Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Crossways, Cordite and Kinson [4]

An Innocent Abroad - Well, in Bournemouth
Arrival from Moreton was at Platform 2 and fbb alighted near the well-signed exit. He was looking for buses as he had already spotted (on a paper street map) that the town centre was some distance from the formerly named "Central" station.
Station top right : town centre bottom left

So where be buses? If fbb, in his false but self-imposed innocence, left from the platform 2 exit, he would have been sorely disappointed!
In fact, there is no sign on Platform 2 to guide a passenger arriving from the west to the correct exit for interchange.
Fortunately, fbb spotted the problem by peering past the north exit barriers and then strode purposefully via the subway; noting a very useful trolley point (sans trollies!) ...
... fifteen feet up the subway wall! But at the top of the ramp we did have a sign to "buses".
There were plenty of shiny yellow buses to behold.
But whither go buses to town. It would have been helpful to have a sign which explained "buses to Town Centre from Stand ??." Never mind, eh. This is a bit of an adventure. There were departure screens which suggested stands 4 and 5 with a strong frequency vote in favour of 5. 
To add to the sense of uncertainty, stand 5 is cunningly hidden out of sight of the station entrance. Better signs, please!
The obscured location is a necessary practicality as many, many buses approach the centre via  Lansdowne Road (top left) ...
... wiggle via a bit of bus-only road under the A335, pull into the stand and leave via the south side of ASDA to rejoin normality at the Holdenhurst Road roundabout (bottom right). It is clever operationally, but the unwary innocent does need more help.

fbb's 5b looped via Bournemouth Pier and the Conference Centre, with a pause to "wait time" before depositing the chubby one at Gervis Place, effectively the town centre bus station.
After a quick nip to the Yellow Buses enquiry office (also well hidden "just past Debenhams") ...
... for leaflets (of which more tomorrow) and a snack lunch in a caff ...
... fbb was ready to explore. There were plenty of "real time" departure screens, one at each stand ...
... with only one malfunction. Departure lists a-plenty, but no timetables anywhere.
At least there was the Yellow Buses office, but fbb could find no evidence that competing Wilts and Dorset printed information was available anywhere.
W & D timetables apart, the information was well above average and all fbb had to decide is where to go. There wasn't much time as he had to get back to Moreton to collect the Mrs from her prayer and bible study day; and perceived wisdom and domestic harmony meant it was prudent to aim for a train one hour in advance of critical, viz 1404 from Bournemouth central.

Tomorrow, fbb takes you for a ride.

P.S. Despite herculean efforts by No 3 son ...
... confuser is still poorly.

 Next Bournemouth bus blog : Thursday 21st April 


  1. It's not Wilts and Dorset any's the awfully named More Bus (and Salisbury Reds on some X3s just to confuse)! Although your bus may still say W&D on it...simples.

  2. The caff pic has a familiar ring to it. Is it just up from the Weatherspoon's Moon on the Square?
    Good grub, and some Yellow drivers use it.

  3. Very good post - always interesting to hear a visitors view of my hometown! It's stands 5 and 7 for the buses from the Station to the Town Centre - with stand 7 even more difficult to find on the far side of Holdenhurst Road - although a good option if you do leave the station on the wrong side by mistake! Stand 4 would take one to Castlepoint, an out of town shopping centre.

    The area between the station and the bus stops has been refreshed over the past year - I haven't visited since it's been completed but by the sounds of it a prominent sign pointing towards stand 5 for the town centre hasn't been replaced. Something for the council to fix!

    You're right that information at bus stops is very good in the town centre. While neither yellows or morebus (silly name!) use timetables at least Yellows show how long it takes to get to main destinations so one can "do the math". I don't know if you managed to pick up one of their timetable leaflets (7 in total to cover all routes - sadly no longer a timetable book) but they are probably the highest quality timetables you'll see anywhere for free. Morebus aren't too bad either. The duopoly (mainly friendly bus with occasional bitter skirmishes over their history) has been very good in terms of driving up standards.

  4. You don't say which stand in Gervis Place was displaying Refer to Timetable, but my guess is that it was stand W. We have just finished connecting individual electrical supply feeds to these shelters following an underground fault on a joint feed and Stand W was awaiting the arrival of the engineer with a new SIM card for the unit to allow a reboot of the data. You will hopefully be pleased to know that this morning (Wednesday) all the signs were working fine and displaying data.
    With regard to Bournemouth Station, the large sign pointing to stand 5 for buses to Town Centre and Sea Front disappeared with the removal of the railings outside the downside entrance. Unfortunately despite our best efforts getting Network Rail/South West Trains to allow anything other than their standard Onward Travel posters on their stations is like flogging a dead horse. However that won't stop us trying and if the franchise does change hands later this year who knows??