Friday, 26 June 2015

Positive Steps to Pretty Stepps

Twice the Frequency (Nearly!)
Many years working on bus timetables has given fbb a wide-ranging knowledge of the geography of Great Britain; but he would have been challenged to work out where Stepps was.
It is a pretty little hamlet but what is more galling is that it is hardly two miles from fbb's front door.

And it is served by bus.

And its bus service has increased from four journeys a day to seven.

And it is a commercial route operating with no subsidy.

And it carries very few passengers.

And it can be worked with a double deck vehicle.
And Stepps doesn't appear in any timetable.

When Southern National ran its 213 service from Taunton to Seaton, occasional journeys ran via Axmouth ...
... which, over the years has changed very little.
The bus service was (and still is) timed at the Ship Inn, purveyors of excellent meals to the fbbs and visiting friends.
Here there is a pretty shelter ...
... complete with the tallest lamppost in captivity and a well kept village noticeboard. On the lamppost is a frame with the latest timetable ...
... and a flag showing the route number (899) and the X54 to Exeter which hasn't run for about 2 years. This is where the 899 bus says it terminates. And that infromation is confirmed according to the sainted (?) Traveline.
But the information is a lie and a delusion; a lie compounded by the Traveline map.
The non schoolday (terminating) journeys turn right just past The Ship along Chapel Street to a terminus at Stepps Cross about 400 metres along that road. There is another pretty shelter ...
... with correct timetable; and here is Axe Valley Mini Travel's maxi vehicle arriving for the 1415 departure last Tuesday.
It arrives, it has to be said, according to the company's timetable leaflet, at 1416 for the 1415 departure!
It reverses into Stepps Lane (as above) and sets off back to Seaton.
Auntie Frances Searle, proprietrix of the company, runs this delightful little route as a service to the community; and there aren't many of them! But publicity is good, the service is reliable and has increased (last May) from four journeys Monday to Friday to seven.

Only one stop has an incorrect timetable on display.
This is in the frame at fbb's local stop for the Axmouth service on Harbour Road ...
... plumb outside the Axe Vally Travel depot!

A Weekend of Darts?
The fbb's are off for the weekend (actually left at 0900 yesterday) with chums in Torquay. In a belated celebration of their 70th birthdays, they will be experiencing some of the more tourist related transport delights of the area.
Guard cat and neighbour are in charge of the property!
A Bit of a Shock
This is an electric First bus on Park and Ride in York ...
... and so is this from Thursday, last!
Fortunately no one was injured and the cause is being investigated. The electric fleet has been withdrawn pending an investigation.
 Next ferryboat blog : Saturday 27th June 

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