Thursday, 8 May 2014

[1] Voilà : Vesoul versus ...

... almost anywhere in the UK?

At the present rate of progress, fbb's lorry driving chum David could have visited every town in France by 2040. It is unlikely that fbb and David will last that long "sane and capable", so we might not finish the project. But we are currently at Vesoul.
Établie sur la colline de la Motte, la cité s'est développée durant le Haut Moyen Âge sous le nom de Castrum Vesulium. Siège d'une vicomté puis capitale du bailliage d'Amont, Vesoul est rattaché, tour à tour, au Saint-Empire, à l'Espagne puis à la France. La ville devient rapidement, au fil des siècles, un centre commercial, judiciaire et religieux et va jusqu'à acquérir des fonctions administratives et politiques, plaçant son importance au niveau national.

[Once capital of the Bailiwick of Amont, the town belonged to, in turn, The Holy Roman Empire ...

... Spain and then France. The graphic shows the progress of the empire from 962 to 1806]

Dominated by a hill called La Motte ...
... and featuring its eponymous "lac" ...
... the town is the usual mix of historic and modern. Trucker David is "stuck" at Versoul on a bank holiday, waiting for a delivery point to re-open and he parks in a layby on the Rives du Lac "Zone Industriel" ...
... next to a long white shed and a pile of pretty purple pallets.
The first part of David's enforced day off is characterised by a torrential downpour, but at a second attempt he strides purposely off to "Centre Ville" to look at bus and train stations. There are trains ...
... but of buses there is no sign; bank holiday = Sunday service = very few buses, if any. But a very smart, but empty bus station ...
... linked by a sheltered walkway from the railway station entrance. David takes a series of photos and emails them to fbb with the polite instruction, "over to you; answers please." The bus stand is large and tidy ...
... with a display board showing stand numbers for eight lettered routes.
These lettered stops are equipped with timetables and a route map ...
... which tells us that these are the town services

Additionally there are stops for numbered routes.
It is reasonable, then, to assume that these are rural or interurban services. But, as it turns out, things are a little more complex than might appear at first. There is plenty to occupy fbb's leedle (but aged) grey cells as he seeks to delve deeper into transport in the Département de la Haute-Saône.

The historic town of Vesoul has a populations of about 20,000, but the greater urban area numbers about 60,000. A similar town in England would be Kettering, but it is unwise to attempt a direct comparison. What is interesting, however, is to contrast and compare the quality and availability of public transport information and infrastructure. Immediately we see a big difference.

Or we will later. Meanwhile, tomorrow, a somewhat deeper look at the town network.

 Next bus blog : Friday 9th May 

No comments:

Post a comment