Friday, 17 February 2017

Too Much Clutter : Going to Lutter ... (2)

... Worth. Going Loopy Yet Again.
Not that long ago, Arriva leaflets all had splendid maps which made the bus route very clear indeed. Some still do, as per the new leaflet for the 26, 27 and 29 at Groby reviewed earlier this week. These PDF maps used to be available on the company web site.

But not now. Now we have to endure computer generated blobby wonders which suffer from the usual disease of being technically comprehensive, but practically incomprehensible.

This is the "outward" offering of service 84 at Lutterworth:-
Despite a careful perusal of the timetable, you investigative blogger has absolutely no idea what the curved line (Bill Crane Way and Bitteswell Road) is representing.

And this is the "return" route:-
fbb challenges his most competent readers and comment writes to explain what is going on here. OK, in desperation, try Traveline East Midlands ...
... with its helpful selection of possible 84s, many of which seem to be from a strange expansion of the site's avowed geographical area!

The "outward" map is much the same but the little furry creatures ...
... in  Traveline's Deep Throat confuser seem to have found a few extra stops,
But still no explanation of the diversion away from the main road. Traveline also seems to think that buses run into Morrisons Car Park, ...
... stop near these railings and retrace their steps.

The "to Leicester" manifestation seems to be presenting something slightly more helpful.
Hooray! At last! It's a loop - innit.

To confirm the awful truth, we can look up Leicestershire's bus maps where we find a selection of cartographic usefulness including a bus map of Lutterworth.
The GREEN line is our 84 and the YELLOW lines show the 84A variant with two options for the bit to the south west of the town centre.

With a little imagination, it is just about possible to match the timetable and the route in Lutterworth.
In this rough-and-ready paste-up we are stuck with two Lutterworth Morrisons stops, plus a Lutterworth Barclays Bank, which could also be known as Town Hall or High Street; and should be between George Street (i.e. Market Street) and Meriton Road.

But with a little bit of care and a lot of consideration for the harassed passenger, Arriva could produce some web timetables and maps which might, just might, tell people where and when their buses run. Once this secret is revealed there is the (remote?) possibility that more passengers might be tempted on to the shiny new branded buses.
But that would never do, would it?

To keep things really clear, we need to remember that the "Morrison's" stop (at the very end of the loop) ...
... is in George Street (store is top left on the map below) ...
... whilst the George Street stops aren't.
They are on Market Street, hence their name.

The only "time point" actually on the loop is "Lutterworth Meriton Road".
Of course, there is no stop at or near Meriton Road. Two contenders vie for the inappropriate stop name award. This ...
... is further back along the route and might be better called "Woodway Stores".
This stop, however, ...
... is at the far end of Woodway Road and might be better named "Red Arrow" after the pub on the corner. Both establishments appear to be alive and well.

Which all leaves us with one vital question. Why is it that bus companies, passenger groups, local authorities and government "watchdogs" tolerate this rubbish? Using a modicum of common sense, a piece of paper and a pack of felt tip pens it is possible to sort the garbage out.

But it is all too easy for the trouble to get even worse. 

Once the rubbish is there, it becomes the norm and its perpetrators forget that they have abandoned useful reality in favour of some "sustainable" electronic nonsense.

To complete the shambles, this is the heading for Arriva's on-line timetable for the service 84 to Lutterworth.
Beyond belief!

 Next weekend variety blog : Saturday 18th February 


  1. Garbage In - Garbage Out.
    If Arriva's files were accurate, everything else should flow from it. But the closest we can get to checking is to seek the "all stops" versions of the timetables on the Arriva website. And while looking perfectly OK in greater Leicester, at Lutterworth only timing points are shown, ignoring all other stops. No wonder it's such a mess - it simply hasn't been done or checked properly (and that would presumably still be the same if it was done on a bespoke basis, rather than this system-led version).
    I would not be surprised to find that no-one from head office has ever ridden on the route around Lutterworth.

  2. Wow, what an interesting blog.
    Keep up the good work,
    Yours sincerely

  3. That Morrisons car park issue is an easy fix. It's a frequent issue in the mapping software where as in this case only a narrow pavement separates George Street where the layby is and the car park. You just need to keep moving the stop point slightly until it georeferences in to the road instead of the car park then the route trace will correct itself.

  4. It is even easier to draw a "manual" map by tracing the streets; then you can put stops where they need to be. The computer is too think to make such difficult decisions!