Friday, 26 August 2011

Betjeman's Beautiful Broomhill [2]

No quite so beautiful today.

As well as John Betjeman's Rhododendron Ponticum invasion, the once secluded and up-market suburb of Broomhill (in Sheffield) has been invaded by the University and its student accommodation and by swish business offices in former Victorian mansions.  See Part 1 (read again). The "select" Endcliffe Crescent area, where once noble villas surrounded a substantial grassed "common" is now almost totally University occupied ...
 
... with just a snippet on the edge providing the "campus" for Birkdale private school. It was here (at Birkdale) where fbb began his non-illustrious teaching career from 1966 to 1970, based in the bottom right hand room.
But our interest is with the bus services in 2011, some 50 years after the previous blog!

Travel South Yorkshire's web site offers all these services under the Broomhill heading. They are listed in this order:- 

51A/241/242, 30/X30, S6/S6A, 52, 51, 123, 120, 10/10A, H1, 505, 272, 202/203

Presumably TSY's software is incapable of creating an accurate, numerically ordered, list?

To save a lot of unnecessary grief, fbb can immediately dismiss the 51A, X30, S6A and 272 which offer occasional peak hour or school journeys only. The S6, by the way, goes nowhere near Broomhill at any time of day.

Then we can totally ignore the 202 which runs from a different Broomhill to Barnsley and the 203 which doesn't serve either Broomhill (or even Sheffield!), ever.

Now we must consider the 30, 123, 505 and H1. There's no doubt that the 123 (revised from 5th September), for example, CLAIMS to go to Broomhill ...
... there it is on the front of the leaflet. But TSY is talking about the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, which, using its super-duper software, is automatically classed, by the ever efficient but mindless confuser [sic], as a part of Broomhill - WHICH IS ISN'T. fbb's version makes a few changes!
The 30 and the 505 suffer from the same delusion, as does the H1 which approaches the hospital from the City direction. The 241 and 242 are infrequent rural routes which do serve the "proper" Broomhill, although the leaflet cover doesn't admit it ...
... and the 10/10A is a relatively infrequent "mop up" service, the remnant of the old Inner Circle 8 and 9. So we are left with the First's 51 (the oldest bus route in Sheffield), the 52 and the 120. The latter was once the 60, then the 40 and now, in partnership with Stagecoach, has taken their number 120.

Stability is a fine thing, essential to give the prospective passenger some confidence.

The 52 remains as a competitive punch-up between First and Stagecoach but, who knows, that may change as the cosy touchy-feely friendship develops.

But, a snag. There is always a snag with TSY.
The 52 leaflet cover refrains from mentioning its Broomhill-ness. And neither does the front cover for the 10/10A route.

So, of the 18 services listed on-line as serving Broomhill,
8 never go there
5 call very occasionally
3 offer a frequent service
2 are hourly only

You can either be comprehensive or comprehensible, never both!

To find all this information will take a substantial amount of clicking OR ploughing through a collection of 12 multi-page leaflets. And without a route map or any comprehensive index of services operated, it is far from easy even to even achieve that.

A lack of consistency, with a lack of understanding that we are not all wizzo at irritating internet investigations, seem to be the order of the day.
Is this REALLY the best way to encourage bus travel? 

P.S. Not far from a stop on the 10/10A (via Broomhill), 30, 123 and 505 (NOT via Broomhill) at the end of Endcliffe Vale Road on Brocco Bank is...
... Betjeman Gardens. fbb is not at all sure that Sir John would approve, especially of the plastic dustbins!

Next blog : due Saturday August 27th

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