Thursday, 17 November 2016

In Hoddesdon, Hertford and Hatfield ... (2)

Two Items and No Timetables ...
... was the sum total of printed public transport information available in Hoddesdon Herts at the County Council One-Stop Shop. One leaflet was for Plusbus.
The station for Hoddesdon is Broxbourne (used to be known as Broxbourne and Hoddesdon) but the opportunities for catching a bus at the station are limited (although MUCH better than they used to be when fbb attended conferences at High Leigh many moons ago).

The leaflet lists the services on which the add-on ticket is valid ...
... but the map doesn't tell you where they go.
It just has unlabelled green lines.

For the record route 341, 392, 641, SB01 and SB02 serve the station.

641 links the station to Hoddesdon etc. every hour Monday to Saturday, supplemented by a couple of 341 journeys Monday to Friday peaks. The 392, which also serves the delightfully named Bumbles Green ...
... also runs every hour. SB01 and SB02 (The Dobbs Weir Shoppers Bus) ...
... run occasional days only and Plusbus is not valid.

Without this detailed information, the Plusbus leaflet can safely be disposed of in the nearest bin.

The second leaflet given to Mrs fbb looked, on the surface, to be more helpful;.
It is one of three maps produced by the Council.
One side consists of a map of high quality with bus route numbers printed in RED and BLACK alongside bus roads all the same colour.
BLACK designated buses running at least hourly; RED less than.

On the reverse of the map, all services are listed, again using the same coarse definition. fbb was expecting at least some more detail of frequency, but, alas, no other information was provided.
Bearing in mind that the routes of the buses are clearly shown on the map, surely the space could have been better used to provide some better guide to frequency.

Of course, how silly of fbb.

None of that is necessary because it is all on-line. Hooray. Dance a jig. Sing a happy little song.
Or is he screaming with frustration at the lack of usable information in Hoddesdon?

Remember Bob and the launch of the improved 310 service?
No printed timetables available in Hoddesdon!

But do Arriva actually print leaflets for the 310? Once upon a time all the company's timetables were available in downloadable PDF versions, i.e. the actual leaflets to print out. But the 310 PDF is NOT that of a leaflet.

They used to have excellent maps. Now we have a spotty Google map derivative ...
... which, when enlarged, doesn't even show the stops at Hoddesdon Clock Tower!
They are there of you keep enlarging, as Google white on blue bus icons ...
... but without the Arriva blob overlay. Perhaps the 310 doesn't stop at the Clock (the little pale square south of the Costalot shop)?

But the timetables are happily on line; every 12 minutes Monday to Friday daytimes ...
... every 15 on Saturdays ...
... and every hour evenings and Sundays.
But make sure you can understand the column headings!
But none of this secret information can be obtained in printed leaflet form from the office in Hoddesdon.

Perhaps Arriva don't want residents of this little town to travel by bus?

Of course, they can use the ePIP ...
... if it is working.

 Next bus blog : Friday 18th November 


  1. To be fair to HCC, their Intalink website is one of the better council websites. At least they haven't removed all mention of the words B*s and T*m*t*b*e in favour of a link to Travelline.

    Plusbus leaflets tend to be favoured towards validity boundaries, assuming locals will know which bus will go that far out.

    When it comes to stocking things, I am always interested to see how it works. Is it the operators fault for not pushing the council to stock, or the council's fault for not persuading the operator to give? I have had a few experiences recently where the answer is "They don't send us any". Response: "Have you asked?".

  2. It's just worth mentioning the Intalink Promotional vehicle . . . . a small converted mobile library that wanders around Hertfordshire visiting towns across the County every 6 weeks or so, and which contains all printed publicity that is supplied by operators, as well as HCC maps and tendered service leaflets.

    As far as the above comment is concerned . . . . I've always supplied timetable booklets to local council offices, libraries, railway stations, in fact anyone who wants them, and said "if you run out, ring me and I'll send some more down". In practice, no-one ever does ring for more . . . . and it does get depressing when you spend (sometimes) days delivering timetables, and you know they'll just end up in a cupboard, even when you replace the display racks with your own versions.

    I'll just point out that Intalink is part-funded by the operators, and holds meetings every few months to discuss promoting bus services in Hertfordshire. It's very much a two-way concern, and we've got some new campaigns coming out in 2017 (including "How to catch a Bus") . . . believe it or not, there are children catching school buses now whose parents haven't been on a bus in 20 years, and they don't understand "Face the Driver and Raise Your Hand . . . You'll find that He will Understand!". And then there's the concept of "money" and "tickets" . . . . Oh Dear!!!