Tuesday 18 September 2012

What do You Know about Uno? : Addendum

How to publicise a bus service.
Regular blog readers will remember that Uno (formerly University of Hertfordshire) has taken over the two bus services operated for Northampton University. Our Northampton correspondent (thanks Alan) has forwarded the company's excellent timetable leaflet. In the forlorn hope that Uno's high stadards might encourage others, here is fbb's review.
The cover is bright and attractive with a group of cheery "extras" to encourage folk to try the service.
The timetables are clear and tidy. The main service 19 operates all year round with a slight reduction of Monday to Friday daytime frequencies during the long summer break.
A minor concern is the lack of explanation of variations numbered 19A, 19B and 19C; not even a simple sub-table note. The full timetable originally on the Northamptonshire web site gave a complete timetable, but this has now been replaced with the expurgated leaflet version. The excellent route map ...
... also remains coy about the "oddities". fbb wonders whether folk will be caught out.

There are two panels giving the special offer for Uni students ...
... between campuses and even into town.
Although non-student single fares are not quoted, a day rover is available which could well be an attractive alternative to a traditional return ticket; fbb is not aware of the savings implied by this offer (if any):-
Even the hourly service 18 to Weston Favell shopping centre ...
... has a full timetable and excellent route map.
Again, though, that odd little diversion (hollow lines near "Boothville") is a piece of secret Uno info. Why and when goes completely unexplained.

On a Facebook "Uno bus spot" page, one comment reads thus:-

I bought a Uno day ticket in Hertfordshire and the Northampton buses accepted it; I wonder if the drivers noticed?

Shouldn't have been a problem if Uno's full web site is to be believed; valid on "the entire uno bus network." 

With the exception of the 700, 712 and 724 restriction it's not a problem. Mind you, there is a bit of a gap between Hatfield and Northampton which needs to be paid for!

How does this publicity compare with that for other bus companies operating to the University. Stagecoach service 7, fair ...
... but the 38 and 39 have changed whilst the 7 is till current and "we can't be bothered to print a new leaflet." The included map suffers from using only two colours and cluttering the presentation with several little boxes, one of which reveals that the Sunday 39 is nothing like the weekday version.
Surely a separate Sunday map is essential when the variation is so great. And, in these days of digital everything, does Stagecoach save much cash by not using full colour? Neverthless, not a bad effort.

And then there is First Bus!
A perfectly respectable map but, somehow, poor in comparison with Uno; and ...
... a one colour cover which implies, quite wrongly, that buses go to Holly Lodge Drive (or Harborough Road or Sunnyside or Obelisk?) and Acre Lane (or Welford Road or Spring Park?) without making it crystal clear that there are two completely separate routes.  And talking of Harborough Road ...
... service 4 has just one stop on Harborough Road (top left on the eastern side if the road) which is, of course, why it figures so prominently in the leaflet heading!

Poor all-round.

And again : Watch out Stagecoach and First! Uno has arrived.

fbb's Bible Blog is looking at Slimy Stuff (read here)

 Next Bus Blog : Wednesday 19th September 

No comments:

Post a Comment