Sunday, 8 May 2016

X52 Leaflets : It Starts Today

And Yesterday?
fbb's local X52 had at last made it on to First's web site. TWICE! But don't try looking for it ...
... because you will be unsuccessful via that route.

Timetable Search Results

Unfortunately the search term specified (X52) cannot be found in our database. Please amend your search or view all timetable listings for Wessex, Dorset & South Somerset.

Alternatively, you can call Traveline on 0871 200 22 33 or visit

But First Bus has it there, huge and full of loads and loads of dashes with no confirmation that the two halves add up to through buses.
Like so much that spoils public transport today, it is probably created by some mindless confuser program designed by a database expert who never travels by bus. These are through journeys and, despite the confuser and the potty registration system combined with unhelpful "advice" from the DaFT people at Marsham Street, they should be shown as such.

Bad house point.

But was fbb dreaming? A couple of days ago, your investigative blogger was trawling the mystery-shrouded depths of the First Bus web site for Dorset and elsewhere when he idly clicked on this button.
It was hardly stand out obvious, but it did lead to an item about new timetables from 8th May (today, no less) which in turn offered a click through to a copy of the excellent "Bus Times for Dorset" book.

But when fbb returned there at 1630 yesterday, all he could find was a Dorset County Council version of the X55 timetable. 
Yes, it must have all been a dream.

But a prophetic one as First's man-with-van did indeed deliver information to fbb mansions yesterday morning as promised. But not leaflets for the X52 etc. They are not ready yet. Instead it was a goodly bundle of timetable booklets as featured in fbb's on-line dream.
The book is excellent in every way, complete with multicoloured timetables, superb maps ...
... including a really helpful details diagram of stops in Weymouth itself.

Full Marks - BUT

Just a bit over the top for one page of the X52 at Seaton.
Compared with the X53 Jurassic Coaster of old it is a very poor service that smacks of being cobbled together at the last minute in response to Stagecoach's new 9A between Seaton and Lyme Regis. Buses from Seaton miss the ongoing X53 to Weymouth by 6 minutes. Boss Simon Newport tells fbb that they "have plans" for this network in future.

But the future is already here. It is very much blue, red and orange and not pink and purple. Too little too late is the general opinion.

Apparently Jurassic non-Coaster leaflets are "coming soon".

But man-with-van (and a very nice man he was, too) has also replaced the really tatty timetable frame at Seaton's "Tramway" Stop ...
... with a shiny, brand new, clean and tidy one.
It's a pity that the pole to which it was bolted had a Stagecoach flag on the top ...
... with no First Bus plate to be seen.

fbb did download the app, as advertised in the frame, to make sure he had the latest version; but the X52, indeed all services in the Weymouth area, had vanished.
Yeovil only remained.

Now all the First Bus gnomes have to do is to sort out the bus stop flags. This one gives no information, so can't be out of date ...
... but it hardly compares with the quality of the opposition's offering. No matter, just round the corner in Manor Road ...
... you can wait fruitlessly for First's X53 to Poole and equally squalidly for Stagecoach's secret 9A to Lyme Regis. Indeed, Uncle Brian's enthusiasm for 9A flags evaporates once the centre of Seaton is left behind; the route to Sidmouth and Exeter is equipped with aged and faded tat. Those occasional flags that are looked after by Devon Council, however, are showing the right route numbers for today.

It is odd, is it not, that free public advertising space for new bus routes should be treated in such a cavalier fashion by the operators? Perhaps they don't really want any passengers?

Tomorrow, we return to the 9A and seem to be getting lost in Lyme.

First Bus Upp Appdate
At 0900 this morning, fbb re-loaded the appropriate app, apprehensively, to appreciate whether new timetables had been applied. And they had. All Weymouth stuff had reappeared; including fbb's X52. Does the app automatically update? Why had Weymouth vanished yesterday?
And it only gives extracts of timetables; but it is there and up to date,

 Next 9A oddity blog : Monday 9th May 


  1. You had me slightly worried there FBB with your comment about looking on and then displaying underneath it the split trip timetable for X52 that is from the First web site. I can assure you that both, and traveline south west correctly show the service as through journeys.
    Ken - Traveline (Dorset)

  2. Sounds like what happened in Plymouth - I wouldn't be shocked to see First selling Dorset/Yeovil to Stagecoach before long.

  3. It's amazing how First's continual fiddling with the X53 has turned what seemed to be a very successful long link service from Poole (at one point Castlepoint Bournemouth) to Exeter into a series of non-linking routes that look incredibly vulnerable to competition. With Stagecoach encroaching from one direction how long before Go Ahead sense blood and bring serious competition to the Poole - Weymouth end via their Damory, more or even the Purbeck Breezers brand?