Friday, 3 February 2017

Bouquets, Boos and Bears - The Sequel

Old man, fbb is the name
Must lower his head deep in shame
For poor omnibology
Requires an apology
This blog will ne'er be the same!

He ranted that no-one was able
To find the latest timetable
Stagecoach, he railed
Had utterly failed
With old ones as poor as a fable!

But timetables had been updated
Your blogger should not have berated
The Stagecoach designers
Of websites the finest
Success can be contemplated.

OR CAN IT? - Read on!

On Tuesday, fbb reported that Stagecoach (South) Yorkshire could not be bothered to put any of its own timetables on-line. Even the heavily revised 71 and 72 were a state secret; this despite there being an excellent leaflet in racks on some of the buses.
But, thanks to a a fluke by a blog reader and comment writer, fbb can now reveal that ALL the revised timetables are available on the relevant stagecoach web sites.

These are not Stagecoach timetables, of course, but standard TSY on-line pages.

But they have been available for several days! There is, however, one small, almost imperceptible snag.

They are so well hidden that passengers are very unlikely to find them,

If you search, for example, for the new service 72 ...
... up comes the old 72. But if you scroll downwards to the end of the old 72 pages ...
... to page 15 in fact, the very next page is Page 1 of the new 72 service non-leaflet.
How deucedly clever of Stagecoach to hide the information that people need so effectively. How amazingly perceptive of the company NOT to tell people how to find the new timetables. How superbly incompetent to leave all the old tables in priority position nearly a week after the timetable change.

And do remember that NONE of these is available in printed form.

Meanwhile in Rotherham
We know that First has renumbered several of its routes by adding 100. 
Some of these have also had timetable changes as well. The other main player in the Rotherham Bus non-Partnership (Stagecoach) has also made some significant alterations; although trying Rotherham as a location on Stagecoach's poor new web site, the company is adamant ...
... that nothing has changed.
Absolutely nothing has changed in Rotherham.

The PTE (Travel South Yorkshire - TSY) is proud of its record in delivering a high standard of service to its customers. As evidence of this high quality, TSY provides no printed information whatsoever.

So one of our Sheffield correspondents sped over to Rotherham Interchange on Tuesday last, the third day of the change.
There he presented himself to the "Customer Information Desk" to pick up copies of the changed timetables.

I went to Rotherham this morning (Tuesday 31st January).

Nothing new at all. in fact, WORSE, old, out of date First leaflets with wrong service numbers were still on display on the leaflet racks behind the Customer Service desk. Unchanged Stagecoach leaflets which are now out of date were also on display.

I asked a CSO (= Customer Service Officer, a contractor, not a PTE employee) why out of date information was on display, the reply was "We have no new leaflets to replace them with". 

Terrible, it would be better if they were told to remove them, but I suppose nobody is bothered to tell the CSOs, and the Operators haven't been bothered to deliver any new leaflets (if any exist).

And So To Barnsley
We know that quite a lot had changed in Barnsley. There have been drastic cut backs in services to Thurgoland and Wortley and between Penistone and Stocksbridge. A typical town service chop is a reduction to service 66, descendant of the former "Jump Circular".
Here the Saturday service has been cut from every 10 minutes to every 12.
Once upon a time it used to be every 7 and 8 minutes on Mondays to Fridays.
Our Sheffield man "John", bitterly disappointed with absolutely NOTHING in Sheffield, doubly disappointed by absolutely NOTHING in Rotherham, travelled on to Barnsley on Wednesday 1st February.

To say things were better is not saying much; they couldn't be worse than NOTHING.

There was a desk at platform level staffed to a Stagecoach employee where a selection of newly printed Stagecoach A7 mini-leaflets was available plus the new network map and a leaflet giving general details of all the changes.

"John" asked for one of everything and, a little reluctantly ...
His Stagecoach "collection" was as follows.
You gotta catch 'em all ... but it sure is hard work.

This would appear to be a full set of Stagecoach printed leaflets for the changes, with the exception of 265 - but, of course that is run by Stagecoach in Sh*ff**ld and we wouldn't want anything to do with that scurvy lot would we?

No "other operator" had provided any printed material but someone had photocopied the PTE non-printed non-leaflets and these were available if you could pass the Spanish Inquisition as to why you might want one.

How strange that we are suggesting that a poor quality mess is actually "a good thing"!!

"John" offers this telling conclusion.
Yep! That's it in a nutshell.

But fbb adds.

This was a special effort in the first week of a widespread set of changes. What will be available in a month's time? For how long will photocopies TSY stuff be available? And how soon will be it before more services are cot back "due to lack of passenger demand"?

That scheme of fbb's seems a good way forward.
They might be in there for a very long time.

P.S. As this blog was being completed yesterday evening (before "Death in Paradise"), the new Stagecoach timetables all remained discretely hidden (as above) via an unexplained scroll down. All the out-of-date tables are still the first to be presented on-screen.

 "The Doors Fell Off" blog : Saturday 4th February 


  1. That is ludicrous. It literally takes TWO minutes to create service update so it appears front and foremost on the main page. Other Stagecoach companies seem to manage that!

    But fair play to Stagecoach for at least doing something this time "on the ground". As this erstwhile blog has shown, the whole publicity situation in South Yorkshire is a joke.

    I was in an a South Yorkshire location last week (must protect my identity) and wanted a copy of a network map as I actually needed one to travel about.

    Now they've got lovely leaflet holders at every stand in the Interchange in question and a grand spanking rail station next door. Guess what.....NOT ONE PIECE OF BUS PUBLICITY for me to take. I went to the info desk and asked for a network map in the rack behind the person serving. I felt like I was asking for 20 Marlboro! Its a map, not something going to kill me!

    They obviously want folk to use the touch screen computers on the main platform level. Yeah, I can see Auntie Doris* in Goldthorpe using one of those...

    *Not a real family member

  2. Those terminals are useless. They are often non-working; the print-out is usually illegible and mostly incomprehensible. A waste of money and space.