Friday, 27 May 2016

Odds and Ends

Buses of Somerset On-Line
First the good news ...
The gnomes that look after the web site have now added all the Webberbus "cover" services. Belatedly, Traveline have caught up. On Wednesday evening the timetable section was still showing, for example, Webberbus 101 in Minehead. but by yesterday the near-identical Buses of Somerset version had appeared.
fbb must spend an hour or two trying to understand the Minehead town service. It is particularly mysterious.
But Wednesday (last) was a bad day for the onmibological apples.
Every service appeared twice but with different start and finish dates.
Fortunately this has been corrected, but still no mention of route 20 as shown on the map.
Meanwhile the First Buses app is still showing all of the Cornwall services as operating in Somerset ...
... and wrong (also wrongly presented) information on the North Cornwall services recently taken over from Stagecoach,

Rebranding in Southampton
The City Link service which linked Station and City centre with the Red Funnel terminals ...
... has been rebranded.

Again! It is now called "Quay Cinnect" and the bus is painted in Ref Funnel coloirs. It has a big picture of the new Red Jet 6 which is under construction at East Cowes.
Yes, it's the same bus as the blue one above; which used to look like this:-
It is not only the bus which has been fettled up; the publicity has also got the new look ...
... and the evening peak frequency has reverted to every 15 minutes Mondays to Fridays.
Of course, fbb is old enough to remember when the bus on the Isle of Wight, the bus at Southampton and the fast train to London were ALL numbered 91.

A Bit of Guidance
Alan, Northampton correspondent, was able to snap this lovely beast ...
Fourteen MCW Metrobus Mark II buses were acquired and fitted with guide wheels, which ran along the guideway's concrete edges. The vehicles were painted in a distinct livery, unique to Tracline 65, being silver with black and red (orange? - fbb) detailing. Operation began in 1984 and ended in 1987. One of them, fleet number 8110, is preserved at Aston Manor Road Transport Museum.
It was probably killed off by privatisation but the principle of guide wheels on concrete beams is still in use thirty years later - and counting!

Midland Metro Makes it on Monday!
It's been a long time coming. Birmingham's tramway exyenstion to New Street Station has been a bit like Billy Binter's postal order. It was finally announced that it would open on Sunday 22nd May.
But it didn't, despite trams running part way last December.
But trot into Brum on Monday 30th and you will be able to ride from New Street.
But there is no sign of a revised timetable on-line.
To add to the good news (?) the BBC, yesterday, revealed that the line has lost oodles of money; indeed it has never made a profit since it opened.
62.5 percent of prediction. Whoops!

And talking of fun; fbb reckons it will be very much NOT fun on the trains in the Bristol area this weekend.

Read more tomorrow.

 Next engineering blog : Saturday 28th May 

1 comment:

  1. Buses of Somerset online – the bad news – you didn’t appear to notice either.

    The gnomes were busy as the ex-Webberbus routes had VOSA registrations effective 25th May (Wed). All new registrations except Bridgwater to Wells as a route and timetable change to the 73/X75 - that is an alarm bell to me. In the Somerset County council news item for 12th May (now edited, but not re-issued) it says there are small changes from 25th May …… The 37/375 will have a significant timetable change. How significant; new early and late journeys and re-routed via Woolavington, withdrawn completely from Street to Wells and the 2 hourly off-peak journeys will run 30-48 minutes early; significant, but good long term.

    Somerset Buses’ Facebook and Twitter issued a warning 1 hour before the start of the new service. The website as usual says nothing. Most passengers found out when the bus didn’t turn up. However I was in Street and Wells the next day (Thurs). Wells Bus Station has a First Travel Shop and as I walked in a customer was asking the lady behind the counter about the 37. Her reply was an apologetic I don’t know because the inspector has just been in and told me the 37 no longer serves Wells and I have been telling everyone it does. The same with the Street TIC. I had a new paper copy in my pocket and so we shared information, but the professionals were not at all pleased to have not been notified of the change and let them give out false information for a day and a half. Part of this is within First group too.

    On a similar theme the old 377 timetable is still displayed in Yeovil bus station. It doesn’t help that the 54/55/77 run routinely late – Yesterday I was 10 mins late into and out of Yeovil, 20 mins late into Wells and the return was 30 mins late in, but the driver abandon the layover completely and drove out only 2 mins down. The 54/55/77 looks nice, but doesn’t seem to work; more confusion.