Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Pause for Breath ... (1)

... and a bit of catch-up.
fbb is always grateful for information forwarded from blog readers. Not all of it can be woven into blogs, but it is all read and conserved for possible future use. The email link fbb@xephos.com is a simple way of getting in touch.

Another growing problem which may grow more is fbb's involvement in the GoTimetable project. This is taking the septuagenarian chubby one dangerously close to the concept of real work. Certainly if a trial app for "a northern city" becomes a reality (another meeting this week), time for blogging may well be reduced.

Observant readers will have noticed an increase in triping mistooks over recent weeks. Festina Lente (Latin : "hurry slowly") should be the motto, but ...

So, beginning today, a series of oddments and news missed which will help fbb to catch his breath.

Is This The Age of Silly Names?
With bits of letters missing?

Back when Yorkshire Coastliner was a Blazefield company, owned by young Mr Fearnley, their dominance of the route between York and Leeds was threatened by an attack from First bus.
Coastliner responded by doubling the frequency between Leeds and York with "fast" (maybe better described as "slightly faster") journeys on half the trips.
First's X64 lasted about 12 months and was then withdrawn.
Blazefield maintained the four buses an hour even after the competition evaporated. As GRF said at the time, "we should have been doing it anyway." Later developments under Transdev ownership reduced that to every 20 minutes.

But four buses an hour are back!

The traditional Coastliner frequency is back to every 30 minutes plus occasional extras.
But it is supplemented by a non-Coastliner brand.
Using refurbished vehicles displaced from the upgraded 36 (Ripon Harrogate Leeds), City Zap runs every 30 minutes, non stop between York and Leeds city centre. Well not quite non stop.
That grey "zap" blob in the middle is at Hazelwood Castle Hotel.


It is a posh country hotel just on the York side of the A64/A1M interchange, but well hidden behind woodland ...
... and when the Streetview car viewed this very rural street, there was no sign of a bus stop or anywhere very safe to do so on this busy dual carriageway. Maybe this half-layby is the choice?
fbb is unlikely to nip over there (sorry, Zap over there) to try it out. Of course, it is there to play the registration and drivers' hours game; to ensure that Mr Transdev can get hold of his Fuel Tax rebate which isn't called that any more.

But City Zap?
There are more similar to the above to enjoy. Groan! Zap-Navs? Treble groan!

As is customary these days, Transdev's web designers make it difficult for the user to find a full timetable with scrolling extracts based on the time of search on the main page.
fbb's first source of an actual timetable was c/o North Yorkshire (click on the panel to enlarge it) ...
... but a Transdev version did appear from somewhere; fbb cannot remember where.
Presumably Transdev don't expect too many passengers to be Zapping from Hazlewood Castle Hotel to Leeds or York. Will there be a pile of leaflets at Reception?
And fbb does wonder whether diluting the long established and much respected Coastliner brand might be commercially counter-productive.
fbb preferred the waves.
Or even more waves!

 Next breath catching : Wednesday 11th May 

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