Thursday, 9 August 2012

To Travel Hopefully [4]

It is with the greatest possible pleasure that fbb can announce the arrival of Archie Robin Fearnley (7lb 3½oz), born to Giles and Lena Fearnley at 0145 yesterday. Mother and baby are doing fine; after, in true public transport style, a few days delay in delivery!

For those who have forgotten, the first A R Fearnley (Arthur, king of Sheffield Transport 1904 to 1936) was grandfather to the present Giles Robin Fearnley, big boss of buses for First. The dynasty continues?
It's only a nappy, Giles
To Travel Hopefully ...

But to travel where?
It would take until the end of the known universe to list the mistakes and general horrors in the various lists of Sheffield "onward journey" possibilities on the National Rail web site. It is simply incredible that Travel South Yorkshire, the Rail Authorities and the bus operators continue to tolerate such rubbish.

Because the on-line pages are a little too wide to fit thus blog's page size, fbb has highlighted the route number "manually" and then copied the information and posted it below the number. The information shows the stop (usually wrong) and the Monday to Friday daytime frequency (also usually wrong).

 53  Mansfield
Every 16 minutes? Oh, no it isn't; it runs every TWO HOURS

 265  Barnsley
Every 90 minutes? Oh, no it isn't; it runs every 30 MINUTES

 120  Fulwood
Every 4 minutes? Oh, no it isn't; it runs every 8 MINUTES

 47,48  Longley
Every 14 minutes? Oh, no it isn't; it runs every 6 MINUTES but it does NOT serve Longley. 47 and 48 also leave from stop SS2, nearer the station!

 95  Crookes

Every 20 minutes? Oh, no it isn't; it runs every 10 MINUTES but it does not, by any stretch of anyone's stretchable imagination, however excessively stretched, go via Crookes.

 84  Bents Green
Infrequent? Correct! The 84 is so infrequent that it simply isn't worth quoting. But there are buses every 5 MINUTES to Bents Green but ATOC doesn't tell you that. Because it only includes services from the bus station and completely ignores anything that leaves from the city centre. This, despite the fact that the centre stops are closer than the ubiquitous "Stop E" as highlighted in yesterday's blog (read again).

 65  Buxton
Infrequent? Correct! But does it really leave from THREE different stops in the bus station? And, in fact, it stops outside the station at stop A on the ATOC map!

fbb could go on, and on - but will stop there with one telling statistic. Of approximately 375 entries in  this list, less than 50 are correct. Utterly and completely disgraceful.

Finally, nearly, we just take a look at the "Bus Stops" section (which doesn't show you where the bus stops are). Here the services are listed in route number order and again ALL routes from the city centre are totally ignored.

The lists contain huge boobs as above, and a typical entry is this ...

Just a few problems here. There is just one route 42, not SIX
Service 42 does not run via Coisley Hill
Service 42 does not run via Skye Edge
Service 42 does not run via Fairleigh
Service 42 does not run via Owlthorpe
Service 42 does not run to Drakehouse twice
In fact it doesn't even run to Drakehouse ONCE

Service 42 DOES run via Dyke Vale Road
Service 42 DOES run to Crystal Peaks, a major shopping centre and interchange but ignored in the list.
Elm Tree and Manor Top are the same place! And, in reality, there is no stop "C" for it to stop at; and if there were a stop "C" in that location all the buses would be going the wrong way.

Apart from that, the entry for service 42 is spot on.

Of the 50 or so routes listed in this unhelpful section, only five are shown correctly. Appalling!

And as a final challenge; what on earth is this route 20?
It doesn't even appear in the Travel South Yorkshire data or on their web site. It is a Lincolnshire service running on certain days of the week only. fbb does not think that there is even a timetable posted at the mythical stop D.
And, finally finally, what is the 790?
That's another service that doesn't appear in the Sheffield data. fbb would challenge any member of the Sheffield public to attempt to board it at stop B. It is, in fact, a school bus which my not even be usable by members of the public. But here it is from Traveline.
Needless to say, it doesn't actually serve Park Hill OR Hyde Park OR Longley OR Sheffield Lane Top.

 Conclusion Number 4 
Blog readers are invited to draw their own conclusions. fbb is speechless! (blogless? - No chance!)

Let's end with a bit of relaxing nostlagia; a tram passing the station.
Ahhhh ... bliss.

 Next Blog : Friday 10th August 


  1. The "onward travel" information for Salisbury illustrates another nonsense. The site lists 170 destinations, but there's no mention of Salisbury City Centre, Salisbury District Hospital or Wilton - probably the three places most likely to be of interest to those arriving by train. But it includes dozens of villages and towns served only by weekly Salisbury market day bus services. And some of these places have an hourly train service, seven days a week, so leaving the station to catch a bus is unlikely to be a sensible choice.

    And the confusion doesn't end with the "Local area" bit of the station information. If we go instead to "Transport links", we can see a copy of the "Onward travel information" poster displayed at stations. For Salisbury at least, this is more useful. It's not completely accurate, but the 24 destinations listed do include the places people are most likely to want, and the services do run more often than once a week.

    But why do we have both?

  2. Replies
    1. If you're looking at the station poster, and you want to get a bus to Fugglestone Red, you need two pieces of extra information:

      - Fugglestone Red is shown as "Fugglestone St Peter" (although the two places are over a mile apart)

      - Service R7 is shown as Service 10 (although the number changed five months ago).

  3. The onward travel posters for stations in Cornwall have still not been amended to reflect April changes. They appear to be auto generated from traveline data.