Thursday, 21 April 2016

Crossways, Cordite and Kinson [5]

A Trek to the Toilet
Perhaps a brief word of explanation is in order.When fbb's offspring were wee lads, Kinson figured highly and importantly on any holiday trip (by car) westwards. It was the first place en route from the Isle of Wight where an easy access easy park loo-stop was practicable!

So why not go there by bus? And would the loo-block still be there and, vitally for fbb, still be in operation?

There had been minor timetable changes on April 3rd b ut the enquiry office had a full set of uo-to-date booklets on display. There are seven in all. These are for six groups of linked and color coded routes which were created as part of a simplified and re-jigged network some years ago.

1A - Bournemouth - Christchurch
1B - Poole - Lower Parkstone - Bournemouth - Christchurch
1C - Poole - Upper Parkstone - Bournemouth - Christchurch

  2 - Bournemouth - Castlepoint
2A - Bournemouth - Castlepoint - Kinson
2B - Bournemouth - Castlepoint - Kinson

3 - Bournemouth - Castlepoint

4A - Bournemouth - Westover - Bearwood
4B - Bournemouth - Westover - Castelpoint
4C - Bournemouth - Westover - West Moors

5A - Bournemouth - Kinson
5B - Bournemouth - Kinson

6 - Bournemouth - Wallisdown - Bearwood

The rest. i.e.
18 - Bournemouth - Broadstone
20 - Poole - Bournemouth - Castlepoint
24 - Alum Chine - Bournemouth - Burton
26/26A - Poole - Wallisdown - Boscombe
33 - Bournemouth - Hospital - Christchurch
36 - Bournemouth - Wallisdown - Kinson
41 - Boscombe - Bournemouth - Throop
111 - Highcliffe - Christchurch - Castlepoint

There is mention in various places of service A1 to the Airport but the timetable is a closely guarded secret! These seven booklets replaced the full timetable in 2012; but each of the "big six" contains a good route map.

Or is it? The route runs via the station and wiggles a bit to get to Winton ...
... then via the busy Wimborne Road the sharp left along Ensbury Park Road where the split happens.
5A (the lighter green) runs via West Howe, whilst 5B toddle via East Howe. At first glance the maps look wonderful; but, the devil is ion the detail and here the news is less happy.

The Richmond Arms on Charminster Road ...
 ... is now just "The Richmond".
The Ensbury Park Hotel ...
... is a co-op "corner" store. It does retain just one of its historic nameboards.
East Howe Congregational Church (on bus announcements) or "Chapel" (on the bus stops) ...
... has long since been demolished. Now it is ...
... yet another co-op.

And as for Kinson Baths ...
... they were closed in 2010 ...
... and demolished in 2011. Here they aren't today!
Of course, things do change. Pubs are prone to alter their name from "The Red Lion" to "Alta Vista Ale House" as they attempt to become trendy. Shops and supermarkets change hands and things get demolished. Does the bus operator keep the "traditional" name even if it is a nonsense; or are the maps kept up to date?

It can be hard for people (and fbb) to follow if places names on stops or timetables simply aren't there.

But a plucky and confused fbb arrived on time at Kinson.
Not only were the toilets (of fond and long-past memory) still there ...
... open, clean, but were patronised for old times sake and personal comfort (!) by fbb some quarter of a century after his last visit.

Just across the "triangle" was a service 14 Wilts and Dorset (sorry "more") bus.
This also serves West Howe, using some of the roads served by the 5A and 5B.
But, confusingly, more calls the area Turbary Common. This leads to some interesting bus stop flag collections as with these three ...
... all part of the same stop and shelter combo at Cunningham Crescent. Or is that Turbary Common Cunningham Crescent? Or is Cunningham Crescent in West Howe? Or East Howe|?

Yellow Buses leaflets announce positively that all their bus stops are colour coded for the main six routes.
Oh, no, they're not!
Oh, yes, they are!
Oh, no, they're not.
Oh, yes, they are.

It all needs a bit of tidying up.

For the record the 5A/5B run every 20 minutes each, jointly every 10.
Sound good, but perhaps less so when you know that it has been reduced from every 15 on each from the start of this month.
Local opinion suggests that this is not so much to do with poor business on the 5A/5B but more to release extra vehicles to compete more with more on the routes between Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch.

 Yellow Buses 
8 per hour Christchurch to Poole
14 per hour Christchurch to Bournemouth

7 per hour Southbourne to Poole
15 per hour Bournemouth to Poole

Southbourne is between Bournemouth and Christchurch
You can't help thinking that there are too many buses. Do both companies make money on their competitive operations?


 Next bus blog : Friday 22nd April 


  1. Sometimes one does think that the 1b, 1c. m1, m2 joined together wold make a good train!
    My preference is for the Yellow deckers. On those you do have a sort of view.

  2. Sometimes one does think that the 1b, 1c. m1, m2 joined together wold make a good train!
    My preference is for the Yellow deckers. On those you do have a sort of view.

  3. To be fair to Yellows, until last year all their stops were colour coded for the main six routes (and featured route destination as well as route number). Then the local councils came along and with a whole load of central Government money designed to improve local roads and encourage public transport (Three Towns Travel) and invested it in some schemes which have not gone down well with locals. As well as various "shared space" schemes (or "deathtraps" as they're viewed locally) they tore down all the old perfectly good bus shelters with their digital displays and flags detailing route numbers clearly and replaced them with new bus shelters, new digital displays and new flags that contain no route numbers and restricted bus company information to a tiny little uniform band for the operator to list it's weblinks on. No route numbers, no colour coding, no uniformity. They do however now feature the relevant local council(s) logo though, so well worth it! I presume the bus companies are told not to touch these stops.

    As such it does seem like Yellows have given up on bus stop flags and now when they replace the non council run stops they just put in a generic "Yellow Buses Bus Stop" flag with no route info. A shame - back to the days of Bournemouth Transport their stops have always had route numbers on, even on the roads to or from the Square where you might get twenty or so routes all at one stop.

    Separately the route between Southbourne and Poole do have what seems like a crazy number of buses but they certainly are money spinners often running full at peak times and still busy during the day. Both bus companies have quoted crazy levels of growth on these routes over the years. The use of old place names - apart from The Richmond (which everyone does still call The Richmond Arms and I suspect the pub may well change it back on next rebrand) the rest does show a bit of lack of attention on Yellows part. Since ownership changed from Transdev to RATP although on the face of it everythings the same there does seem to be less innovation, slight cutbacks on routes rather than expansion and less attention to detail then there once was.