Saturday, 2 September 2017

Saturday's Seaton Snippets

Premier Pile Progresses
Next door to fbb mansions, the new Premier In is rapidly taking shape. It has reached its final four story height ...
... and the lower floors (made of wood) are now receiving their concrete "plating" which, when all is finished will look like fine dressed stone.
It will not be long before our Isle of Wight corespondent and avid Premier Inn Person can book his first visit.

Tram's Tinker Bell Trips!
Just a little further along the road, the Tramway is having a Fairy Special.
As fbb strolled past yesterday morning, he espied the queue for the first fairy tram of the day. The gaggle of tram customers included one junior fairy in costume, accompanied by two ...
... fairies of "more substantial proportions". Just glimpsed behind the bevvy of sprites is the "king of the fairies" in his rich red cloak; a tramway employee taking on the role of welcoming majesty. Sweet!

Mystery Musical Manifestation
On a lamppost nearby, fbb realised that he had just missed a concert to die for.
Sadly the psychedelic summer slammer was on August 26th, so fbb was unable to enjoy the finest psychedelically infused progressive and psy trance. Nope. The old man has not the slightest idea what all that means.


Simon Says ...
Not a party game, but an announcement from Mr Simon Newport, boss of First Bus in Dorset.
Sounds like a gentle let down to much reduced services. GoTimetable Seaton is more honest.
In Summer 2016, bus users were impressed with the decision to increase the service between Axminster and Bridport to every 30 minutes, continuing alternately to Dorchester or Weymouth. What was more amazing was that this enhanced service continued throughout the winter of 2016/2017. Those who asked were told that the more frequent service was "doing well".

Summer 2017 brought some minor timetable tweaks, but the pattern remained. (click on the map to enlarge it)
Buses ran every 30 minutes on the common section of route.
But from Sunday 3rd, the routes get the big Winter chop. Buses return to their historic frequency of hourly, proceeding erratically to/from Dorchester or Weymouth approximately every two hours, sometimes involving a change of bus at Bridport.
Disappointing but not surprising for the winter.
These changes, plus seasonal reductions on Weymouth area local routes are all to be found on the company's web site.
But what, we hear you cry, is happening to the ailing X52? Once part of the Jurassic Coaster between Exeter and Poole, recent reorganisations have reduced it to five return journeys between Exeter and Lyme Regis or Bridport. (click on the timetable for an enlargement).
It has maintained this pattern through winter 2016/7 and into this year's summer schedule. But now, as Simon says, it is to get the Winter chop. And what a chop! From Sunday (sorry, Monday - there is no Sunday service in the winter) the X52 is generously provided by just two return journeys between Lyme Regis and Exeter.
What a come-down!

First Bus have won the contract from Dorset Council for Woodroffe School Lyme Regis.
The X52 trips sit in between school runs when the bus would otherwise be parked up. Costs are low but passenger numbers will be even lower. Except in peak summer, the current (until Monday) X52 buses only carry a handful of passengers.

fbb predicts that there will be even fewer with this useless non-service.

First might as well not bother.

As an illustration of the not bothering policy, First's current web site tells us that the existing service will end ...
... one week AFTER the new slimmed-down-to-nothing-much X52 starts. Will there be seven journeys a day next week?
It's all on line, of course - and it's wrong!

Plymouth Pottiness
fbb's blogging colleague has been grappling with First Krnow's web site and its winter season timetable. Rather than pinch young Graham's stuff, it is easier to redirect our readers to his recent blog.

Read it (here)

Just a word of caution; by the time you read this, First might have sorted themselves out; doubtful but possible. In this case some of the Plymothian Transit links may have been amended.

 Next Sunday snippets blog : Sunday 3rd September  


  1. If you search you can now get timetables from this weekend but they are all only valid for 2 weeks with nothing beyond that!!!!

  2. And Yellow Buses in Bournemouth have caught the disease too!

  3. Having returned yesterday from attending a family holiday/wedding at Bridport I find the First news of service changes interesting!

    In several places I found copies of the First 'Explore the Jurassic Coast' leaflet 'From the 7 May 2017'. If you look hard there is a footnote at the bottom of one side saying that services are likely to change from the 3 September. Okay but it was that 'obvious NOT' that I didn't spot it until now.

    The comprehensive Wessex booklet (which I didn't find for a few days) was also available in some places and this clearly shows finish dates for other Weymouth area summer services such as 3 September but shows none on the X51 or X53! So you could assume that no changes are happening on those services.

    The main discussion locally (in the Bridport paper) was about the threatened withdrawal of the service 40 from Bridport to Yeovil.

    To see if anything was changing this coming weekend I popped into the Bridport Tourist Information Centre at mid-day on Thursday 31 August. The Summer leaflets were still on open display to take away!

    On another point the Jurassic Coast leaflet gives the impression of including all of the services that First operate around Bridport. I was surprised therefore to have a A first single deck 'Not in service' with passengers on board pass me on the coast road at Burton Bradstock when walking to the local beach. Once I had the Wessex booklet I was able to trace this as a journey on the 510 (which part duplicates the X53 - as a high fare tour). Why show 'Not in service', exclude it from the Jurassic Coast leaflet, and miss the opportunity of picking up more business!!

    The best place for bus information? Seaton Tourist Information Centre on the Wednesday. Well done Peter for your influence on the place.

    1. I ought to have added that in the village where we were staying the only mobile signal was on Vodaphone - which none of us had - and internet was intermittent. So we couldn't be the Cyberman bus users of today that operators want>