Saturday, 12 April 2014

We Could Have Done It - Yesterday.

Today, fbb and Mrs are travelling by car from their Devon Estate to share a few days with the family in Abegynolwyn, Wales. Cat sitting arrangements as usual!
Seaton is on the coast, east of Exmouth ...
... and Abergynolwyn is inland from Tywyn (used to be Towyn), a few miles north of Aberystwyth.
In fact the fbbs will be at an address in Heol Tan-y-Bryn about a quarter of a mile from the terminus of the Tal-y-Llyn Railway at Nant Gwernol (brown line on the map extract below).
Many of their public transport ex colleagues will playfully goad the fbbs with remarks like "Car? Shame on you! Why not use the wonderful UK public transport network that you enthuse about so often?"

Good question; why not?

We could have done it - yesterday. The Transport Defunct [TD] web site ...
... has a few misleading peculiarities but it does provide a framework for further research. One frustration is that it lacks any knowledge of the location of a "town centre" stop and thus searches on an arbitrary geographical basis. The historical "centre" of Seaton is not at the centre of Seaton and certainly inappopriate for bus stops.
The main stops for the town are at Sea Hill/Marine Place (bottom centre) and Underfleet near the tram terminus (lower right) but TD sends you unhelpfully up the hill to Townsend House Surgery (top left).
In Exeter the computer offers an interchange at The Pyramids on Heavitree Road ...
... and just short of the bus station. This is technically sensible as the X53 and the next bus both stop there. But at 0837 on a busy Friday morning, what are the chances of either journey being late (or both)? High, fbb would suggest.
In a perverse piece of timetabling, route H runs every 20 minutes at peak and every 15 minutes off-peak. If the X53 is late (it will be!) the next H is 20 minutes later, will miss the train; and ...
... the whole schedule will collapse before it has really started. Risk factor very high!

This is where a real, local person is so much better than a computer. Perhaps stay on the X53 to the bus station and hope for a taxi? It's probably too far to walk from there to St Davids. Or leave Seaton earlier?

That's what fbb would do; take the first service 52A of the day**, allowing well over an hour for Exeter crises and, more usefully, a full English breakfast before catching the train.
The schedule is looking better all the time!

Tomorrow's conclusion is, mostly, a lot easier. Maybe.

** P.S. Or 0650 Axe Valley Travel to Axminster, thence 0738 train to Exeter arrive 0818. And, again, plenty of time for cooked breakfast.
 1 of 9 Easter Oddities 

It was the venomous Bede (using the name of a Tyne and Wear Metro station!) ...
... who recorded that the Saxons celebrated the season of Christ's death and resurrection by worshipping the Scandinavian goddess Eostre. Sadly, no-one in Scandinavia has/had ever heard of her! Neither is she mentioned anywhere in Saxon history.

Most cultures with a Christian tradition use a name based on the Jewish festival of Passover.

Pascua : Spanish
Pasqua : Italian
Paşti : Romanian
Pashka : Albanian
Pasg : Welsh
Pask : Conish
Páskir : Faroese

It was the Passover, particularly the painting of a lamb's blood on the doorposts, when the Hebrew tribes were led out of slavery in Egypt and on into their Promised Land. For Christians, the blood of the Crucifixion re-enacts those historic events; but this time the protection is from slavery to sin and begins a consequent journey to the promised "land" of Heaven.

Only in the land of Angles, Saxons and the like could the most important Christian festival be named after a non-existent pagan god!
 Next bus/rail blog : Sunday 13th April 

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