Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Worries Whilst Waiting at Watford [5]

We are looking for Stand 3
Stand 3 is obvious isn't it? OK, all right, it may not be at 0530 but in broad daylight ...
... it isn't either! In fact you cannot SEE any stand numbers from the forecourt of the Station.
In fact you have to go to the "wrong" end of the bus station, well away from the forecourt to stand much chance of seeing any stand numbers at all.
Back in the good old days there would be large signs on each shelter listing the services that call there and there would be a similar painted board at each entrance to the passenger circulating area. Signs would be clearly visible above the heads of queuing passengers, as here at Exeter.
But we have to be trendy and electronic. In simple terms, when you have found your stand, you can then find out what leaves from it.
Watford locals and Hertfordshire council people will now be screaming at fbb, "there is a poster showing stand numbers."
Indeed there is. Too small, not lit and simply unhelpful. For some strange reason we have to have a street map and plan of part of the railway station to help us find our way to the stands. This is what the important bit looks like, bigger and brighter.
And when you do get to the stand, there are more screens. These show a subset of the ePIP list applicable to that stand.
Now the physical screen is turned through 90 degrees to "landscape" format, we have full terminus detail and this display alternates with the new two (?) departures with intermediate calling points in fuller detail.
Incidentally, Hertfordshire's "deep throat" doesn't seem to know which company operates the 724. All we do know is that they use left-hand drive buses which must make things somewhat dangerous as the crowds spill over to the bus manoeuvering area as they attempt to board!
A duplicate set of these screens at the bus station "entrance" would help.

Of course it is all available on-line. Well done Hertfordshire; we can search for real timetables by route number OR by location. Berry Lane (SW) in Rickmansworth ...
... gives us all buses using that stop.
It's better; but still not ideal because it is too stop specific. Clicking on "Berry Lane NE" only delivers the 320. "Hemel Hempstead, Railway Stn - Rickmansworth, Berry Lane Estate - Rickmansworth, Berry Lane Estate - Hemel Hempstead, Railway Stn Rickmansworth to Hemel Hempstead via Watford" and a click link to the full timetable.
Clearly then, the database is "populated" with everything we need to fully inform passengers at Watford Junction bus station.

Tomorrow, by way of conclusion, we see how this excellent information is used in the timetable frames on the stands. Also, and at the suggestions of a comment writer, we will then look at another "W" tendered route; lest you thought that the W30 was exceptional in its ability to bamboozle potential passengers.

 Next bus blog : Wednesday 12th November 

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