Thursday, 14 September 2017

Whoop With Joy : Throop Ahoy! (2)

There are problems when you link together "oddments" of bus route to create an operationally viable service to low-use areas.

fbb found the signs in Bournemouth for his chosen D1 unhelpful. On a Saturday very few buses go "all the way" to Christchurch and, as a comment writer mentioned yesterday, you would not want to use the D1 to make that journey when there are plenty of buses that get there much quicker. You would go for a "P" (Bob!).
The wiggly D1 uses the same Bournemouth "Square" stop as the Ps and two of the Rs.
True, they all go via Boscombe and P1, 2 and 3 go to Christchurch; but ...

It is significant that on fbb's D1 EIGHT passengers were either on the wrong bus or did not really know where they were going. In all cases they alighted to try again. (Two fares for Yellow Buses, rather than one!)

The main reason for the extending delay was that the ticket machine was not working. Every OAP dutifully plonked their card on the thingey, and waited for the bleep which did not bleep. The driver had to tell them that it was not working.

What was worse, neither was the ticket machine capable of issuing tickets. The (few!) cash customers had to wait while a hand written receipt for the fare was issued.

Hence 20 minutes late for lunch!
Kelly's Kitchen looked ideal, but it was packed to the rafters, with people queueing for tables. With just 25 minutes until departure ...
... fbb's vision of a freshly cooked ham egg and chips plus a freshly brewed flagon of tea was unattainable.

Next door was Subway!
It is a terrifying experience, only safe for the young or the brave. Fortunately there wasn't a queue, so fbb was able to plan his responses to the series of  near incomprehensible questions.

Which bread?
Standard or footlong?
Which sub?
With melt?
What salad?
Which salad stuff?
Which sauce?
Which drink?

fbb managed to order a "big beef melt" footlong with tomato and cucumber and honey mustard sauce ...
... and was well pleased to survive the ordeal. A quick nip to "the usual offices" and the next bus was due. It was still raining.

There are two stops-plus-shelters in Christchurch High Street ...
... which have changed slightly since Google Streetview trundled by. It as simply impossible to eat the "footlong" and remove dribbles of honey mustard sauce from clothing whilst attempting to take pictures with a damp and greasy mobile phone!

The far stand seemed to be for "More" buses (Wilts and Dorset in disguise) and offered no electronic help.
But the Yellow Buses technology was working and showed fbb's R6 back to Bournemouth Hospital, visited earlier via the D1.
There also the confidence boosting departure list in a fame on the shelter.
So at 1321 the departure disappeared from the electronic sign and no bus appeared - it, too, was ten minutes late. Same old, same old.

"R" is for "Royal Line" as in Royal Bournemouth Hospital. The R6 isn't important enough to support a route map of its own, so a bit of the very poor network diagram will have to suffice.
Its immediate predecessor was the 3a ...
... but neither "map" is helpful. A better map is found which shows all the Rs together.
In this vat of information, you can find a PDF timetable for the R6 which reveals a hitherto well-kept secret, namely that R6 buses become R4 buses at the Hospital (and vice-versa).
Quite why it isn't numbered R4 all the way is not made clear. But we are taken on a trundle round the byways of Fairmile ...
... with plenty of car owning families contributing just one boarding and two alighting passengers. The route returns to the real world at the delightfully named Jumpers Corner. Assuming fbb has identified this "Corner" correctly, it sports a wonderful four-way finger post ...
... an extremely rare item in an urban area.

At the hospital our R6 obediently becomes an R4 ...
... whilst fbb waits for a B3. It is worth mentioning that the R6 ticket machine would not cope with OAP passes!

It was this bus which fbb thought would take him to Throop, like the network diagram says.
The "B" signifies "Bourne" line, named after a stream which runs right through the town, entering the sea at Bourne Mouth! Local resident Barry Doe thinks the bus's name is daft. "Every bus in Bournemouth intersects with the Bourne Stream," he insists, "so every bus should be a Bourne Line bus."

A particular delight in the town are the candle-lit displays in the lower park ...
... many of which are set up on the banks of and in the Bourne Stream.
Back to Throop.
But, sadly, fbb was not to get to Throop.
This ancient village ...
... and its mill on the River Stour ...
... are not served by the B3 which merely visits nearby and impersonal estates before zapping down the Moordown Road back into town.
Throop did have a bus service until a year or so ago, namely the magnificent 41 ...
... running three times a day Mondays to Fridays.
But Bournemouth Council cut the funding and all that is left is a schooldays service 46 ...
... outwith the ability of fbb to take a ride and (possibly) walk back to the B3.

The B3 ride was, therefore, uneventful; except that its ticket machine was not working and paying passengers were issued with hand written receipts, as shown here, surreptitiously snapped by fbb.
And it wasn't the same bus as yesterday's D1 also with non working machine. Indeed whilst typing this, the old man now remembers that, on his bus from Station to Town, OAPs were just waving heir cards at the driver because the machine was busted.

Were any ticket machines working last Saturday?

How much OAP revenue was lost?

The B3 helpfully pulls into the railway station whence fbb could get his train back to Wool; but there were fun and games still to be had on the class 444. But that snippet may have to wait until the weekend.

 Next Sheffield Leaflets blog : Friday 15th September 


  1. Most people manage in Subway.

    It says a lot about you and this blog that its too much for you.

    1. If you can't say anything constructive (or identify yourself) then you're a fool.
      Not all people like the quick-fire questions in Subway . . . I prefer to consider my answers, and for that reason I avoid the place (once was enough).
      As Mrs 727 would say "grow up, dry up and blow away!"

    2. Well said, greenline. Anon's comment says as much as we need to know about its author. In future if he's got nothing better to say I suggest he doesn't bother.

    3. Most people may 'manage' in Subway, but I'd rather go somewhere where I can 'enjoy'. I may be more Subway's target age demographic, but I'm with FBB all the way. I'd much rather sit down in a friendly cafe, rather than feeling like I'm being shunted along a conveyor belt whilst someone fires questions at me. Yes I can manage Subway, but its not an experience I'd seek out!

    4. I'm sure I'm too old to be included in Subway's target age demographic, but I actually enjoy having the choices, and don't feel pressured by the questions.
      And the food, with choice of bread, salad, etc, is far healthier than the "chips with everything" served in some cafes!

  2. Fear not Greenlin727, our childish and mealy mouthed comment writer usually gets deleted, but I appreciate your response, so I will leave him there for a while! Maybe he doesn't have a sense of humour?

    1. Why don't you learn how to reply to comments rather than make new ones?

  3. Our blog writer on his tour of Poole, Bournemouth & Christchurch experiences three diffrerent real time systems.

    Poole Councils display system from Poole to County Gates/ Westbourne, then Bournemouth Councils from Westbourne to Tuckton Bridge and on his return from Iford Bridge to Bournemouth Station also Bournemouth's. Whilst east of the River Stour (Tuckton Bridge to Christchurch and Christchurch to Iford Bridge) Dorset County Councils controlled from Dorchester. Some may remember this was Hampshire until 1974 as was Bournemouth.

    1. Not quite true. Poole and Bournemouth is the same system until as you say Iford where it becomes the Dorset system. Both are connected by Siri feeds to pass predictions.
      Ken Traveline Dorset.