Friday, 17 July 2015

Not Quite so Super Tram?

The Partnership Pulls Back?
Stagecoach Supertram serves the city of Sheffield with three light rail routes covering 29km (50% of the system is on street running with mixed traffic). The tram network links six park and ride sites with the busy city centre and gives easy access to the rail station, shopping areas, both of Sheffield’s prestigious universities, the Cathedral, sports arenas and many new popular entertainment venues.

Supertram vehicles are clean, quiet, spacious and reliable. Each vehicle is washed externally and internally at the end of its working day and full valets take place on a monthly basis.

All trams have on board conductors for ticket sales and customer care. Most ticket types can be purchased from the conductor although Monthly "megariders" are only available from Travel Information Centres

Whoops! The PTE has closed all the Travel Information Centres. So getting a monthly Megaride from a closed travel shop might be a tad tricky.

Be that as it may, fbb knows that Stagecoach runs three bus links tagged on to the end of tram routes. Are these detailed on the SuperTram web site?

Of course not. The buses are run by Stagecoach in Sheffield and the trams are part of Stagecoach's Rail operations and it would be unreasonable to expect the two bits of Uncle Brian's empire to work together, wouldn't it.

There are special offers ...
... which are tramendous (groan!). fbb can't wait to get his hands on the free nachos.
There is a full list of tram and tram+Stagecoach bus day, week and month tickets.
But only a passing mention of Supertram Link fares.
But there are no details of their routes or times - neither are there any tram timetables. There is a journey planner ...
... which gives wrong answers and does not mention the Link buses.

Maybe this lack of information is why they are getting the big chop under the spiffing partnership plans. 

The Suerptram Link (original) sometimes called SL1, sometimes just SL remains unscathed.
It runs north from Middlewood to Stocksbridge along the Manchester Road ...

... once the realm of Sheffield Transport route 57; and, on the partnership proposals map, is coloured blue to distinguish it from the blue 23, 23A and 201. It will continue to run every 10 minutes (20 on Sundays).

SL2 currently runs from the Malin Bridge tram terminus ...
... to Stannington where it was designed (pre-chumminess) to compete directly with First's 81 and 82 formerly 11 ans 12, formerly fomerly 81 and 86 and even more formerly 7 and 88.
SL2 disappears completely if the grand plan is executed in its completeness.

SL3 links Crustal Peaks with Killamarsh.
It becomes plain and simple bus 72 ...
... and is chopped from every 10 to every 20. There isn't (and currently isn't) a service on Sunday. You have to feel sorry for the residents of Rowantree Road etc. grappling with 70, 70A, 71, 71A, 72 and 74 all whizzing round the loop in different directions. 

And of course, the route number has been chosen to exacerbate the Killamarsh konfusion, and to make a clear distinction with the other South Yorkshire route 72 to Rotherham ...
... and 72 to Chapeltown.
It is good to have a well-thought-out route numbering policy; one of the huge benefits of an effective partnership. But we haven't got one. fbb will leave readers to wonder whether "got one" refers to a route numbering scheme or an effective partnership!

But you can't help being left with the thought that SL2 to Stannington and SL3 to Killamarsh might have been more successful had they been included in the Supertram journey planner and the "Tram Only" fare deals. Or even, perish he thought, included in the Supertram web site! Said Stannington residents will also find their fares become very un- as they pay First a king's ransom to get from Stanningon to Malin Bridge, then another bag of pennies to catch the tram into town. Of course they won't and Uncle Brian will lose the occasional passenger who once did make he transfer.

We must remember that these plans are all "out to consultation", so the residents of Stannington and Killamarsh may be incensed at their loss and thus able to persuade the partners to put away their sharpened schedule slicers. 

There they go again.
And on Monday, another unhelpful Partnership proposal decision.

PS : Link timetables WERE on the website and might materialise on Google. But the on-line Link link is de-linked.

 Next train blog : Saturday 18th July 


  1. There seems to be a fashion for low numbered routes at present. Systemwide three-figure numbers are being abandoned in the West Midlands, where NXWM now has four separate route 5s, for example, while Arriva Midlands has no less than five route 1s.
    The rise of the on-line journey planner highlights this particularly - how many route 1s should you have to scroll through to find the right "1"?
    Much easier to find something like 555 or 900, of which there are very few examples right across the country.

  2. Mitch in Notts17 July 2015 at 10:21

    Nottingham pretty much the same. Bus links no longer advertised nor bus link fares given. New tram timetable leaflet is just a summary. No departure lists at tram stops. Request for exact times from the company elicits a 'consult the electronic boards at the stop'. The tram company refuses to update traveline which shows a very old 12 minute timetable. So no long distance planning is possible.

  3. To Alex. I have deleted your comment (which also removed the reply) becuase of thee electric garbage that appeared. Please feel free to try again!

  4. Thanks FBB, hopefully nothing appears this time:
    As an occosal tram user I always felt the services where sufficiently advertised (could not comment on how busy they are - I'm not in the right part of Sheffield). Supertram in-caridge maps showed the services which is more advertising them most services get.