Friday, 21 October 2011
Money, Time & Effort Wasted!
fbb is appealing!
Investigating the revised service 53 from Sheffield to Mansfield gives fbb the opportunity to look at how public transport information is processed.
Bus companies are required, by law, to submit "registrations" for "local services" to the Traffic Commissioners eight weeks before the service starts. For a view on what a "registration" is, see "how to Save Money" (read again). So the revised timetable, incorporating the withdrawal of evening and Sunday journeys should have arrived before 5th September. Unless Stagecoach is very casual, the structure of the service would have been pretty-well fixed well before that.
The registration was officially published in "Notices and Proceedings" on 23rd September, having missed the 9th September issue ...
... but "N&P" really only tells you that something is happening but not exactly what. Nevertheless, Stagecoach is obliged to send copies of the timetable etc. to all local authorities through which the route passes, in this case Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and South Yorkshire. So these folk have eight weeks to do something about publishing a revised timetable if they wish to do so.
It is worth remembering that the counties have no obligation to publish any timetables at all; indeed neither has the bus company any legal requirement other than to send the details off as indicated above. Incredibly, a bus company does not have to tell Joe Public when its buses will run!
So how do these various organisations perform?
Traveline East Midlands got it wrong at first ...
... but were quick to correct it. The full timetable change was in place in good time but suffers from the inability of the "system" to separate out old and new times. Very messy and difficult to follow. See the full version (here)
Derbyshire went live with the evening and Sunday 53A change, then published a "2nd edition" with the Monday to Saturday daytime alterations. It is the ONLY version to include the useful connecting times for Sheffield and Mansfield when these are unserved by through journeys. Well done fellas; you can read it in full (here).
South Yorkshire's leaflet popped up on line, also in good time. It has a map (of sorts) and a typically weird description of the route. IF these two failings could be sorted out and IF connections were added it COULD be the best offer of all. Have a gander (here).
Traveline Yorkshire doesn't provide full timetables although the data is in their system. You are limited to little bits like the example (here). The site does link to South Yorkshire's timetable set, so, once this is all in place, you can get the info.
Now things become less happy!
Nottinghamshire was still showing a timetable from 2010 with a hourly bus between Mansfield and Sheffield. The service went two-hourly from April 1011. With just less than a week to go to the latest change you can check (here).
Astoundingly, in parallel with Nottinghamshire, Stagecoach, operator of the Monday to Saturday daytime service was still showing the old HOURLY 2010 times with (on Friday 21st October) not a word about either the April 2011 or the October 2011 revisions. (Here) the current timetable isn't.
T M Travel, operator of the new evening and Sunday 53A remain equally silent, but even if they did give advance notice it would only be a link to either South Yorkshire or Derbyshire. Their paltry effort is (here).
Can you believe that Stagecoach, the company that runs the main service, can't even get the right current timetable on-line? Unbelievable!
Can you believe that Traveline can't get its revised data to work correctly?
Look at that 1804/1807 connection. Is it "official"? Will the 53A wait? You would hope so, or it's two and a half hours in sunny Bolsover. This is how traveline doesn't cope with the minimal 3 minute connection time shown above:-
Despite the definite delights of a dubious Derbyshire diversion, fbb would really prefer to arrive in Eckington at 1837 rather than 1921.
But the crunch question is this ...
There are many people, in headless chicken mode, desperately pushing bits and bytes into their confusers all over the East Midlands and South Yorkshire. There are lads and lasses at Stagecoach, Traveline East Midlands, Traveline Yorkshire, T M Travel, Derbyshire, South Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire; all working their little socks off to deliver different timetable layouts, different print styles and, in two cases, hopelessly wrong information.
Money, Time and Effort all wasted.
fbb IS appealing ...
... for ONE single national timetable library, available free to view, to download and to print. It can simply (?) be funded via the registration system and any individual, county or enquiry service can access it within a couple of days of a bus service's registration.
If you, dear blog reader, agree, please forward this blog to your local bus company and/or local authority. In today's straitened times they are all supposed to be saving the pennies.
The xephos people would run it willingly, efficiently and cheaply, wouldn't they?
Next blog : due Saturday October 22nd