Tuesday, 6 February 2018

It's a Boon When Crossing the Lune (2)

It Was Correspondent Alex ...
... who, on 17th January inst, alerted fbb to a bit of a Lack in Lancaster. He wrote:-

Currently, 2 bridges link Lancaster/Morecambe (1 in each direction), however, several months ago, the council announced one would have to be closed for 6 months from the end of January, with the other bridge being converted to two way traffic. With two weeks to go, Stagecoach have remained totally silent and not published any information regarding new routes or timetable, the longer distance alone means running times will need to be increased, let alone the likely significant increase in traffic.

Was this lack of info a usual Stagecoach in Lancaster problem, pondered fbb. But Alex continued.

In Lancaster, Stagecoach have been very good at producing paper timetable leaflets (sadly they aren't always accurate, can't have it all). But they are running out of time as no new information for these upcoming changes has appeared yet. There are no posters or information at the bus station.
Lancaster bus station was reopened after a rebuild in 2001 and it looks quite smart ...
... inside and out. But photos can be out-of-date and deceptive as a recent local news item suggests.

Some bus users say the refurbishment which took place last year is not enough.

“The windows inside are dirty, there are huge spider webs inside ...
... a broken clock, pigeon droppings all over,” said one bus user who did not wish to be named. Some bus users have also said the flooring is still the same as when the station was flooded from Storm Desmond in December 2015.

“It needs closing down for a proper deep clean,” said another bus user. The refurbishment last July saw bus services move to other parts of the city for six weeks.

Councillor James Leyshon ...
... Cabinet member with responsibility for property services, said: “Whilst the recent improvement work undertaken at Lancaster Bus Station was quite extensive and involved painting all internal and external steelwork, walls and railings as well as a number of minor maintenance and accessibility improvement works, it was never intended to be a full building refurbishment as some bus users appear to have thought. 

Nevertheless, it is still better than when fbb last visited whilst on a family holiday at Silverdale. The domestic authorities allowed a hour for investigation and photographs and fbb was utterly underwhelmed.
But we must return to the Greyhound Bridge closure as covered in yesterday's blog.

The very next day, 18th January, Alex penned another note to fbb:-

Obviously your magic powers work wonders!. Less then 24 hours later and the website and journey planner were finally updated. Sadly no sign of any updated timetable (paper or digital) yet. Very pleased to see that through ticketing has been introduced where routes have been spilt.

Thank you for the accolade Alex, but, sadly, even this blog could not influence the Stagecoach management before fbb actually wrote it!

But there was an exciting Alexian update on 19th January.

Just thought I would send in another quick update from Lancaster. Went for a trip on Sunday and was very surprised that Stagecoach do finally seem to have got their act together. Buses featured signs about the changes, paper timetables have been produced and were available on all of the buses I travelled on. I passed through the bus station after the information office was closed and was shocked to discover that leaflets had been sensibly placed by all the stands for their relevant departures.

So we can now see what is happening in its full and delightful detail ...
... well, six months of future, anyway.
In essence the scheme is simple. Grehound Bridge is closed completely for the duration of the major refurb work ...

... Skerton Bridge and Morcambe Road (top left) become two way and a few bus stops are moved. 


But the traffic will be worse with significant hold-ups, and, even off peak, running times will need to be increased. It is not just a simple stroke-of-the-pen diversion; it will need a significant re-cast of most services through and to Lancaster.

There is not enough space (or fbb brain power!) to include the changes in today's blog, so, for the detail, our eager reader will have to wait until tomorrow. In the meantime a bit more Bridge chat.

The Re-Cycled Bridge
You may remember that the Greyhound Bridge was rebuilt in 1911.
The Halton Bridge (that's the very narrow one) was built to give the residents of Halton access to their new station, opened in 1849.
But it was on the wrong side of the river, hence a wooden bridge was installed ...
... to provide a toll road/path from village to platforms.
The Midland Railway Company used bits of the old Greyhound Bridge to built a stronger iron crossing which stands today. It was opened in 1913.
Neat idea, eh?

Halton station building remains ...
... and the trackbed is part of a riverside path which will take you all the way to Kirby Lonsdale.
 The railway rambled on to join the current Giggleswick to Carnforth line at Wennington.

 Next Lancaster blog : Wednesday 7th February 

1 comment:

  1. Try http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/council/strategies-policies-plans/roads-parking-and-travel/major-transport-schemes/greyhound-bridge-lancaster.aspx