Wednesday, 7 February 2018

It's a Boon When Crossing the Lune (3)

Be Prepared!
It seems that, after a few collywobbles when nothing had appeared, the dominant operator of Lancaster's bus services has made a good effort at informing the passenger of the changes and dangers of the Greyhound Bridge closure. The Commercial Manager of Stagecoach Lancaster (in uniform, above) and his team have put significant effort into giving the public dire warnings ...
... and more detailed information on-line. (click on the graphic below to enlarge it).
But, not only for the minority of passengers who seek their information on-line, there was also plenty of stuff for the for the above average number of Lancastrians who like to clutch a piece of paper or notice a printed notice. The latter were plentiful ...
... and very obvious, augmented by a different style with a pseudo bridge on it ...
... in case you weren't at all sure what one of them might be. Of course there is the slight possibility that a Heyshamer, Morecambrian or Overtonian might not have a clue where this bridge was.

Lancashire County's version of the news was tacked on to a monthly news poster (click on the graphic for an enlargement) ...
There it is, poked on the bottom left. (ditto)
There were plenty of lovely Stagecoach orange leaflets ...
... and correspondent Alex takes up the story again. (This is an extended version of a note partially posted yesterday).

Buses featured signs about the changes, paper timetables have been produced and were availbe 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 relevent departures.

The leaflets themselves leave a little to be desired, the number of timing points seems to have been reduced for some reason. Only the 4/49/5/555 timetable features a map (not available on-line) and minimal fares information (day passes only); the others are just timetables.

Ah yes, maps. Lancashire County no longer produce their once excellent bus maps ...
... and Stagecoach have copped out completely. At first it looks hopeful ...
... goody goody. But a quick click and then ...
... which route is that?

Most definitely baddy baddy.

If fbb were a normal person (fat chance), arriving innocently in Lancaster he wouldn't have a clue as to what all the information might mean for practical purposes. It is now so incredibly easy to draw maps on a confuser; ask any seven year old to do it with a bit of fatherly help!

fbb would provide what was necessary (Lancashire please note) for a bargain fee and it would be right! (Modesty is the fat guy's only fault!). It is certainly not necessary to pay loadsa lolly to the so-called "professionals".

There also is a mildly ammusing typo on some bus services, they feature a note saying they run on school days only, and are then highlights in a colour meaning that they run 5 minutes later on school days.

Alex must be pretty clever to spot such a minor boob (click to enlarge this extract) ...
 ... but, generally, the presentation of school and university variants is inconsistent and confusing; but perhaps it always was pre bridge closure.
The notes are also hard to read.

There is, however, a more basic problem with the printed and on-line timetable publicity. Several services ran cross-City from Morecambe to the University and these have been split in Lancaster. This is a sensible plan because it allows supervisory staff at the bus station to make a valiant attempt to regulate the services if traffic is bad.


The leaflets are "split" by destination, one for Lancaster to Morecambe etc, one for Lancaster to the University.
Surely it would have been better to produce a 2/U2 leaflet. 3/4/U3/U4 leaflet etc, so through passengers could work from one piece of paper?

But let's not be too critical. This is a difficult piece of public transport management and Stagecoach have worked hard and pretty well to make the best of a bad sixth month experience.

Tomorrow we will look at an example of "before" and "after" and hear from an old pal of fbb's who has sent in some pictures and reports of how things have been running in the first few days.

 Next Lancaster blog : Thursday 8th February 

1 comment:

  1. Another failure of the temporary leaflets is that despite the very significant differences in University term time and holiday service levels there is no indication of term and holiday dates! After some prompting Stagecoach included this information in its normal leaflets, but it is missing from the temporary (6 months!) ones.