Monday, 31 August 2015

Besançon [5 ... You'll have to wait for the Buses]

So Here's More Trams.
Crossing the River Doubs for the fourth and final time (Pont de la République) we come to the branch to Gare Viotte ...
... where tram route 2 diverts from the main line.
From here on we have half of the frequency to Chalezeule.

We pause to note that each tram is named and bears a picture if its patron as shown on below.
The pictures are accompanied by an autograph, so you have to be well-up in Besançon history to recognise them. fbb did, however score a point with pioneer film makers, the Lumière brothers ...
... but having two of them portrayed on the tram was a bit of a clue! The full set is listed here (in French!)

But we ride onwards and north-eastwards along pavement-less Rue Fontaine d'Argent (Silver Fountain street) again, thanks to Streetview's incinsistency, before tram ...
... and after; with traffic now restricted to residents only.
fbb surmises that this section is more about regeneration rather than carrying present crowds.
The route includes one section of single track ...
... where even the inventive Besan&ccdeil;onais couldn't squeeze in two!
Fort Benoit really is a fort ...
... but few tram passengers will explore it. Their main destination is a huge and rather tatty retail park ...
... seen here in the tramway construction phase. Buy your bathroom here! The terminus at Chalzeule is equally uninspiring ...
... but with plenty of space for redevlopment and, presumably, another huge park and ride.

The vertical bar of white lights shows that the route is set, back on to the verdant double track, ready for the departing tram as the sun sets slowly over lorry driver David's brief but revealing visit to this splendid system.
Whilst relishing this system (in a town the size of Worthing, remember) we do not relish the crazy French lack of tidy timetables. Peak times Monday to Saturday ...
... trams run at a non repeating every 8 minutes where 1 and 2 are together, but this leaves an utterly forgettable every 16 at Calezeule. On Saturday mornings ...
... every 12 (OK) but every 24 (not OK) to the station and Chalzeule. As for Sunday ...
... every 13, 18, 14 and 15 minutes at Hauts de Chazal with, well, dont even try to do the sums after the split.

fbb did say that he would give his loyal readers a run-down on the buses and he will, honest injun.
But there are a few UK bits and pieces that need a blog or two, so we will return to Besançon soon.
And not just cars!
Lorry driving chum Dave was stuck in Dover yet again last night. Blocked, ironically, by a lifeboat.
Thousands were delayed.
The port has now re-opened.

These days, a holiday at Bognor is beginning to sound more attractive!
 Next bus blog : Tuesday 1st September 

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