Monday, 14 November 2016

A Bard is Bereft of Buses? (4)

And So To Stratford-upon-Avon Station
And there is is (left) with its access off Alcester Road, the busy thoroughfare at the bottom of the aerial view. The "brown fields" area that takes up most of the picture used to be the Cattle Market.

For some time now there have been various proposals to develop the site ...
... with the usual mix of much sought-after homely residences equipped with all modern conveniences.
After several false starts, a new plan was given the go-ahead earlier this year and Warwickshire Council proudly began laying new access roads to the station. A new set of steps up to the bus stops on Alcester Road was opened without civic ceremony in 2013.
But when Northampton correspondent Alan visited a few months ago (the lad does get about a bit!) there was no sign of activity, just high fences over which you could just glimpse the "super steps".
But things have changed.
Where once the station approach road approached the station building, there is now a pretty paved patio area and, using part of the old car park, a brand new set of bus shelters has been built.
What was slightly more perplexing was that there were no buses there.

But, undaunted and on a second visit, Alan had time to wait around and, yes, there were buses ...
... no passengers; but there were buses. Each shelter had a posh bus stop flag but many were blank, with no guide as to what stopped there, if anything.
But the flag did tell you that it was Stratford-upon-Avon rail station, in case you missed those tracks, the draughty new footbridge ...
, the excellent old footbridge ...
... and maybe even a train!

As a further aid to misplaced visitors, the flags all has British Rail double arrow zots in appropriate red.

Alan had stumbled upon Stratford -upon-Avon Interchange, all new and shiny.

But at the top of the super steps (remember?) was a bus shelter ...
... and on the other side of the road was another bus shelter.
So, all the arriving train passenger needs to know is "where do I go to catch my bus?" or, to rephrase the question, "where do I interchange at the interchange?"

A simple enough question, you might think, which a brave and fearless fbb will attempt to answer tomorrow.

Meanwhile, an apology. When fbb was writing about a possible route from Northampton to Stratford via Marston Green (read again) he failed to spot a third operator in the hotly contested bus route from there to Solihull. In addition to:-

National Express West Midlands 71

National Express West Midlands 72

Claribel 71E

... there is Sunny Travel!
Not Sunny Delight, but Sunny Travel.

 Sunny Travel 71E 

fbb reckons that equates to approximately 15 buses an hour between Chelmsley Wood, Marston Green and Solihill.

 Next Stratford blog : Tuesday 15th November 


  1. fbb can be forgiven about Sunny Travel - after all, Network West Midlands often fails to put Sunny's journeys in its timetable leaflets.
    The Chelmsley Wood - Solihull corridor is one of very few in the West Midlands where three operators are in competition. It may be surprising that it is in (mainly affluent) Solihull, but this corridor also passes through less affluent areas and therefore excellent bus territory.

  2. Unrelated to this post -You might want to follow the latest business ventures of Mr. Hand & Mr. Stockley.
    Discussion at

    And the special festive service