Wednesday 5 March 2014

North Gate; No Good or Nice Goody? The Sequel

See "North Gate; No Good or Nice Goody?" (read again)

Councillor Mackintosh and chums have been working all through Monday night.
click to increase the above page

The answer, so they say, is to paint lot of yellow patterns on the road:-
No reports have been received since Monday night. We might assume that Tuesday was OK. fbb will report further after his visit on Saturday 8th.
Meanwhile, fbb has been sent a copy of the pages from the National Express customer service on-line manual. It is these pages that are used to answer customer queries such as:-

Where do I catch my National Express coach from?

Where do I buy a ticket?

Can you give me directions?

fbb has added some pictures. Customer queries are shown in BLUE.

Why can't I buy a National Express Ticket in the new bus station like I did from the old one?

I am very sorry sir/madam, but the new enquiry office is very small and there is nowhere to wait while we issue your ticket. Now we are all computerised it takes quite a long time
So where can I buy a ticket?

It is best to buy on-line, sir/madam, but if you do not have a computer, there is a sales counter in St Giles Street.

Where is that?

Walk our of the bus station and along Bradshaw Street ...
... and turn right down the Drapery. [fbb adds a note : where you will battle through folk waiting for their buses, huddling in shop doorways and clogging up the footpath. Or you could go via the Market Square and buy a kilo of potatoes and four satsumas as you go!]
Make your way via Wood Hill (past All Saints Church) and turn left past the Guildhall ...
 ... and into St Giles Street.

Will I see the National Express office there?

No. You buy your ticket in the Post Office. There is now no National Express office in Northampton. [with a population of about 250,000 including surrounding areas - far too insignificant for a proper booking office.]
[fbb supplemental : only it's now a Costcutter grocery store. With a small Post Office counter. Two tins of pilchards, half a pound of marg, a quarter of jelly babies, four first class stamps and a period return to Nottingham.]

That seems silly. Now I have to walk back to the bus station to catch the coach.

Oh, no, sir.madam. National express services don't us the bus station because it's not big enough.
You need to walk back past the guildhall; along Wood Hill past All Saints Church. Then up the Drapery ...
[fbb alternative : or via the Market Square]

And near the bus station?

Oh, no, sir/madam! There's nowhere near the bus station for out coaches to stop. You walk past the end of Bradshaw Street ...
[fbb : back where you started!] ... and up Sheffield Street. Cross over at the very busy junctions ...
... then turn right along Lady's Lane ...
... past the old bus station. [fbb : where you could, once upon a time, catch your coach and buy tickets, all in the on place; under cover!]
[fbb again : that will soon be a massive demolition site.] Then turn left into Victoria Street.
And that's where the new coach station is?

Oh, no, sir/madam. That's where the coach stops.
[fbb - well protested from the weather!]

Thank you for travelling with National Express.
[final thought from fbb - Perhaps it's all a horrible nightmare; perhaps the old bus station is still open? Certainly the National Express web site thinks so:-
There's the stop. Inside the closed bus station?]

 Next bus blog : Thursday 5th March 


  1. It is indeed a horrible nightmare...
    ... which you can never wake up from!

  2. Alan, - Northampton5 March 2014 at 10:15

    National Express tickets can also be bought from the taxi office across the road from the non-interchange where the coaches don't stop.

  3. Alan-Northampton5 March 2014 at 10:31

    Modesty prevents me from mentioning the name of the person who emailed an officer of NCC's highway contractors MGWSP in February saying that a mini roundabout at the junction of College Street and Bradshaw Street (just painted out) would mean buses leaving North Gate would have to give way to all other traffic at the junction, one of the excuses for Monday's chaos.
    I am not a competent qualified highway engineer - but then neither is anyone else involved in the design of this building.

  4. Hey fbb, i have a blog now. look at it please