on Google maos, it shows which buses Mr Google thinks will stop there. If the map is right, service 84 and 84a are the ones you need. 
From this and an extensive perusal of every bit of bus information available, including the all-stops timetable on Traveline ...
... there is some evidence that 84a buses and some 84s go that way.
fbb's tentative conclusions therefore are thus:
The hourly "shorts" numbered 84 (RED) turn in a one way loop via the High Street to terminate at the Spar Shop  S  (YELLOW STOPS) before returning to Doncaster via Pine Hall Road. The 84a (BLUE) runs out and back via Pine Hall Road calling at Spar TO Doncaster and a Top Road (PINK STOPS) on journeys from Doncaster.

Although the Top Road stops are best defined as the "centre" of Barnby Dun, the timetable points are well away from the shops on the edge of the village, as we saw yesterday.

The 84b (GREEN) follows a different route in Barnby Dun via Station Road (there is no station) and Stainforth Road. Outward it shares the Top Road stop with the 84a, but inbound it stops opposite the Post Office  P  but, again, its time point is almost out in open country and remote from the shops.

So that's it - all sorted. Possibly?

Oh no it isn't!

In the evening and Sundays a quite different 84 runs through the village and off to points north-east. fbb has called it 84E (ORANGE) although it claims to be an ordinary 84. 
And there's more! there are a few 84a buses (BLUE, remember?) and a few short workings on the 84 (RED) which might well loop as they do at other times. Do they ALL go via Pine Hall Road and not as fbb has shown in orange?

Do any Sunday buses go via Pine Hall Road?

Does anybody know?

Does anybody care?

Is there perhaps a reason that buses in places like Barnby Dun are losing passengers?
An 84 leaflet is one of the items that fbb has been "helping" First Bus with. Sadly, time and space considerations meant that the best your intrepid bus researcher could do was to reproduce the TSY (and First's on-line offering) timetable layout. A better, clearer, leaflet is surely an important project for the future?

 Next electric blog (plus) : Thursday 17th August 

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

But If You Don't Know The Answer ...

... It Is Hard To Find Out.
The only reliable way is to ask someone; but that can be both challenging and unreliable. We have already seen that the on-line map supplies by the Travel South Yorkshire (TSY) people has a maze of lines with labels here and there and a few route number boxes.
The white on black usually denotes a terminus, yet the 84 seems to go further. So which bus stops where? The timetable available on-line from TSY offers three time points for outward journeys.
As they are at consistent minutes past each hour, it is reasonable to assume that they are close together. might they be in the centre of Barnby Dun? Maybe?

Does Barnby Dun have a "centre". The Road named High Street offers little in the way of retail services, just a pub ...
... a printers, a defunct barbers and, always useful, and undertakers. Useful services maybe, but hardly a shopping centre. 

But if we move to the junction of Church Road ...
... Stainforth Road, Catling Lane and (unnamed on the map extract above) Top Road. There are bus stops outside Spar ...
... for buses TO Doncaster.

There is a stop on Top Road ...
... for journeys FROM Doncaster. On the opposite "corner" is the Post Office, a few yards along Hatfield Road.
And opposite the Post Office is yet another bus stop ...
... possibly also for journeys TO Doncaster.

How does this tie up with stop names in the PTE timetable?
Above is an extract from the FROM Doncaster schedules. We can identify the terminus of the 84 at Church Road Marlowe Road because that is the stop outside Spar. But it is for buses TO Doncaster, surely; and there is no pole or shelter opposite.

Might Stainforth Road Coleridge Road be the full name any stop opposite the Post Office?


Coleridge Road is right on the edge of Barnby Dun, almost in open country and some distance from anything that might be called the centre".
Are any buses timed at Top Road?

No. The other outbound stop is way up Church Road, way past the shops and, again, on the way "out of town".

What about TO Doncaster stops and time points?
We have already met Church Road Marlowe Road as the terminus of the 84 and it is also served by the 84a which enters the village past the Spar shop.

Perhaps the 84b might be helpfully timed at the stop opposite the Post Office, not too far from Spar?Alas, no; that stop would be called Stainforth Road Talbot Avenue.
The inbound time point is also named Broseley Avenue, sort of oppsite Coleridge Road, but even more in open country.
Before fbb reveals what actually happens, we might look at First Bus' version of the 84 timetable.

FROM Doncaster?
TO Doncaster?
Same split of stops but different names - and no easier to understand.

We really don't make public transport very easy, do we?

 Barnby Dun revealed : Wednesday 15th August 

Monday, 14 August 2017

It's All Very Simple ...

... When You Know The Answer!

We re at Barnby Dun, near Doncaster ...
...and fbb confessed yesterday that he was bewildered by its bus services.
In principle the various cartographic squiggles at Barnby Dun are easily explained.

