Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Blupdates [2]

 Sheffield Route X1  (read again)

Weedon Street in Sheffield ised to look like this ...
... pulsating with the throb of heavy industry. Now it looks like this:-
At the far end (Tinsley) , the highlight of Weedon Street is one of these.
In fact there is a little cluster of electronic advertising hoardings that display an ever changing kaleidoscope of essential products to tempt the motorist as he sits fuming in the queue for the Tinsley roundabout.

But correspondent Roy snapped this display recently.
It advertises the non-express X1 which nips round the back way to Meadowhell, avoiding the Weedon Street junction and the M1 roundabout with their associated queues; and speeds (?) the passenger to Rotherham.

And what of the X1 Steel Line's new (nearly a year old new) branded buses?

Here's one (again thanks to Roy) back on its old stamping ground; the X78 whizzing along past the other end of Weedon Street at Brightside lane.
Such is the power and purpose of route branding!

And a revised PTE full colour map has now appeared on-line. It shows the recent (September 4th) changes correctly.
fbb is not sure, however, whether these are currently available in printed form. Bus historians will note the huge sections of Sheffield Road that are now unserved by bus. On the map above a white line extends from bottom left to near junction 34 on the M1.

There are bus stops in each direction on Tinsley Bridge between the link to Meadowhall and the roundabout ...
... these offer two buses an hour via Meadowhall towards Sheffield and the same to Rotherham. Both routes are very circuitous.

The white line should then continue from roundabout to the X1 (top right).

As an indication of change, it is salient to remember that back in the 60s and early 70s there were up to 16 buses an hour along most of  the gap.

 Happy Husband-less Holiday?  (read again)

Stop Press : news from Mrs fbb. Her coach to Durham etc. turned out not to be one of Angela's but this:-
WA15 BWC is a Scania K360EB4, Van Hool TX16 Alicron with 53 seats owned by Amport and District; news that will bring a joy and a delight to the good lady's northbound journey.

The driver is Ray and, according to Mrs, he is "very good".

Today Mrs fbb is at Durham, of which more tomorrow.

 Blupdates on Updates 

fbb does not intend to confess to every little failing in GoTimetable Sheffield, but when they are reported, one of the old man's "consultancy" jobs is to sort them out. Sometime modifications are self imposed as with the complications of routes 24 and 25. See "GoTimetable : Data Sorted" (read again).

To overcome the Spa Lane confusion (and omission at Woodhouse) fbb simply renamed the location ...
... with an extra blob ...
... thus ensuring that the clever search routine would do their stuff.

Highlighted in the timetable

Highlighted on the map
The map highlight changes to BLUE if selected as a departure stop or GREEN for an arrival; all designed to encourage confidence in a search.

fbb calls such amendments "philosophical" because they can always be a matter of opinion. Matters of fact need dealing with urgently. So here, a typical fbb bludner, partly provoked by poor source information. Here is the current Travel South Yorkshire map for service 35 in Sheffield's unfathomable centre.
What the map shows is the outbound 35 running along Arundel Gate, turning right at Castle Square, trundling down Commercial Street and round to Castlegate (top left on map below).
But what local knowledge and the TSY "list of stopping places" shows is quite different.

Sheffield Interchange, Pond Street, Furnival Street, Arundel Gate, Castle Street, Wicker ...

The TSY timetable is no help and the list itself is an ill-defined curious mixture of road names and district names; so fbb went to Traveline for possible corroboration.
It would appear that the route had changes with little or no publicity.
Both sources advertise a stop in Castle Street (map below, centre left).
All that was needed now was to change the data in GoTimetable Sheffield. First, the map:-

Castlegate (near the top in LIGHT BLUE) ...
... to Castle Street.

And, of course, the timetable similarly:

From Sheffield Centre Castlegate ...
To Sheffield Centre Castle Street

Now this is not rocket science; but, because of the clever design of the system (nowt to do with fbb) updates are quick. Altering the map is child's play; literally, a five year old could do it; and the timetables (the 70 needed changing as well) need a simple "search and replace".

Because the "unit of currency" for GTT is "the timetable" a simple text change is all that is needed; the whole timetable is then re-imported en bloc and we let the clever electronics do the rest.

Seemples, cheap and effective. The changes above were made on Thursday morning last and were available (on-liner and via Google Play Store as appropriate) about six hours later. Could have been faster but our team was doing other tricky things.

Also, for the record, a link to Google Maps is now available on the web version (it's been there all the time for Android users). Please don't send irate emails; we know that it doesn't always produce a result, but in most cases it can add another dimension to a search, The team is working on making it better. Once a timetable is selected, choose a location and the link to Google Maps option will pop up.
The Android version will, of course have to be on-line.

Information on GoTimetable is available (here)

 Next Durham blog : Thursday 15th September 


  1. The abandoned stretch of the 69 is hardly a traffic goldmine, and for most people in the area the attractions (sic) of Meadowhall are rather more important. I took my first round trip on X1 tonight and Meadowhall was by far the busiest stop in both directions on two quite busy trips. However other aspects need looking at - the exit from Dunlop St onto Attercliffe Common (ie when Sheffield-based buses finally exit the Meadowhall area and return to the historic route)is a traffic light-controlled junction with an interminable wait for buses. At least one passenger was a Highgate resident who was vocally bewailing the loss of a bus service to her neighbourhood- a poor areea that suffers badly from atmospheric pollution from the nearby M1 and deeseves better than the nonsense that fbb has already described.

  2. 16 BPH, probably but look at the picture of Sheffield Rd now...what's there.....nowt apart from one huge traffic jam with cars leaving the M1 heading to Meadowhall.

  3. Thanks, gents (?), for reinforcing what I wrote in the blog. The decline of the 69 etc is symptomatic of the decline in Sheffield's heavy industry. What is odd, however, is that the new X1, part of a political plan to regenerate the whole area, should miss out this huge swathe of "wasteland"!

    The fbb plan is to run half the X1a (as X2s) via the traditional 69 route and everyone (except the misguided politicians and their plasnners) will be happy (happier?)

    I doubt that the X1 on iots present form will last more than 12 months!