See also "NaPTAN Necessitous National Naming " (read again)
On page 13 of the 211 page on-line guide to NaPTAN, after 12 pages of lists and index "stuff", we reach the "introduction".
The National Public Transport Gazetteer (NPTG) provides a topographic database of towns and settlements in the UK, and is used by the NaPTAN dataset to associate Public Transport Access Nodes (PTANS) with localities.
NPTG and NaPTAN together enable computerised public transport information systems to provide stop finding and referencing capabilities using consistent, meaningful names for places and stops. The points of the NaPTAN system provide a coherent national framework of reference for integrating all kinds of public transport data including journey planning and real-time information.
Or does it?
fbb lived, for most of his childhood, in Little Billing. It was a village with a church as its only "facilty"; no shop, no pub, no village hall. The ancient village ("A" in the diagram below) was clustered around the "Priory" (posh house), "Home Farm" (posh house) and the church with its associated rectory (posh house). The sniveling workers lived in a few small cottages.
Little Billing, opp Orchard Hill (on Manorfield Road)
It was at the other end of Orchard Hill, on the Wellingborough Road where young fbb would catch a bus to visit Granny or Auntie or to go to Sunday Bible Class. This stop for today's service X46 ...
Weston Favell Centre, Wellingborough Road,
Adjacent Little Billing Way
(on Wellingborough Road)
Of course, it's hardly NaPTAN's fault that the centre of Weston Favell is nowhere near Weston Favell Centre; but the data engineers can be blamed for suggesting that this particular stop is in any way appropriate for the big shopping "mall" that took the name of a not-so-nearby village. To add to the problem, opposite the stop is ...
Standens Barn, adj Topwell Court Turning Circle
(on Topwell Court)
... although it's actually the nearest stop for No 72 and the only one with a direct service to the school! Standens barn was once a sandstone barn in the middle of a few fields. It was later converted into a small bungalow to accommodate a farm manager. It then gave its name to one of the first districts of the "new" Northampton to be built. The barn has long since disappeared under Billing Brook Road.
Clearly this stop-naming business is far from simple. So, tomorrow, we ask whether the complexity of NaPTAN naming is helping or hindering the needs of the average bus user. Does the stereotypical Mrs Miggins find all this easy to use?
Go on - guess what the answer might be.
Next Blog : due Wednesday January 11th