Friday, 23 November 2012

Seen In Shivery Scarborough [1]

An interesting piece of journalism in yesterday's Route One on-line magazine. Here is the headline:-
Ridership is falling, we gather. But then read on and it says ...
... "5.2bn bus journeys ... a slight (0.6%) increase on the previous year." Why let the truth get in the way of an eye-catching headline?
So to accurate reporting in Scarborough

A positive experience.
Also guests at Archie Fearnley's Christening "Do" on Sunday 18th November were Mr and Mrs Peter Shipp. Peter is the big cheese of the East Yorkshire bus company, one of the few companies still to be owned by its original "management buyout" at privatisation.
On Monday 19th Mr and Mrs fbb and pal Julia paid Scarborough a visit; where Mr Shipp runs most of the buses. It was cold with a typical North Sea icy blast whisking across the town. Once again, whilst the girls (!) went to look round the shops, fbb was allowed off the leash to check on Scarborough's public transport.

What was really impressive (and a lesson to other operators) was the availability of leaflet information. The fbb party parked (eventually) in the Brunswick shopping centre where be the Tourist Information cubby-hole, a small shop unit near the caff.
Where a well placed leaflet rack appeared to be reasonably well stocked, but lacking a full set.
Then off to the station, grand and impressive (for two trains an hour at best) unless you wanted to know the time. At least the clock was right twice a day!
Here again, a well stocked and obvious leaflet rack.
And so to nearby Westborough (it's a road, not a locality!) where was located the Travel Shop with two smartly dressed polite staff who were dealing with personal enquirers like fbb and answering the phone. Excellent in every way.
Sadly the same couldn't be said for the information at the bus stops. This is a typical extract.
Here we are in Scarborough and the 7A and 17 will take us to ...


That's because of the dreaded confuser software which is, as we all know, SO much better that a real person. Of course, we all know that they are circulars. We don't? Oh dear! Come on Mr Shipp, you can do better than this. Put up a route map and a timetable and we might be able to work out where your lovely buses go!
For the record the 7/17 routes all go to Osgodby and Eastfield or vice versa. There is a rudimentary line-of-route diagram but, frankly it's not a lot of help to a visitor ...
... whereas the map on the leaflet is spot on.
fbb only noticed one copy of an excellent town bus map ...
... which, according to the interwebnet, took North Yorkshire Council six months to prepare. Six months? Six days should be plenty! And for six months' work one might have expected a different colour for each route.

Interestingly, you can have a timetable for Arriva's route X93 to Middlesbrough ...
... and the occasional Esk Valley Coaches village route 8 ...
... although North Yorkshire County seem to think it's numbered 8A.
Well, you can't have everything.

So, in summary, mostly several good house points for East Yorkshire aka Scarborough and District; but a couple of bad marks for unhelpful bus stop information caused by the curse of the crazy computer.

And Peter Shipp has competition, as we shall see tomorrow.

 Next Bus Blog : Saturday 24th November 

1 comment:

  1. I looked at that leaflet showing 7:17 on the first leaflet rack picture, and wondered what the significance of that time was before I then worked out what it meant.

    A fundamental UI design failure (if it were a computer!)

    What would be wrong with "7, 17"?

    Style over substance, just like the current debate about duplicate route numbers on Omnibuses.