Thursday, 25 November 2010

Suspicious School Services?

Do they run; can you catch one?
A chum e-mails from sunny Sheffield and says, "I think I've found a bus that you haven't got on your map!"   What?   Has fbb failed?   Again?The offending omnibus was operated by Linburg Travel and simply showed service 101.   What was it - where was it going - and is it a useful service?  And should it be on the celebrated fbb map of Sheffield bus routes?
Linburg's website provides part of the answer ...
... it is a school bus from Castleton to Lady Manners School, Bakewell - running, not surpisingly, on schooldays only and provided, so it says, by Derbyshire County Council.  So one query answered; it is not on the map 'cos is doesn't run into Sheffield.   Possibly an academic question (pun not intended - academic? school bus? gettit? groan!) - but sometimes an important question, particularly in very rural areas.   Can an ordinary bloke or bloke-ess travel on it?
Linburg doesn't say you can't - Derbyshire's timetable library disavows any knowledge of a 101 ......and traveline tells me that I can only ride to or from the school, and not intermediately.   So, as usual, clear as the driven mud!

But Linburg's site also reveals some Sheffield school services that mayhap OUGHT to appear on fbb's map.   So, lets try the 692.
It is provided by South Yorkshire PTE so, click to their site and, lo and (not!) behold - it doesn't exist.
What of (un) reliable Traveline?   Yippee!   There is the 692, the self-same Linburg school service from Fence School to Woodhouse Station.   And what does the ever impressive traveline tell us about this school service?
That it operates ONLY during the school HOLIDAYS.   Great - a school service running when the school is closed.   The driver will be really busy collecting fares!

So confusion and uncertainty are the order of the day.   Can you travel on school services run by Linburg?  DUNNO.   Do they actually run?   DUNNO.   Maybe the only people who really know are the schoolkids - fair enough, they are the customers but - in many areas these school journey provide the ONLY link from village to town; a useful, possibly essential link.
So; on the Isle of Wight, blessed with may rural backwaters, the ever helpful council has just made ALL school buses into "closed" contracts, consequently "verboten" to Joseph Public - thus breaking a significant number of these occasional but useful links. Well done, chaps!

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