Thursday, 4 August 2016
A Tale of Two Cities (1)
The Best of Times, The Worst of Times
fbb got a bit of stick from a comment writer a day or so ago for "wanting to be back in the 50s", presumably referring back to the days when you could find out bus times for your journey (arrive and depart) easily from "timetable book" and sometimes even at the bus stop. Actually in 1959 fbb was 14 and had yet to develop his interest in all forms of public transport. Apart from a short burst of train spotting, the interest began in 1963 with his arrival in Sheffield for University.
So, by way of response, this blog interrupts the tale if Sheffield, Tinsley, the 69 and the X1 to contrast and compare the bus operator in two Cities.
They are Bristol and Sheffield; the "main" operator in both is First Bus and the key calendar page is September 4th in both communities.
In Bristol , there are big changes to the long-standing routes 8 and 9, but fbb does not know when these routes actually started.
In Sheffield there are big changes to the long-standing routes 35 and 69. The 35 was a replacement for the Petre Street trams in the 1930s; and, as we saw in yesterday's blog, the 69 took over from trams in late 1948.
In Bristol there was a leaflet for the existng service dated August 2015.
In Sheffield here is what has been readily available since November 2015.
To be fair, some information was available for the massive changes under the auspices of £the Sheffield Bus Partnership" but stocks soon ran out.
In Bristol you could get a very nicely printed timetable ...
... which is still available as a full PDF leaflet to download. It also comess with an excelled map of the rather complex city centre.
In Sheffield you could, of course download the service 35 and 69 timetables from Travel South Yorkshire.
You would end up with a collection of 9 loose A4 pages to juggle with. The network map is excellent, although not always available and there is a map of the city centre showing all stops.
First does publish a few excellent route maps, as here shown (an extract only) for the 35; but none for the 69. Th 35 map did appear on a leaflet some days after the November 2015 change ...
... but is no longer available in printed form.
The Bristol route map is part of the leaflet as above. It is excellent.
The route map on the Sheffield download isn't!
But the big network map is better ...
... although hard copies have been unavailable for some time. When fbb's gopher visited the Interchange and Arundel Gate offices a few weeks ago the racks were bereft of maps of any kind.
To be fair (again!) fbb does not know whether the leaflet for the 8 and 9 is still available or, indeed, how readily any printed material can be obtained. But when it was available, it was excellent and the on-line version has it all!
Finding infromation on First's web site can be a challenge.
In Bristol this appears under the "changes" heading:-
Those with a terrier like determination to find out what might be happening may come across this in the "news"section. fbb has expurgated the rather lengthy text.
Services 8 & 9 (Bristol Temple Meads – Clifton & Redland circulars): To improve reliability and to make the services easier to understand, the present pattern of two circular services is being replaced from September. Instead, service 8 and 9 will no longer be linked.
Service 8 (Bristol Temple Meads to Clifton & Bristol Zoo): Service 8 buses will run along a revised route in Clifton more frequently than now; they will operate between Bristol Temple Meads, the City Centre and Park Street and Clifton as now with a loop from Clifton Christchurch via Pembroke Road and Bristol Zoo.
Service 9 buses will operate independently of Service 8 buses. They will follow the same route as the present 9 from Temple Meads via Cotham, and Redland as far as the top of Blackboy Hill, then follow a clockwise loop via Whiteladies Road, St Pauls Road, Pembroke Road and Upper Belgrave Road. They will run every 30 minutes every day, evenings and public holidays. With the 72 service there will be a joint 15-minute combined frequency between the Centre and Redland Station.
Which is why you really do need a map.
In Sheffield this is what First Bus tells us about the changes.
But in Bristol First has already published its leaflet on-line with a month to go ...
... which will allow us to understand what is happening in considerable detail.
We shall do just that, tomorrow!
Next 8/9 and Tinsley blog : Friday 5th August