Monday, 6 February 2017

And Now, The News Headlines (1)

Stagecoach Sheffield
By Friday morning last, the company had managed to work out how to get rid of its out of date Travel South Yorkshire (TSY) timetable pages, and all displayed were showing "from 29th January".
As it is a TSY timetable and not one produced by Stagecoach, it is full of nonsense. Blog readers might like to muse on what exactly this front page panel is for.
It is good to know that the bus serves Crystal Peaks Bus Station AND Crystal Peaks Shopping Centre. It is not encouraging to note that the "route" claims to serve Sheffield Interchange, never reached by 70 and 70a. But sad to realise that other places, like Eckington Bus Station, Killamarsh and even Chesterfield are NOT "on the route".

Looking back to the upper screenshot, please note that service 72 does NOT serve Waterthorpe! The TSY map is generally out of date but correct for bus routes in the Mosborough "new town" area.
The Waterthorpe District Centre is NOT where "Waterthorpe" is shown on the map; it is in the orange and grey wiggle centre left. The 72 runs via the Sothall "township", centre right and missing from the list of "areas served".

Still, it's far easier to publish some else's rubbish that to do the job properly.

More Snappy Web Site Management
This time it's First Kernow. On 12th February there are a number of minor changes, but the biggie is the start of the "Tinner" service. The red liveried buses have been on the route for several weeks now and they do look smart.
The vehicles are to be used for the "main line" 18 (Truro to Penzance) nd 14 (Truro to St Ives). They carry rear end pictures of  tin miner, hence to name.

What Kernow have not trumpeted, in amongst free wifi, charger points, comfortable seats, sun lounge and free cocktails (spot the fbb lies) is that the T1 (Penzance) and T2 (St Ives) network will have a REDUCED timetable.

Currently the 14 and 8 each run every 30 minutes on the full length of their respective routes with short working from Truro to Camborne to bring that section up to every TEN minutes.
Unlike Stagecoach Sheffield, Kernow still allows you to see copies of their PDF timetables as printed in their excellent timetable book.
The one for the 14/18 is as shown above dated "from 17th October 2016) - therefore, correctly, showing the current service.

But, further down the list is a link to the revised and renumbered version.
Click on the link and "ping" up pops the shiny new Tinner timetable ...
There is no indication that it, too, isn't current.

As the service was usually operated by single deck buses, it is not unreasonable to trim the frequency between Truro and Camborne although it would have been more honest of First to come clean on the downside of the benefits of shiny new buses with all the trimmings. The publicity does say "every 15 minutes" but in a way which could be misconstrued as "same as now". It always was every 15 between Camborne and Hayle,

But somebody should make it clear in that PDF timetable section which service is operating today and when the change will be happening.

As usual with the First Bus "national" web site for First Kernow, you can get the new tables and dates from the "Forthcoming" tab in the Timetables section.
But according to the dates of operation printed alongside the "days list" the new service only operates Mondays to Fridays from 13th to 17th February; Saturdays on 18th February ONLY and Sundays on 12th February ONLY.

What happens after the first week? It hardly inspires confidence in the reliability of the new service.

Poor marks, Kernow.

Trouble at Exeter
Last September, Stagecoach opened a brand new depot at the Matford Park and Ride site in Exeter.
The former depot, just across the road from the bus station ...
... was needed for a redevelopment plan. But the Union is not at all happy with the arrangements which, apparently, involve extra car driving time to get to Matford, inadequate parking and a much longer "working" day.

The aggro has gone on for some time and the inevitable (?) consequence of a lack of agreement was revealed in the local press a few days ago.
An excellent way to encourage bus usage?

Toby Is Well Pleased
The extended engine shed at Peterville Quarry Railway has been dumped in situ to check clearances and other work needed. It is looking good and its main residents, Toby and Henrietta, have expressed their approval.
But there was one unexpected oddity. Everything on the layout is plastic with a slab of timber for the platform. The greenery is patio grass equally inorganic in composition. But there, inside the engine shed ...
... a small plant was growing, its roots enmeshed in the plastic backing for the plastic grass.

Such is the power of nature, destined to procreate. Pity it didn't sprout at 4mm to the foot scale!
Accurate modelling was always fbb's avowed aim.

Not really!

Hidden In Plain Sight
When fbb worked for Southern Vectis, his boss, Stuart Linn, was adamant that every bus timetable and leaflet should have a start date so people would know when a change would happen and/or had happened. He also expounded the need for an expiry date which is fine when a company runs a seasonal timetable change.

Less possible these days when changes seem to be always based on operator convenience and rarely on a sensible time to inform the passengers.

Northampton correspondent Alan sent this quick snap of the booklet for the prestigious Gold X4, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Peterborugh and asks, "spot the start date."
There it is, top left and at right angles to the rest of the cover design. To help those with less than perfect sight it is printed in a small type-face in medium blue ink on the slightly darker blue background.

And well done London Midland for celebrating our Nation's Olympians by painting some of their station name-boards in gold.
Maybe, just maybe, white lettering was not the best choice?

More news bits and pieces tomorrow; mostly from the rail industry.

 Next big railway blog : Tuesday 7th February 

1 comment:

  1. Not an excuse for First Kernow, but I suspect the 1 week timetable has something to do with half term holiday and the differences between Schoolday and School holiday schedules