Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Brian's Biased Bus Station

North Gate Yet Again
Wrong Brian, mayhap?

One advantage of a bus station is that there is usually a source of information; it should be possible to pick up a timetable leaflet for every route that serves it. As Northampton's elongated bus station stretches half a mile from Mercers Row to Victoria Street, a source of timetables is particularly important. In the old Greyfriars bus station, Stagecoach had a proper "Travel Shop" plus (originally) an enquiry point on the main concourse. First Bus as successors to Northampton Corporation also had a hut.

But in North Gate there is just a Stagecoach "window" ...
... with the Greyfriars shop as inset.

But there is a rack displaying leaflets ...
... plus some timetable change notices professionally displayed with bits of sellotape. Now, dear readers, which organisation runs North Gate bus station? There is a clue in both the above pictures. Yes, it's uncle Brian Souter's Perth-based baby.
Which means there is no place on the leaflet rack for Country Lion 6 and 11 ...
... Uno 19 and 21 (which compete with Stagecoach) ...
... Meridian 32 (which also competes directly with Stagecoach) ...
... and Z & C 33/33A.
These six routes have no obvious representation, leafletwise. And there isn't the excuse of there being no room in the rack with two slots for several Stagecoach routes as here for X7 and X46/47.
What is more baffling is this leaflet in the rack:-
Northampton bus users may be uncertain about a possible new service numbered X5.

But fbb has an inkling (and the pills to treat it). But does the X5 from Bedford to Cambridge go via Northampton? Is this something new?

Well, the prestigious coach-type service does go via Northamptonshire.
On the A422 from Buckingham, the X5 crosses the border here ...
... at Cranley Oak and leaves the county to cross the border of Milton Keynes here ...
... where the A5 crosses the River Great Ouse at Old Stratford. But Uncle Brian's posh blue coaches ...
... do not STOP anywhere in the fine County of Northampton!
Is this fair? Should not Northampton Borough Council, who own North Gate bus station (and probably wish they didn't), INSIST that space is made available IN ONE PLACE for all operators' leaflets? If this were a railway station with several train companies calling, the rules require the "owner" of the station to allocate space for posters and literature in proportion to the number trains stopping there. And this space must be allocated fairly.

Even Meridian bus has become more professional in recent months with vehicles with fleet name, working destination blinds ...
... and a live bus tracker application on line.
It's very pretty, very clever but fbb isn't sure what use it is.

Nevertheless, even Stagecoach doesn't have that!

Not far away from Northampton, another market town has just opened a new bus station. fbb wonders how that works. Tomorrow we may find out!

Thanks to our Northampton correspondent for material for this blog.
 Easter Week : Or Easter, Weak? [3]
One popular, but cynical, view of Christianity puts God in his Heaven making life difficult and miserable for humanity by imposing restrictions and threats of doom and disaster.
Whilst it is true that Christianity offers a God-given moral code - still the basis for our laws today - and there are unpleasant consequences for those individuals and governments that choose to ignore it, The God of the Bible wants good things for his people.

From around 1200BC we read ...

The commands that I am giving you today are not too difficult or beyond your reach. Today I am giving you a choice between good and evil, between life and death. If you obey the commands of the Lord your God, which I give you today, if you love him, obey him, and keep all his laws, then you will prosper and become a nation of many people. The Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are about to occupy. But if you disobey ...

And from about 90AD, in his Gospel, John remembers Jesus' words ...

I have come in order that you might have life, life in all its fullness. I am the good shepherd, who is willing to die for the sheep.

The bunnies, fluffy chickens, egg and daffs of Easter began as visual aids to help folk grasp the meaning of the Resurrection season. Chocolate has no spiritual significance, although some may see it as part of "life in all its fullness."

And the flowers of Shute church help our New Life thoughts; an idea which rings all sorts of bells today.
 Next bus station blog : Thursday 9th April 

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