Thursday, 10 November 2016

A Bard is Bereft of Buses? (2)

BRS? British Road Services?
In fbb's haste to complete a blog for yesterday, he forgot to explain.
fbb was writing about the uninspiring livery of South Yorkshire PTE.
fbb's flippant use of BRS refers to "Before Ray Stenning"; but he is not sure whether or when RS designed the stripey scheme for coach livery for National Bus Company subsidiaries, later displaced with the all white "National" style.
This feeble witticism hold have been explained by a footnote on the blog.
Shock Events of Tuesday Night
Huge amounts of turmoil overnight with an unexpected result as the sun rose here.
High gusty wind overturned three of fbb's "all weather" coaches and threw a fourth from its separate siding ...
... across the yard and in amongst Mrs fbb's pots of flowers and shrubby things.
But even more spectacularly, the Airfix/Dapol station footbridge was blown out of the yard and under the fbb limousine ...
... narrowly missing total destruction by a 12 inches to one foot scale front wheel!

Such are the joys of outdoor OO gauge model railways. Of course it all should have been packed away for the winter, but there is always the temptation that just one string of fine, mild days might allow the old crusty to get outside and play trains.
Back to the Bard Buses of Avon
On reading Monday's blog, correspondent Alan noted fbb's remark about trains routes to Stratford-upon-Avon.
"There are two other routes to consider," quoth he.

How about train to Coventry, then bus? The X17 and the X18 both make the link via different routes. Stagecoach only provide a map of their routes from Hilton Hotel (wherever that might be) to Stratford.
For the bit from Coventry to the Hilton Hotel you could go to Traveline but their cartographic creations ...
... involve several worrying leaps out of this space time continuum and into some inter-galactic wormhole.
You have to "guess" the red line of the route.
But the X17 calls at Coventry Rail Station Bridge.
X17s run every half hour, X18s ditto but not via the station.
The X18 is quicker at a tad over 1½ hours; the X17 nearly 2. All you have to do for the X17, on leaving the trains at Coventry, is to find "Coventry Station Bridge".

There are lots of bus shelters right outside the station ...
... but there is no shelter or stop for the X17.

Because they don't stop there.  As the timetable says, you need to get to "Station Bridge",
The "local information" on-line ...
... and, presumably, at the station (if you can find a poster!) is out of date.
There is no mention of the X18 and the map is well divorced from reality.
But the station map and every other conventional street map show only a complex route between exit and bus stop ...
... even assuming you are brave enough to try.

fbb seems to remember a footpath via the car park offering a more direct link which may, or may not. be signposted.
If it still exists.

Traveline? Usually takes you via the quicker but less accessible X18 via  2 minute run into the edge of the city centre.
Why don't the X17 and X18 run into the station interchange to offer useful integrate transport? Why indeed?

As this blog reports at frequent intervals (yawn, same old same old), public transport is complex and far from easy.

 Next Stratford blog : Friday 11th November 


  1. BRS - thank you for resolving my query from yesterday. I didn't consider Mr Stenning in my ponderings but I did discount the relevance of British Road Services!

  2. The X17 already calls in and often waits for a couple of minutes or more at the Park & Ride site, which must be a turn-off to through passengers, who in my experience outnumber 'park&riders' by a considerable margin. [The bespoke P&R service was knocked off at least a couple of years ago]. A further diversion via the station would add around three minutes to the journey.
    Curiously, the NX Coventry buses to Warwick University have been diverted into the station for just over a year, following the opening of the layout shown in the picture. This replaced that shown in the CYJ poster, and instead of buses being directly boardable under cover outside the station, they are now across two roads (ingress and egress from the station car park)which is no fun at all to try and cross in a dark evening peak. The outbound X17s can be reached without crossing any roads!
    However, the new bus stops are not big enough to accommodate everything, and it is not uncommon to see buses on the wrong stop. It is doubtful that it could accommodate the eight buses per hour onthe X17, but I think that the electronic summary display - still adjacent to the old stops - does show the Warwick Road bridge stop. I'm not 100% certain, because I have never needed to check - but the display also has a helpful diagram that identifies indivdual stops.
    Diverting the X18 to serve the station is actually feasible with less impact on the timetable. If you know where you are going, it's barely five minutes walk to the nearest stop, but it involves going through the backyards of shops and offices, although it all appears to be public highway.

  3. I'd have reservations about diverting the X18 via the station. It runs fast between Coventry and Leamington, and calling at the station would either negatively impact the attractive journey time or be at the expense of a city centre stop. In my admittedly limited experience I'm not sure there would be enough passengers tp/from the station to make it worthwhile.

  4. PH - yes, it would be at the expense of the stop in New Union Street i.e. turn right from Greyfriars Road towards the station, rather than left