Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Timetable Near-Secrecy at Haymarket

But Plenty of Space ...
There are racks of leaflets and an information point.
(sorry about the fuzz, but it was a fleeting shot from a video.) It is not clear from advance publicity whether these two are always available. On the preview day, the bus operators had set up tables with leaflets covering the re-arrangements.
Fearnley the Frog was also on hand to add gravitas to the suspicious day!
Arriva seemed more keen on recruiting staff!
But, as always, fbb gander was upped by the displays on the stands. Here, for example is the route map/diagram/line for route 74.
You might be forgiven for thinking buses travel due south. But they actually run north west via Beaumont Leys to Anstey, as shown on the excellent First Bus route map. (click to enlarge the image)
Why nopt paste in a larger version of the better map?

Alongside the map, and in print that is too high up for many and too small to read, is the (snigger snigger) timetable.
It is sad that, after over 50 years of 24 hour clock usage on public transport, we have to be reminded that 1710 has something to do with 5pm! Presumably folk who need that link are incapable to setting their video recorder or coping with "time" on their "device".

You do wonder, however, where the 74 goes.

But the First bus PDF timetable is hardly huge (click to enlarge) although it too has to tell you which journeys are numbered 74!
If you really MUST have a departure list as well as a timetable, there is more than enough room to display both.

But Leicester City have bought the software, so it must be the right thing to do.

Most definitely a missed opportunity to do a "proper job".

On the YouTube video, fbb could not spot a copy of the Leicester and district route map ...
... unless it was part of the rather small display near the toilets.
Two versions of the "Opening" leaflet were sent to fbb by a correspondent. Both contained the city centre map (click to enlarge) ...
... which is helpful but doesn't go as far as the station. Integrate transport wins again, NOT! One version had information in Stand Letter order.
"Which stand does the 74 leave from?" "Just look up that stand number and you can work it out." "But how do I know the stand number?"


Fortunately details on the other version is in route number order.
Now that is much better, isn't it?

But, overall, the new bus station looks very good indeed, and so much better than that old (1994 - not that old) facility. IF the leaflet racks are kept full and up to date, IF the information point is properly staffed and IF (PLEASE!) some bright spark provides better stand timetables and maps; then it could so easily be one of the best.

A message from a Leicester chum is worrying, though.
Surely that cannot be true?

Local bus operator First Scotland East today [May 24] confirmed it is proposing to cease bus operations in East Lothian from 14 August 2016 and close its depots in North Berwick and Musselburgh.
First Scotland East's operations in these areas have not been viable for a number of years, despite working hard to turn the business around and attract sufficient customers in what has become an increasingly competitive market.

However, the company had also been compelled to maintain the substantial part of its network through undertakings agreed some 14 years ago following an investigation by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.  

First Scotland East was recently released from these undertakings by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and, in order to put the business on a sound footing for the future, it has now decided, following a review, to propose this action and allow the company to focus resources in areas where customer demand and satisfaction is growing.
 Next as yet unplanned blog : Thursday 26th May 


  1. Buses can unload in the Haymarket Bus Stn, in fact those approaching from the north have to as there is no drop off stands for them elsewhere. That said services coming from the south, of which the 48 is one, would normally drop off at the alighting stands in Charles Street which have always been used as such (in fact until the opening of the new site the 48 only served those stops as it didn't serve the old bus station) and if the bus has some layover time, given there is very limited layover space in the new bus station, they may want to hang back on Charles Street to avoid having to circle the centre. There could also be some confusion with the Stagecoach drivers as they aren't local and may not be entirely confident of the rules of the bus station as quickly as the local drivers of the other operators.

  2. Further to integrated transport in Leicester, it's worth noting bus connections to the railway. The most useful links from St.Margarets (Arriva 47/48) have been moved to the new Haymarket bus station, from where there are already alternative services. This leaves express routes X3 (half-hourly) and X7 (hourly) to directly link the train station with the main terminus for many passengers arriving in the city by bus and coach. Leicester is fortunate to have 2 excellent bus stations, but connectivity around the congested city centre is still an issue.

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