Tuesday, 24 May 2016

What's in a Name? Not Much in Leicester ...

... If The Name is Haymarket!
Here is the entrance of the new Haymarket bus station in Leicester.
This entrance is on Charles Street. The other way-in is on Haymarket, then?
Erm, no. This more imposing portal is on Belgrave Gate.
Well, so what. Perhaps the old Haymarket bus station was on Haymarket?
No. It was also on Charles Street. Weird.

In fact, the Charles Street bus station only opened in 1994 as support to the refurbishment of the Haymarket Shopping centre ...
... which is doubtless why the illogical and geographically inaccurate name was chosen.The First Bus Travel Office is located in the Haymarket Centre building right next door to the new (and the old) bus station.
Haymarket (the road) starts at the clock tower and runs for less than 100 yards northbound. Although the exact length is disputes, it never quite reaches the entrance to the bus station.
Belgrave Gate and Charles Street have not been the most beautiful parts of central Leicester for some time, here (Belgrave Gate) in the declining 60s ...
... and here in a more declined 2015.
So the new bus station is a breath of fresh air for this rather seedy area. The new set-up is of a line of head-on bays with passenger areas completely under cover.
The pictures from now on come from some YouTube videos of the "preview" day where conventional bus services shared the bus station with heritage vehicles.

Three "generations" of Corporation livery are seen here; maroon and cream, reversed cream and maroon, and, right at the end, "modernised" red, white and grey.
We will now take a look around.

Toilets? Yes.

Information panels? Yes.

Big departures screens? Yes.
But why, oh why (as they say!) do planners insist on displaying departures in time order. If yo go to a bus station, you will almost certainly be looking for your bus route - so why not display in route number order?

The various press releases make reference to real time" displays, but, assuming the Leicester deep throat confuser follows convention ...
... the majority of services are showing timetabled time.

Before we look at the rest of the new bus station, a little nostalgia from the "preview" day. The Midland Red single decker was showing X68 ...
... which ran all the way to Birmingham. And Barton was showing service 12.
Neither of these routes served the Haymarket departure area, and neither runs today.

Tomorrow, we will look more closely at publicity for the new building; and at publicity in the new building.

 Next Haymarket blog : Wednesday 25th May 


  1. Yes, but it really isn't sensible to display Real Time departures at a terminal point, where services Start From. Who can tell what time the bus is going to depart?

    The driver might be late finishing his cuppa, or there might be 50 slow Luggage Ladies to board, each with their own question.

    Real Time info only works on through journeys, once the bus has got under way and the journey-predicting algorithms have got something to work on.

  2. Leicester deep throat - oh aye?

  3. Whats your point re the name?

  4. @Petras409: Real Time departures work perfectly fine at railway terminals. Given that everything is scheduled, if sufficient loading time is allowed, and vehicles and drivers are in the right places, and someone is ensuring that things are managed to time, then there's no reason why real-time departures can't work. Displays in alphabetical order (if correct and accurate timing point names are used) is preferable, as everyone knows where they are going, but not necessarily times or route numbers.

    As for the Haymarket name - it is perfectly fine - as the Haymarket Bus Station is attached to the Haymarket Shopping Centre which is, in turn, on the Haymarket.

  5. I would be interested to know when the photo of the departure board was taken as I know that the real time is working for Centrebus (there has been plenty of effort by all involved in getting this working including staff going out to view displays at the roadside as vehicles pass) & I'm pretty sure Arriva's system has been working as well.