Monday, 27 June 2016

An Academic Problem (1) ...

Dodgy Data Delivered for Diversions
According to one Sheffield correspondent (John), publicity was good.
But fbb did not spot the stuff mentioned above but only started looking on Saturday when he was phoned by lorry driving chum David (a Sheffield resident, but a car driver) asking what was going on.

An innocuous notice has indeed appeared on the Travel South Yorkshire web site, well buried in a section headed "News and Updates", a section which, fbb guesses, will not be read by many passengers, even if they could find it.
Click here and it takes you to a bus/tram/train choice:-
The news was No 3 on the Sheffield list. fbb has added a few notes.

Services 51, 52, 52a, 95 City Centre route changes

There are no changes to the routes in the city centre. And what about 273 and 274?

Western Bank/Brook Hill/Hanover Street/Gell Street pedestrianisation works from Monday 13th June.

None of these roads is being pedestrianised! The notice was published on-line on Saturday 18th June, six days after the routes changed.

Services 51 (Charnock), 52 and 52a (Woodhouse) are normal to Western Bank then will turn right onto Clarkson Street at the Children’s Hospital. They will then turn left onto Durham Road, where there will be a new bus stop, before joining Glossop Road then West Street.

Correct but what about 273 and 274?

Part of Western Bank (near the Octagon Centre), Brook Hill Rounabout and Gell Street will not be served.

It would be better to have simply listed the stops that will no longer be served. Two will cease to exist; the "to city" University stop at the top of Hounsfield Road and the stop on Gell Street.
Western Bank stop

Services 51 (Lodge Moor), 52 (Hillsborough) and 52a (Loxley) to destinations listed are unchanged.

52a does not run to Loxley!
52a runs to Wisewood - NOT Loxley

Service 95 to Sheffield is normal to Bolsover Street then will go straight across at Brook Hill roundabout, before turning right onto Mappin Street and then left onto West Street. There will be a new bus stop at the West Street end of Mappin Street.

Gell Street and the top part of West Street will not be served.

Again, the existing stop on Gell Street (top left of map extract) and the "to city" stop at Regent Terrace (on West Street) will be omitted.
Service 95 to Walkley is unchanged.

It really is beyond belief that the PTE's explanation of all this is so utterly misleading and incompetent. You would have to conclude that nobody at PTE towers knows where the buses go.

Correspondent John seemed to think that the leaflet was "good"; fbb has asked the PTE to send him one. We shall see.

But, fbb asks himself, what is all this about?

We need to back to the days of the trams. Two main services left Sheffield Centre via West Street; they both forked right as they crossed Upper Hanover Street ...
... and they clanked and clanged up Hounsfield Road. At the top, where now are steps)  was a junction. Here trams to Walkley went straight on along Winter Street and those to Crookes turned left and continued to climb up Western Bank past the University.
You can just see a tram on Winter Street in the picture above. Now the "points" (technically known as a "frog") are normally worked electrically. If the tram driver is drawing power from the overhead, this trips a relay and the "frog" clicks over for the deviating line. If the driver switches power off and coasts through the junction he will go straight on.

But because the junction at the top of Hounsfield Road was on a hill, the driver could never coast. So a pointsman stood in a little hut and manually changed the "frog" as the appropriate tram approached.
It was the only such location in Sheffield.

The view now is very different.
Hounsfield Road is a cul-de-sac; Winter Street has been swallowed up by the University but went straight on through the tower block whilst buses to Crookes (as above) and Walkley are diverted. But here is a tram from Crookes ...
... about to turn right to go down Hounsfield Road.

Pre WW2, Sheffield University (located behind the photographer above) was a very modest affair; a three-sided block squeezed in to rows of terraced houses.
But by the time fbb arrived at the cloistered halls of academe in 1963 there had been much expansion. Here a No 52 bus prepared to turn right down Hounsfield Road as did the tram above, but the Uni has grown.
In this pictures you can see the Chemistry Department (left) and part of the Maths block (right). A new Students Union and catering block replaced housing on the south side of Western Bank and the huge Arts Tower arrived while fbb was at his studies.

The Google Earth view shows how much more there is today.
The "post WW2" building is the three sided block with the green courtyard at the top of the picture above. The closed Hounsfield road angles up lower left and the former Winter Street is a car park with the Arts Tower centre right.

Down the road and much nearer the city centre were the Engineering Departments.
Back in the early sixties these were regarded as "slightly inferior" to the main and "proper" University on Western Bank. Academic snobbery was not unknown, even in the "red brick" community. But even as fbb departed from full time education to start earning a crust as a teacher, there were plans to expand by linking to two sites into one mega campus.

It is the consequences of this subsequent expansion which has caused the changes to bus services so inadequately explained by the PTE.

As we shall see tomorrow.

fbb has just found the leaflet referred to by correspondent John at the top of this blog. It is on the First South Yorkshire site.
Again, no mention of the 273 and 274, but it does explain the changes without some of the confusion.
There is also a very clear map.

Such a pity the leaflet was removed from the PTE site.

Stagecoach keeps it very simple with no unnecessary clutter.

From 13th June there is a change to service 52 bus route

Bus service 52 will now turn right onto Clarkson Street at the Childrens Hospital. They will then turn left onto Durham Road, where there will be a new bus stop, before joining Glossop Road then west Street.

The outbound service is unchanged

Maybe the PTE should ask the man from Stagecoach to compose its notices.

 Next Sheffield bus blog : Tuesday 28th June 

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