Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Sheffield First Hand : At The Interchanges (B)

Where Everything is Wonderful!
It is essentially wonderful since South Yorkshire PTE decided to close enquiry offices and stop printing any timetables. Their policy is to encourage "self-service" by dint of not offering anything else! Good call.

In the absence of anything else we first look at Passenger Information Displays.

In the main foyer there is a huge display (which fbb forgot to photograph) ...
... which lists services by destination and is moderately useful, even without a man with a walkie-talkie. Other displays are in time order which is moderately useless unless all you want to know is whether you bus had gone. All of these lavish facilities are, of course, dependent on the quality of data input to drive them.

The 41 does not terminate at Frecheville; it runs to Dyke Vale Road aka Scowerdons Farm Estate.

The 4A doesn't quite get to Millhoses, it stops short at Abbeydale Road Tesco.

Ah, but which Norwood? This one is Norwood Derbyshire, several miles distant from Norwood Sheffield.

This one is correct! The 43 (and its associates) do run to Sheffield Centre, terminating on Flat Street, one very short stops-worth of distance from the interchange. No one would think of catching a bus unless, if course, they were relying on Interchange self service.

This one is also correct. But the 35 takes 1 hour and 40 minutes to get to Hillsborough. A normal bus (or even tram) from just up the road takes 13 minutes.

The problem is that this index only shows buses from the Interchange, there is no information about the vast number of services leaving from city centre stops nearby. Self service for the unwary is unwise.

There are, of course, similar problems with the Service Stand Finder.

But worse!

There's the circuitous 35 again and the more direct 29 and 165 none of which actually go to Shiregreen.

Astoundingly the 7 does go to Normanton Spring but the 41 doesn't with the exception of one "school journey"

And Norwood again; but this time the 71a also goes to Norwood Killamarsh. they are, obviously, the same place; BUT, Norwood and/or Derbyshire/Killamarsh Norwood is of minor importance compared with Killamarsh itself which (of course!) doesn't get a mention.

This line is also correct and this is the service to which it refers ...
... a works service for Gunstones Bakery at Dronfield.

Just up the road, 50 yards from the bus station entrance, is a half hourly service 43. Self service at the Interchange is not much use for Dronfield and Dronfield Woodhouse.

Service 218 goes nowhere near Holmesfield ...
... indeed there are no buses at all from Sheffield to Holmesfield.

And please don't download the Stand Service Finder from the interweb net as it is ...
... completely out of date! None of the above routes now exist.

Self service reaches dizzy heights yet again.

We have already experienced the output from information kiosks.
See last Thursday's blog (read again). Useful if, as No 3 son averred, you know the answer before you ask the question. 'Nuff said!

Which leaves us with information at the stand; this will follow tomorrow as fbb's head hurts just thinking about it.
Another "Star" letter - expurgated!

Having recently listened to a phone-in on BBC Radio Sheffield in which people were complaining about the recent changes to our buses, I have to say that I share their anger and frustration.

They were late for work and for doctor, dentist and hospital appointments. Parents also rang in to say their children were delayed getting to school.

David Young, the director of customer experience at the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, took part in the debate and his attitude came over to me that he couldn’t care less. He claimed that during the first two weeks of changes people will have to find their feet and he was more interested in making a noise about the good-value new ticket prices that they have introduced. 

David Young probably really couldn't care less. He is soon leaving the PTE

The radio presenter told listeners that he has never before on any subject had such a volume of people wanting to take part in a discussion and gave his apologies to those who were unable to take part.

Sheffield Bus Partnership should be proud of themselves.

They have left us with a new network that only a few people are happy with and have created along the way chaos, confusion and inconvenience.

Some would say that the partnership never was about improving anything. That was a downright lie. It was about cutting out surplus (?) buses and making more money and/or losing less money.
 Final "interchanges" blog : Wednesday 18th November 

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