Pathetic In Portsmouth
Now, who operates most of the trains from Portsmouth Harbour? And, who operates a significant number of buses from the nearby interchange? Here is a clue:-
Is there any sign on railway premises informing those arriving that there a bus station just outside? Nope! Not until you get outside the building; where there is a "finger post" that points to the "Bus and Coach Station"; but you might just have noticed it by the time you get to the pole.
Here is fbb's solution to the problem:- it's called a "photocopier".
But, encouragingly (?), there are some booklets for Waterlooville and Portchester. Excellent products complete with timetables and maps but sadly ...
What about the previously hinted-at Stageoach? Not a dickie bird! The only information available is lists of departure times at the actual stops; no route maps and absolutely no idea how long any particular journey might take. Tough bananas if you set off innocently for Brighton on service 700 in a spare moment.
Whilst at the bus station, notice the helpful signs attached to the shelters which tell you that service 700 leaves from Stand H - and Stand G. Services 5 and 5A leave from Stand H - and Stand E. Service 16A SUN (presumably a fine weather route) leaves from Stand H and Stand D. O.K., fbb, no longer in spy mode, knows that they are going in different directions, but there is nothing on the signs to explain that - tough if you are waiting at the wrong shelter.
And finally your mystery shopper espied the Visitor* Infromation Centre ...
"Do you have any bus timetables?" Reply, "No, we don't, I'm afraid." Not even "Try the bus station." Apoplexy!
No bus information on the railway station.
No up-to-date bus information from First Bus.
No useful bus information at all from Stagecoach Bus.
No bus information at all from the award-winning Visitor (non) Information Centre.
And this is right next door to one of the major tourist attractions in the South of England. Well, they've got a point. Once you've arrived at "Flagship Portsmouth" and enjoyed HMS Victory, Warrior and the Mary Rose, you obviously won't want to go anywhere else - ever!! Certainly not by bus.
* Used to be called "Tourist" Information Centres. Presumably some tourism "high flyer" on a huge salary has decided that the word "tourist" is somewhat degrading and "visitor" is more politically correct. Apoplexy redoubled!
Next blog : due Monday March 21st