Monday, 12 October 2015

SimpliCITY Comes to Sheffield?

Not Yet, BUT ...
fbb is not alone in being profoundly suspicious of the Sheffield Bus Partnership proposals to be launched on an unsuspecting public from November 1st. Last week's "Daftness at Dore" blogs are just the tip of the iceberg. Expect further blogs on "The Horrors of High Green" and the "Esoteric Enigma of Ecclesfield".

There is no doubt at all that the Partnership's provisional proposals were promulgated pathetically with a feeble print run of leaflets and maps.

Furthermore, after a period of "consultation" (that was far too short), the "partners" chickened-out on some of the more violent changes by dropping new route numbers and re-instating old ones. Because many of the changes mean re-linking some long standing cross-city services, November will now bring, for example, an unchanged 75 and 76 on the south of the city but a very different 75 and 76 in the north.

Maybe completely new numbers would have been easier to understand?
The new 1 and 1A form a mélange of the previous 48, 75, 76 and 79 linking Jordanthorpe and the Gleadless Valley with Eccesfield and High Green.

But there may be light at the end of the dark and foreboding tunnel of confusion.
A contact has revealed to fbb that there will be publicity for the big change.

This list has come from official sources.

Posters at bus stops, on-board buses, on bus sides, in Interchanges and around the city

fbb has a correspondent poised to snap anything that appears.

Information on local radio

This is more difficult, but your intrepid author is seeking an avid Radio Sheffield/Radio Hallam listener.

Leaflets mailed to Sheffield addresses

A contact embedded deep in the bowels of bus operation in the city had promised to mail fbb copies as they become available.

North and South Sheffield bus maps in Interchanges 

But not, it appears, available in hard copy**. We wait and see.

Printed timetables available from October 25th  

A bit late in the day, but better than expected; again fbb awaits copies thereof.

And there's more. This is Kevin Belfield ...
... who is boss of First South Yorkshire. According to First's "welcome" press release, two years ago he was "Mr SimpliCITY" in Glasgow. Events across Hardrian's Wall were similar to Sheffield, but without the Partnership. The network was stuck in a rut and "not performing up to expectations". So a brand new network was launched city-wide.
Of course "regular" is the wrong word, correct would be "frequent", but you get the idea. Services were gathered together to create clear and tidy (mostly tidy!) branded corridors.
There were excellent timetable leaflets with superb maps and, hooray hooray, full timetables. There was even a dedicated "SimpliCity" web site ...
... only there isn't one now! It has now evaporated into the futhermost reaches of the internet multiverse and we are back to clunky old-style First Bus presentation.
A similar decline overtook the fruity network in Stoke-on-Trent. Lack of commitment or, possibly, the piggy bank was empty?

fbb blogged about SimpliCITY at the time, for an example see "Glasgow, Simplicity Itself Part 2" (read again).

Mr Belfield says: “There has been a focus on partnership working over the last few years in South Yorkshire and it has been successful in attracting more people on to buses. My goal is to build on all of the hard work that has already been done and to take advantage of the growth opportunities in the area.”

Young Kev arrived in the boss's comfy chair in August this year, probably too late to have a dramatic influence on Partnership proposals; but his work in Glasgow suggests there may, indeed, be light at the end of the tunnel.

As one small step for bus-kind, fbb has been informed that the First Bus timetables for joint services ...
... will be adapted to show Stagecocach times as well. RESULT!

Nothing timetabular, yet, from Stagecoach; but the "changes" link now works, leading directly to a crib from TSY's full list of alterations.

** Hard copy maps. It is not at all difficult to extract a simplified route map from Travel South Yorkshire's generally useless offerings. No doubt there would be horrendous copyright and ownership issues BUT, with genuine partnership it can be done.

Here is an extract from Travel South Yorkshire's [TSY] 40 and 41 map (click on it to enlarge).
And here is fbb's simpliCITY extract. (ditto clicko)
The promise of ...
... might be a hint that such cartographical niceties are all that the Sheffield public will be getting. Pity and an unnecessary failing. As well-known Sheffield bus enthusiast Thane MacBeth opined:-

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well
It were done quickly: if the presentation
Could trammel up the consequence, and catch,
With its surcease, success; that but this scheme
Might be the be-all and the end-all here,

We shall soon see!
Due to the exigencies of the situation, the planned "tram" blog is postponed until tomorrow. fbb has been a busy little large chap last week with Church activities Tuesday pm and Wednesday am, a speaking engagement Wednesday pm, a trip to London all day on Friday, visitors on Saturday, a Church Service to lead yesterday and yet another meeting to lead today. Such are the joys and freedoms of old age and retirement. So apologies for any evidence of disorganisation and/or incompetence. It's quieter now until December.

Or maybe not?
 Next (delayed) tram blog : Tuesday 13th October 


  1. Local resident and radio Hallam listener, il report back if they say anything at normal commenting hours. Glad to here it is finally being published.

  2. Thanks Alex. There is an email link in the "About Me" page.

    1. Ok, afraid nothing was mentioned to.

    2. I'm just wondering if you could confirm that the email I sent you regarding this work'd? I got the following:
      "The server(s) that the message "Sheffield bus partnership adverts" is attempting to be sent to has temporarily delayed the delivery for the following recipient(s):..."

  3. Simplicity does rather sound like the brand of ladies product.

  4. This piece of writing is very interesting and informative for all us as a traveller. luton airport car park