Sunday, 16 March 2014

Clopper, Clipper, Freebee, 3B, Gone [1]

fbb keeps a friendly eye on the Travel South Yorkshire web site, particularly with a view to noting the changes from the next scheduled date, namely the weekend of 27th April; not long to go.
But, so far, nothing has been posted.
But via another route ...
... we can click on "read more" and ...
... and click on "read more" again! Or from the site's home page ...
... we can discover notable happenings "as a result of"!

Eventually we get to this:-
Senior and Disabled ENCTS pass holders will no longer be able to travel for free on bus and tram before 0930 or after 2300 on weekdays
Senior and Disabled ENCTS pass holders will no longer be able to travel for free on train services within South Yorkshire, and between South and West Yorkshire, at any time. Discounted Railcard offers remain available from rail operators.

Now, being Travel South Yorkshire, the above is misleading. What they mean to say is that certain extra privileges that SOUTH YORKSHIRE pass holders (ENCTS = English National Concessionary Travel Scheme; an acronym familiar to all Sheffield residents - NOT) have been given in the past will be withdrawn. The one universal and additional ENCTS privilege that appears to remain is validity on the tram network. To further confuse the issue, the start time for the concession was never "before 0930", it was from 0900.

There is huge doubt about how much this will "save". Old crusties will simply travel later on bus and tram saving the authority nothing; and they will stop travelling by train and go by bus. On the Isle of Wight the removal of extra concessions saved a negligible amount from the budget; probably less than 10% of the publicised projected sum.

But there's more:-
The following changes will be applied to bus services in South Yorkshire: The FreeBee bus services in Sheffield and Rotherham will be withdrawn on Sunday 27 April 2014. Alternative services with good value tickets will be available in Rotherham and Sheffield for customers who travelled on the FreeBee.

 So, first, a bit of background.
The first purely city centre service in Sheffield started on Sunday 1st June '97. It ran from Fitzalan Square via High Street, Fargate and Pinstone Street to Moorhead. On Tuesday 9th August '98 it was extended further down the Moor to Ellin Street; effectively the equivalent of today's Moorfoot area.
It's changed a bit over the years!
Ellin Street was/is in there somewhere.

But the service was a failure and it was withdrawn on Wednesday 30th November '98.

Oh, fbb nearly forgot, this was in 1897 and 1898 and the vehicle was a horse bus. (you are a tease, fbb!)
Hence "clopper".

Not to be confused, of course with the "City Clopper"; a Christmas special horse bus tour operated briefly in the 1970s.
Six years after the end of the horse bus service the bosses tried again; this time with electric trams.
Again, the first tram route linked Fitzalan Square with Moorhead but continued as a circular via Sheffield (Midland) Station thence back to the centre. Trams ran "both ways" round the circle.
Monday 25th January 1904
In an attempt (presumably) to drum up more custom, two independent routes were then introduced.
Monday 14th March 1904
It seems that this expansion was less than successful so a slightly smaller loop soon replaced the excess after just ten days; the route operated "both ways round" as before.
Thursday 24th March 1904
Less than two months later, this too was withdrawn, after service on Wednesday 18th May 1904. A brave experiment, but a spectacular failure.

Sixty seven years and seven months later the Corporation tried again!

 Next bus blog : Monday 17th March 


  1. You could add an indicator that West is up on your maps somewhere. Took me a few seconds to figure out.

    Of course West is really upwards in central Sheffield so it does make sense....

  2. Yep.Sorry anon. Maps drawn for info rather than cartographic accuracy. I'll try to do better next time.