But first, where or what is Barnby Dun? The Wikipedia entry says it is a community in Doncaster and that's it. It is, in fact, one of a series of villages that grew up round bits of heavy industry, often coal mines.
Nearby Kirk Sandall had a glassworks owned by the famous Pilkingtons.
It is now a "general" industrial estate.
Nearby Hatfield had its colliery ...
... now under massive redevelopment.
The colliery opened in 1916. The pit was stopped in 2001, and restarted 2007; the mine passed through a number of different owners in the early part of the 21st century, with subsequent operators entering receivership. During the same period the site was proposed as the location for high-technology coal burning power stations schemes which did not proceed.

In 2013 the major Doncaster-Thorne railway line which connected South Yorkshire to the Humber ports and Scunthorpe was blocked by a landslip at the colliery spoil for around 6 months.
From late 2013 the mine was employee owned by the 'Hatfield Colliery Partnership Limited'. Due to lack of demand for coal products the colliery shut down at the end of June 2015.

Barnby Dun had a railway station until 1967 ...
... superseded by Kirk Sandall, a mile to the west, which opened in 1991.
But throughout all of its varied history, Barnby Dun has been more of a rural rather than an industrial community. Bits of the ancient village ...
 ... are now surrounded by more recent development.
At the end of the High Street a lifting bridge crosses the canalised part of the River Don and the cooling towers of Thorpe Marsh Power Station can be seen on the far bank.
Despite Google's pictures, the power station has gone and the cooling towers have been demolished./
There is an on-line video of the end of the last two in August 2012. They were pulled down by a thick wire attached to the yellow digger thing (operated remotely?) which broke the supports.
No explosives were used, but the collapse was still spectacular.
But we must go back to the bus services. They look simple enough.
A half hourly service runs to Barnby Dun via Kirk Sandall. A two hourly 84b runs to Sykehouse and a two hourly 84a finishes as Moorland Prison, supplemented by hourly "shorts".

So why is/was fbb bewildered?

The gist of the problem is illustrated by the three different time points in the village.

And that's not the only difficulty with Barnby Dun as we shall see tomorrow.

 Next Barnby Dun blog - Tuesday 15th August 

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Bewilderment Blog

Very Bewildered?
The picture above is of a very dear friend who, yesterday, celebrated her 96th Birthday. She is Mrs Helen Fearnley, mother of you know who and the fbb's were invited to the "do" at Torquay. The terribly unflattering picture is of the young lady (!) attempting to blow out her candle; the other 95 were not used to avoid a serious fire risk.

Sadly, the candle had already blown out on the way from kitchen to patio, so Mrs F was attempting (unsuccessfully) to look in a candle-blowing pose.

But it was a spiffing day with much jollity and chat and a stonkingly good lunch prepared by Mrs F junior.

A "party bag" was offered to fbb on departure, consisting of an article from Rail magazine explaining the gargantuan increase in the costs of the Sheffield Tram-and-a-very-small-bit-of-train "experiment", a box of cheese surplus to requirements from the lunch (yummy yummy) and a leaflet.
fbb introduced these services in a blog (here) and subsequently added some photos sent in by Roger French. fbb though that the powerful branding and development of the services represented a brave move by First Kernow.

The leaflet is magnificent in every way. It has an outline of the "A" branded routes ...
... and details of "rover" fares.
£12 seems pricey but is significantly less than most "specialist" sightseeing tours charge. Bath charges £15, Oxford £15.50 and London a painful £32. Kernow's £26, however, is a snip for 7 fays' worth pf travel. the tickets are valid on all Kernow bus routes, not just the Coasters.

Family tickets offer a real bargain "for one or two adults and any number of children"; a cheap outing for a school party? Maybe you wouldn't get away with that!
the leaflet is packed with "tourist" information, backed up by highlighted places on the more detailed maps.
Some of the places are well-known ...
... others less so.
But what is so much better than the run-of-the-mill publicity tourist leaflets typically provided by bus operators is that full timetables are given for all the Coaster branded routes. Here the combined West Cornwall "circular" tour ...
... and here the long and impressive open top trip on the A4 from Newquay to St Ives.
The A5 from Newquay to Padstow and the A17 (additional o the open top A2) from Penzance to St Ives are closed top bus routes but still offering delightful views.

Two positive blogs (yesterday and today) involving First Bus? fbb must be losing his touch!


How come Kernow can produce such good publicity when other areas struggle to provide any. Maybe fbb's work for the folk in Sheffield will help?

And bewilderment in  Barnby Dun?

First South Yorkshire services 84, 84A and 84B serve Barnby Dun, located north-east of Doncaster.
But the questions of the day are, "where does each route go and which stops do they use? Is the non-printed timetable any help?"
Maybe the PTE's full colour map of the area will solve our bewilderment.
Yes - bewilderment.

More coming soon.

 Next as yet unplanned blog - Monday 14th August