Friday, 7 April 2017

Oooh La La : C'est Le Tour de Yorkshire (Deux)

That Makes Everything Perfectly Clear?
On April 30th this cycling event will involve road closures in the Penistone, Thurgoland and Stocksbridge areas north west of Sheffield.
We saw, in yesterday's blog (read again), that the bus companies seemed to know very little about their own future plans. The implication is that it is filed in the "all too difficult" bin and we will leave it to the Councils and the PTE.

Despite the operators' apparent corporate ignorance. Travel South Yorkshire has already published full details under its somewhat arbitrarily arranged list of "disruptions".
Clicking on the panel produces this page:-

The below road closures will take place on the day:

Manchester Road from Deepcar lights to Unsliven Bridge will be partially closed from 5am on Sunday 30 April. Side roads will also be closed, with access to Manchester Road either at Carr Road or Unsliven Bridge:

From 5am, the above road will have a “soft” closure at each end, which will allow only residents, businesses and buses to travel 
From 4pm the road will close completely
At 5.45pm access into Deepcar will resume
From 8pm all roads will be reopened

Some bus services will be diverted or suspended due to road closures for the race, and services 21A, 24A, 29, 57, SL1a and SL will be running to temporary timetables on 30 April.

Only a minor point BUT; There is no service SL - it is service SL1. There are three early morning trips on the 57 which run to Stocksbridge, otherwise the Sunday service terminates at Oughtibridge.

More information, and timetables for affected services, can be found at

So fbb clicked. And all was made un-immediately clear. The page simply repeated what had already been explained and provided another click to the revised timetables. It is worth remembering that none of this is highlighted in journey planners or on the TSY timetable pages. You have to KNOW it is coming or find it by chance.

But here is what TSY tells you.

 24a - Barnsley Thurgoland Penisone 
Service is simply abandoned at the critical times and morning journeys are diverted.
Thurgoland Bank is avoided by running further along the A629 and via Bower Hill to Oxpring which, despite Google maps is mainly situated at the bottom of Bower Hill.

 29 - Chapeltown Thurgoland Penisone 
Similar arrangements.
These are the two T M Travel routes which seemed a compete mystery to their Customer Service person!

 SL1, SL1A - Middlewood Stocksbridge 
These are operated by Stagecoach Yorkshire which "knew nuffink" about what was happening when fbb enquired. Perhaps the PTE hasn't told them?

But the arrangements are really complicated.
 Note A  Until 1445 buses will simply run along the main road to the Unsliven Bridge terminus (dotted line on fbb maps below) and the estates (Stubbin, East Whitwell, Garden Village) will not be served.
In the afternoon we get notes B and C
 Note B  Give up completely and terminate at Oughtibridge, as concisely explained in the note itself.

Journeys will operate as normal to Ougtibridge only. Buses will not serve Wharncliffe Side, Deepcar or Oughtibridge

Hmm? fbb thinks that the second "Oughtibridge" should read "Stocksbridge". Hey ho! A detail, a mere detail, old boy.

 Note C  This is a bit tricky, but, in layman's terms, these journeys will serve the estates but NOT the main road; i.e. the opposite philosophy of the morning service. Easy, isn't it?

Lets hope two things; one, passengers can understand it all and, two, Stagecoach Yorkshire, T M Travel and Yorkshire Tiger find out what is happening before April 30th.

Which leaves just one service.

 21A - Barnsley Penistone 

This is the Yorkshire Tiger service; the company that could not understand fbb's enquiry, because the member of staff was in Luton.
For most of the day the route is happily unaffected but the afternoon journeys are significantly changed. The 1410 from Barnsley doesn't make it to Millhouse Green, a suburb to the west of Penistone.

 Note B  These journeys (BLUE) operate via the uncoloured A629 and the blue A628, missing out most of the Penistone "suburbs" ...
... and turning here ...
... short of the town centre.

It is not easy!

Of course, managing a big road based event like this is bound to be disruptive for motorists and public transport. That much is understood.

The problem here is the way in which it is being publicised - or isn't being publicised.

TSY doesn't produce any printed material and these complex timetables will be baffling to any but the most savvy of locals. Will TSY deploy staff at the "roadblocked" areas? Fat chance!

Will the operators post notices and leaflets on their buses? Not sure.

Will there be clear notices at all affected bus stops? Not sure.

Will passengers be utterly baffled and angry when they cannot find their bus - any bus? You bet!

Will this be a good advert for the determination of the bus operators to make the best of an inevitably bad job.
But never mind, eh. It is all on-line.

Yesterdays blog seemed to ruffle a few feathers. fbb does not, usually, respond in detail to comments from and Anonymous but one does need a response.
Nothing would give the old man pleasure to print, not just a retraction, but a full update. The company websites will be monitored every few days and the Sheffield correspondents will be asked to check on roadside and poster publicity. These folk are, however, purely volunteers and fbb cannot guarantee that they will have time to rush over to Stocksbridge.

Of course, if fbb has misrepresented anything he will offer the fullest possible apology. But, so far, he hasn't.

What would be even better is for the  anonymi who have berated fbb to pursue their own enquiries for April 30th in the Stocksbridge and Penistone area and forward their conclusions to "the bored old man who has nothing better to do".

Direct email contact can be made to One important proviso, however, is that such information needs to be factual, not just unsubstantiated opinions.

One final point. IF a Customer Service person receives a query that they do not understand or cannot answer, should they not refer it to a superior in order that the Customer Service desk can provide service to the customer?

 Next variety blog : Satuday 8th April 


  1. Interestingly my son lives in Sheffield and walks or drives. After 8 years he has given up trying to work out bus times/changes/partnerships. Getting to work is easy because he knows when he starts. Variable finishing times cause problems in trying to find out when the next bus runs.

  2. I could (at the risk of enraging one of the more picky persons using Anonymous as protection) recommend an excellent timetable App for Sheffield. Visit for all buses in the City and fully up to date.