Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Daring Doings in Doncaster's Dunscroft [6]

What have they done at Barnby Dun?
As we briefly saw yesterday, the traditional route from Doncaster via Barnby Dun continued to Stainforth, Hatfield and Dunscroft.
At Hatfield, buses turned a little short of the village centre ...
... leaving a notable gap between there and the main road services.

The most recent First Bus manifestation (until last Saturday) was of circular services 83 and 85 running Monday to Saturday daytime and what was, to all intents and purposes a half loop numbered 84 serving Barnby Dun etc. in the evenings and on Sundays.
Kirk Sandall and Barnby Dun had a bus every half hour on the 83/85 which seems a bit mean compared with the four buses an hour (83/85 and 87) via Dunscroft direct.

But First Bus had, some years ago, come up with a cunning plan. Under the "socialist" Peoples's Republic of South Yorkshire policy of cheap fares and buses for everyone, services to lots of little bits of estate had been introduced. By 2014 these had become the 67/68/69 complex (simplified on the fbb map) ...
... parcelling up various bits into a clock-face network.
This gave two extra trips every hour via Kirk Sandall, three extra buses every two hours to Barnby Dun, replaced oddments to Lindholme and the long standing route to Sykehouse numbered 199 under PTE "ownership".
It was very "clever", did what it said on the tin, but was probably beyond the grasp of all but the most determined passengers seeking solace in Barnby Dun or escape therefrom to Doncaster. For First Bus it was an expensive use of resources.

So, out with the baseball bat, give the whole lot a violent stir and, abracadabra, out pops the new 84/84A and 84B.
It is, perhaps, a pity that an existing number has been re-used for something that is far more complex than the previous evenings and Sundays holder of that title. There are two sides to this debate. 84 retains just a hint of familiarity and the only other nearby "free" number is 80. 

Kirk Sandall and Barnby Dun now have a 20 minute Monday to Saturday daytime frequency, hourly evenings and Sundays, Stainforth is served hourly in the daytime Monday to Saturday whilst the Sykehouse loop and Lindholme still retain their two hourly pattern, again Monday to Saturday daytime.
Losers-out will be passengers wishing to travel from Kirk Sandall and Barnby Dun to Hatfield and Dunscroft. The former service drops from half hourly to a bus every two hours (84A Monday to Saturday daytmes) and nothing on Sundays or in the evenings. Dunscroft loses the link completely.

fbb hopes that First have done heir homework; if not a horde of pitchfork wielding South Yorkshire tykes will descend on the Doncaster Offices - whoops there aren't any!
Seventy-year-old Charles Worsdale, of Church Balk Gardens, Edenthorpe, said: “Many residents, many of whom are elderly or disabled, have to depend on the buses. This is a vital public service.”

Mr Worsdale, who uses the 67 and 69 bus service, said the changes will make it difficult for him, and many others, to attend appointments at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

He said: “This will result in considerable hardship for a large number of residents, who have previously relied on the running of the buses via Church Balk for shopping, keeping hospital and doctor’s appointments or visiting family and friends.”

The devil, they say is in the detail and we will look at these and other complaints tomorrow.

 Next bus blog : Wednesday 28th January 

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