Sunday, 7 January 2018
Various Things (2)
Refurbished Route 100
Various buses have been used, but, in recent years, smart single deckers have been provided ...
... together with some route specific publicity.
But the latest press release from First Essex introduces positive changes.
Customers travelling on the 100 service from Chelmsford to INTU Lakeside via Billericay, Basildon centre, the Hospital and Grays are in for a real treat, as First Essex has introduced a new route identity and spruced up the interiors with brand new seating.
The service is busy, linking local communities with Basildon Hospital and the Lakeside shopping complex and is very well supported by thousands of people every week who can sit back and enjoy a stress-free journey in comfort whilst travelling to their destination.
The investment in refurbishing and repainting the buses running on the 100 service equates to around £100,000. This is the latest phase in what has been a continuous roll out of improvements made to the First Essex bus fleet over the last 18 months.
Simon Davis, Head of Operations at First Essex said, "I am pleased to be introducing our new-look 100 service, I'm sure it will be well received by our customers. We are continually looking at ways to improve the services we provide, whether it be through new technology making it easier for customers to plan their journey and pay for their travel, or by introducing new buses and upgrading some of the older vehicles within our fleet."
In this case the existing fleet in rather insipid colours (complete with butterflies) ...
... is being refurbished
The 19 new Volvo 7900 hybrid single-deckers placed into service in April 2013 were the first in the UK.
The fettling up looks good, much better than the original style.
Note the text on the side ...
.... cleverly highlighting the route number. Will the passengers notice? Why is the middle "O" a different colour?
For those unfamiliar with the area (like fbb!) here is the route map - in two bits. Chemsford yo Basildon ...
... and Basildon to Lakeside (click on the map below to enlarge it).
Historically, the nearest that Rotherham came to having a bus station was several racks of stands in All Saints Square.
It was cluttered and busy and hardly ideal for the modern disease of health and safety.
So in the late sixties (?) a typically brutalist and basic bus station was built on Frederick Street.
It was a multi-storey car park with three draughty lanes of bus stands underneath - and not much else.
It was upgraded in 19 don't know when, reduced to two rows of stands (and four stands "round the back") but with a long tail added.
From next spring this fettling up will start.
fbb had never heard of Forge Island, but it does have a car park ...
... which used to serve a now-abandonned Tesco store ...
... with a convenient footbridge across the river leading to the town centre. So here's the cunning plan. The existing bus station and car park will close for refurbishment and about half the stands will be on the Island (lower left) ...
... and the other hanf in Corporation Street linked via the footbridge. PW is All Saints Church as in All Saints Square, old bus congregating place but now busless.
Having a look at local opinions on-line, most think that it os pointless throing good money and thee decaying car park and bus station, so why not build a completely new one, say on Forge Island.
Not possible, of course, because Rotherham had a money making plan to develop the Island with all the usual empty shops, near-bankrupt bistros and other low grade tat.
Sorry, is that wrong?
The authority exchanged contracts with Tesco for Forge Island on Monday, enabling it to press ahead with a £43.5 million regeneration plan. The council wants the land to play a major part of the town centre masterplan currently being drawn up by urban design company WYG Group.
Rotherham Council’s strategic director of regeneration and investment Damien Wilson said the authority was now well-placed to work with developers and investors to maximise the opportunities of the unique town centre site. He added: “By taking control of this important site, we now have the ability to drive-forward positive change. "Forge Island is a prime location sitting between the River Don and the South Yorkshire Navigation Canal – its unique position makes it attractive to investors and visitors alike. "Forge Island is central to restoring the town’s night time economy and we’re looking forward to seeing it become a vibrant leisure quarter.”
The council's cabinet member for jobs and the local economy Denise Lelliott said purchasing the land was key to delivering the wider town centre vision.
This is the same council that has recently agreed plans for an out-of-town shoppng centre with all the trimmings at Waverley ...
... this taking folk AWAY from the Town Centre. Waverley is the dot on the B6066 just above Handsworth.
Emily etc is postponed to later in the week.
Next surprise/no surprise blog : Monday 8th January