Monday, 20 April 2015

Getting the Burd? [1]

Definition of "getting the burd" in English : British informal; be booed or jeered at OR (esp of a public "performer") to be hissed at, booed, or derided.

See also "Brian's Biased Bus Station" (read again).

fbb is well aware that numerous bus managers read (and enjoy?) his blog; "feedback and comments", they say, "are vital to ensure that the company provides the best possible service." But genial Steve Burd, boss of lots of bits of Stagecoach in the Midlands, came over as a bit miffed when he responded to fbb's piece on the problem of obtaining "other operators'" leaflets at North Gt, Northampton. But miffed with whom?

Mr Burd writes:-

North Gate Interchange and the travel centre within it are owned by Northampton Borough Council and not by Stagecoach Midlands. The travel centre, which is designed to Northampton Borough Council's specifications, is, however, rented by my company.  We did originally request an equivalent facility to the old travel centre in Greyfriars bus station ...

 ... and ask about using some of the space available in the new interchange for this purpose.

A suitable shop unit (now a Spar Express) was provided in the design.
The bus station unit is designed as a way in to a much bigger shop with its main entrance on Sheep Street.

So it would have been possible to use most of that space for a proper enquiry facility with just a door, or even a simple direction sign through to the shop.

Northampton Borough Council was, however, unwilling to provide us with any of the potential space available due to the higher rent that it would attract from a retail outlet. 

No surprise there, then. Northampton Borough Council has messed it up big time. Making money is always more important that serving the public, or even encouraging the use of public transport.

Meanwhile, down the road in Bedford ...
... the council itself runs an excellent all-operators enquiry service from a proper travel shop.

It was at my company's insistence that we were provided with a space for a wall mounted timetable rack, which Stagecoach Midlands funded. The leaflet rack is specifically designed to accommodate Stagecoach Midlands current standard leaflet size, which, as my company paid for this rack, is not unreasonable.

Absolutely.Would Mr Burd consider displaying other operators' leaflets if they were the right size? Probably not. But, again, the Council should have made provision.

Unfortunately the leaflets currently produced by Country Lion and Uno are not of the same size and do not, therefore, properly fit in the leaflet racks. Copies of these timetables are, however, held in stock by our travel centre and are provided to passengers on request.

But, of course, nothing is evident if the enquiry cupboard is closed.

Our travel office staff do, however, currently have to take Uno timetables off Uno buses in order to obtain a supply, as they do not regularly receive these leaflets direct from Uno.

I have also just been advised that Country Lion have taken the decision to no longer produce printed timetables for their services, as the company now relies on passengers printing off pdf copies from its website. We have, however, asked Country Lion to let us have a supply of their printed off pdf timetables.

Typical. Some operators don't seem to want to tell people about their services.

With regard to the issue of passenger notices being sellotaped to the bottom of the timetable rack ...
and in the enquiry cupboard window.

... I entirely concur with your view that this does not look professional. At the present moment in time, however, my company does not have any display space available to exhibit them. I have, however, asked Chris Child, our Marketing Manager, to come up with a number of possible options for fitting some display cases around the existing timetable leaflet rack. Once I have received his recommendations, I will request permission from Northampton Borough Council to install these passenger notice leaflet holders, which if approved, will be done at my company's expense. 

This should be good news for the worthy bus riding burghers of Northampton. Result! But only if the Council will "give permission"! Perhaps the notices could be on A3 sized paper?

And perhaps they could make sense?

We will examine a couple tomorrow.

But we may conclude that, within commercial limits, Stagecoach is attempting to do a good job, thwarted, it would seem, by the dead hand of Northampton Borough Council. And thanks to genial Steve Burd for taking the time to contact fbb.

 Next bus notice blog : Tuesday 21st April 

1 comment:

  1. Fair play to them for at least trying! It does fell like Northampton Borough Council are ridiculously out of touch with reality and even when people try, common sense never prevails. The station and bus station being prime very expensive examples.