Saturday, 11 November 2017

And More From Our Newsdesk

Sheffield's Secret Service Change
T M Travel's "line 30" is smartly branded with shiny buses and a striking leaflet design (if you can find one!)
From Monday 13th inst that service increases from every 30 minutes to every 20 minutes. "But," as Chris Tarrant was wont to say, "we don't want to give you that!" As of Friday 10th at 0800 (an early start for fbb!) the T M Travel web site remained resolutely silent on the matter. [still secret at 1900 yesterday]
Every 30 is all that was on offer.
Travel South Yorkshire is still headlining changes from last September with no mention of anything more recent.
If, as a result of some ethereal inspiration by an omnibus muse you do happen to check the timetables pages, you will find the new times there. From Monday, every 20 minutes.
Reports suggest that there has been some sort of "launch" for the increased service recently at Crystal Peaks. The "extra" bus was on display and freebies were given out, pens which included a timetable? There is, of course, no sign of anything in print in the Sheffield enquiry offices.

Hopeless in Hoddesdon
Lest week Mrs fbb was at her annual prayer and bible study "do" at High Leigh, Hoddesdon, Hertforshire. One fine afternoon she and some of "the girls" took a stroll into the town. Obediently the good lady visited the Library cum Information office on the High Street.
"Sorry," said the very nice lady but with acute embarrassment, "we only have information on line. I can look it up for you." What Mrs fbb had been commanded to investigate was the availability of information in a form such that, say, a newcomer to the town could investigate possible travel opportunities.

Having stuff on-line in a library is hardly the solution. No doubt passenger numbers are declining in Hertfordshire as residents and visitors alike seek to reveal the secret service there.

As Professor Higgins advised in My Fair Lady, "For High Leigh Hoddesdon Hertforshire, homnibus hinformation hardly hever happens;" or something like that.

From Russia With Love
London Underground has recently plastered stickers all over one of its "S" trains extolling the delights of culture in Russia.
Grigor Mendeleev organised the elements into a table to the consternation of generations of schoolboys (and girls!) who had to learn it, but never really understood it!
We are all familiar with Russia's balletic heritage, BUT ...

Quite what relevance this has to the average squashed commuter on the non circling Circle Line is not at all clear.

A Moscow Metro train will be adorned with UK cultural images (tube staff on strike?) late this year.
Hey, it looks just like Baker Street station?

Liberté, Libre, Égalité, Fraternité!
An on-line French news site (published in English) reminds us tat there is a growing trend in French towns to start a revolution in bus operation.
A town in Nouvelle-Aquitaine has become the largest urban centre to offer free public bus transport to all residents.
Niort, in Deux-Sèvres, is the latest town in France to offer all bus travel free to all users.

There are around 20 towns in the country that have a similar system, but Niort is the largest to offer its free scheme seven days a week, across 45 communes and 120 000 residents.

The mayor, Jérôme Baloge, has introduced the system in a bid to encourage more people to use public transport, and also to highlight the many different ways commuters can choose to travel instead of simply using their own car.

The buses in the town sometimes have just two or three people on them, he said to French newspaper Le Monde, and he would like to see that number rise.

Dunkirk has announced that it, too, will go free from September 2018. Currently the town's buses are free only at the weekend.
Some schemes are funded by an extra tax on businesses, but proponents claim the the tax is acceptable because free travel is good for business and good for employees.

One town has reverted to a fares system as the free travel was "too expensive".

It is worth remembering that urban public transport is already heavily subsidised in France, so, presumably, a bit more doesn't add as much to the bill as it would in the UK.

Could it happen in the UK? No chance, we do not do "joined up" thinking. Free buses mean ...

Less cars, less accidents, less pollution
Less police and rescue costs
Less hospital costs
Safer for pedestrians and cyclists
More customers for the shops
Better labour relations and reliability
No land wasted for large car parks

Add all that up (plus other less obvious savings) and it seem a cheap-as-chips idea. Come on UK government, give it a try!

Overrunning Rail Infrastructure Project
Regular readers will remember the storm damage to the Peterville carriage sheds when huge two-foot wide (scale!) hailstones destroyed part of the roof.
Removing the glazing damaged most of the glazing bars, a weakness in the design of the Dapol (formerly Airfix) platform canopies used to form the roof.
New thicker glazing was acquired, but, due to staffing difficulties and poor weather (fbb has been very busy and the summer was unusually wet in Seaton) work has been slow and sporadic.

But one side was completed last week (at last) as fbb installed 57 new glazing bars in a very challenging and fiddly bit of cutting and gluing.
A poor quality flash picture from fbb's phone shows one side complete and in situ.
Only another 66 glazing bars to replace on the other side!

Today fbb is at the annual model railway exhibition at Thorncombe, near Chard. Some photos will be included in tomorrow's blog, plus further "informative" "big transport" items.

The revised T M Travel service 30 timetable had arrived on-line by 0700 this morning.  No rush folks!
Or had it? When fbb clicked the link ...

"The secret's safe with us!", said a T M Travel spokesperson.

 Next hot news blog : Sunday 12th November 


  1. The TM website front page news item and timetables page has now been updated re the 30.

  2. Free buses at weekends. I think you will find that the Welsh Government have tried this on Traws Cambria services, with mixed results.

  3. The new 30 timetable is now on the TM website although it's as an Excel spreadsheet!

    Still no 57a on there and no mention of the upcoming withdrawal of the 294.

  4. Traws Cambria now known as Trawscymru.

  5. This is a very interesting web page and I have enjoyed reading many of the articles and posts contained on the website, keep up the good work and hope to read some more interesting content in the future.
    Psoriasis Oil
    Herbal Shampoo
    Antifungal Cream