Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Uncle Brian's Christmas Prezzy [3]

  This is fbb's 700th published blog  
They're all at it!
Misleading timetables. Here from Hampshire County Council is the revised Bluestar 3 from Southampton to Botley and Boorley Green which started on 4th November.
click on the image to enlarge

Notice what is on offer for the isolated residents of Oatlands Road at Boorley Green ...
... just two inconvenient journeys arriving at 1810 and 1927. Not much use? Regular blog readers will, of course, smell an incompetence rat. The fact of the matter is that ALL journeys on Bluestar 3 serve Oatlands Road. The printed timetable shows only the two trips that terminate there and do not continue on their return run to Southampton. It's loopy loopiness yet again.

Does no-one check these tables? Does no-one care? For the record, operator Bluestar ignores the "loop" completely on its timetable pages.
click on the image to enlarge
As does traveline which gets it wrong completely.

Oatlands Road completes the loop from brown line to blue line.
But now, our penultimate trip "oop north".
Why Wigan's not a Big 'un?
In amongst the dozens of bus services operated in a to Wigan, First is one of many. Arriva handles many of the longer distance routes whilst non-First local services are largely shared by South Lancs Travel and the Wigan Bus Company. The map above shows the Monday to Saturday daytime services still operated by First as successors to Wigan Corporation Transport. This is what Stagecoach has bought and will begin operating from early December.

In this survey we start at 3 and travel clockwise round the network. The colours are fbb's invemtion and are not intended to bear any relationship with earlier First "line" marketing.

 32   Wigan to Manchester
This follows the main road apart from a wiggle via Castle Hill at Hindley.
Wigan to the left (32, 33, 540, 598)
Castle Hill straight on (32, 540)
Manchester to the right (33, 598)

Once upon a time there was an all-day service 33, but this now runs evenings and Sundays when the 32 doesn't
 598   Wigan via Hindley to Leigh
 This route serves Kendal Road, part of the post WW2 housing expansion of Belle Green at Ince in Makerfield.
Other local routes penetrate further into the housing development, including ...
... the evening and Sunday variant, service 593.

 640   Wigan via Hindley to Bolton
As can be seen, this runs every 15 minutes all the way with an additional half hourly service between Westhoughton and Bolton. As yet it is not entirely clear how much of this timetable pattern is run from Wigan depot and thus becomes a Stagecoach service from December. fbb has sought advice and awaits a reply. Perhaps "they" haven't decided yet?

The route is by no means direct with a series of wiggles in the Daisy Hill area (Arriva's 715 follows also follows an equally wiggly itinerary but is a few minutes quicker) .
 625   626   Beech Hill.
Although these route go "both ways round the loop" the unhelpful Transport for Greater Manchester timetable does not differentiate; you have to refer to the map. And, talking of maps, this extract shows the beginnings of the devlopment pre WW2 in the grounds of the long-since disappeared Beech Hall.
The pre-war housing has now been significantly modernised as here at Acacia Avenue on the route of the 625 and 626.
We are now roughly half way through the First Bus network and the survey will be concluded tomorrow. To prepare yourselves, fbb suggests a delicious breakfast or lunch (or even supper) of Baked Beanz on toast!

 Next Bus Blog : Thursday 8th November 

1 comment:

  1. Amusingly enough given what beanz meanz to Wigan, First Greater Manchester used to have a livery with the nickname "Tomato Soup".