But back to today's privatised reality ...
They are easier to carry and passengers can collect the ones relevant to their journeys. The new system will save money and trees and will benefit the passengers of a modern public transport company.
Every effort has been made to keep passengers involved in the decision-making process and the company believes the majority of its customers will support the changes.
But they didn't.
So, with some revisions to the network over the bank holiday weekend, there comes a new timetable book. It is spiffing in (nearly) every way.
Thanks to the auspices of bus guru and chum Barry Doe, a copy dropped through the letterbox at fbb towers early last week.
It impressed immediately.
We will look in more detail at this Perfect Bound book (perhaps not entirely perfect in its contents) tomorrow, but, in the meantime, a matter for discussion or contemplation.
The Bournemouth book was available only one week before the timetable changes from a helpful and evident enquiry office near the main central departure points for the buses themselves.
The Weymouth book ...
The East Devon all-mode book was available in Axminster Station yesterday morning ...
Also on display were South West Trains booklets for changes (again minimal) starting on 21st May.
You cannot help thinking that there is a better way to handle timetable changes; perhps with more co-ordination brokered (thus legally) by ALL the local authorities.
Meanwhile, and talking of Local Authorities, outside the station, the electronic unreal time displays were actually working. Yippee!
Of course, the X51 is still shown as going to "South Station", a destination of mystery to most passengers. But these working signs present us with just a small niggle.
Yesterday was a Bank Holiday.
885 and 4 (also 30, not due when fbb was there) do not run on Bank Holidays.
Yep, you've got it! The super swishy electronic stuff was showing normal Monday times. USELESS.
Fortunately, and by pure flukey co-incidence, the X51 and X53 run a largely "daily" schedule; so their times will have been right. But most definitely NOT right earlier in the day and at evening "peak".
SouthWest Trains was running a Saturday service and trains to Exeter and towards London at just after 1100 were as busy (if not busier) that a normal weekday. But, for most routes, bus connections did not exist.
Public Transport is a real MESS!
Tomorrow, back to the comparative sanity of Bournemouth's new book.