Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Bus Stop Shop Window (2)

Displaying Old And Unobtainable Products
fbb was staying at the Leicester Central (which isn't central) Premier Inn for his recent Grand Tour and make much use of Arriva's bus services that stopped outside the gate (well, nearly).

It is encouraging to see a nice blue panel showing Arriva's four services which fbb reckons an Arriva man-with-van stuck up there after months (years?) of out-of-date information. It happened, according to local correspondent David, some time after Arriva withdrew service 28 to the hinterland of Groby.
Is it too picky to suggest that the buses showing  29X  should be on the panel? These journeys run at  early and late shift times for Amazon warehouse near Bardon ...
... missing out all the villages and whizzing straight along the former A50. BUT, according to Traveline (above) they serve all stops en route including LOROS (Loros?)  but giving it a different name, i.e. Leicester Frith, adj Heathley Park Drive.

Heathley Park Drive is the road giving access to the housing developments which replaced Groby Road Isolation Hospital.
Why not rename the stop "Heathley Park"?

Loros (or ...) is unknown to Traveline ...
... but Heathley Park pops up happily.
Likewise on Arriva's JP - but what and where is Leicester Frith?
LEICESTER-FRITH, or SHERMANS-GROUNDS, an extra-parochial tract in Barrow-upon-Soar district, Leicestershire; 2 miles NNW of Leicester. Acres, 240. Real property, £529. Pop., 24. Houses, 4. Frith House here is the seat of Miss Mackie.

How many Leicester folk know that? More to the point, is it in any way helpful to bus passengers? It's memory is not pleasant as the mansion referred to above ...
... became a mental hospital.

The property was taken over during the First World War as a home for patients suffering from "heurasthenia", what might now be referred to as "nervous exhaustion". In 1920 Leicester Borough Council purchased the property from the Ministry of Pensions for use as a home for the "mentally defective". The Leicester Frith institution opened on 30 August 1923 initially accommodating 30 boys. 30 girls and 60 women.

Thankfully we are a bit better at dealing with mental illness these days!

But we digress. Back to that "flag"
Services 50, 54, 121 and 123 no longer operate and haven't done so for some considerable time! Well done to all concerned for helping the bus passenger by explaining things so clearly!

But inside the shelter is one of those very very long Leicester lists showing every departure in time order.
As everything except UHL runs to St Margarets bus station, surely it would be more helpful to the intending passenger to list the UHL in a separate table.

The super-simplicity of timetables from  good-old Northampton Corporation would be ideal for this site ...
... but the folks who drive the confuser systems seem obsessed with the idea that "if the computer produces it, it must be best" combined with the myth that every stop MUST be provided with the same looking stuff. 

fbb arrived at the stop in time to see the 0932 service 27 toddle pass (no passengers boarding or alightimg) ...
... but the UHL did not appear on time, despite assurances from Deep Throat.
fbb's 29 arrived, loaded and departed at 0938 with the screen (as above but a couple of mins later) still broadcasting that it was due in two minutes.

So much for accurate electronics!

Readers may have noticed the label on the flag for "Leicester Hospital Hopper".
This links the three Leicester hospitals with the station and two out-of-town shopping centres. It is aimed at hospital staff but available for all. Oddly it appears on departure lists and "nearly real time" screens as "UHL" rather than "LHH".

Indeed the publicity leaflet declares optimistically ...
... but incorrectly for Loros!

fbb thinks, in a previous life, branded buses were used with the Hospital Hopper name prominent on the vehicles. Or not? Maybe an aberrant memory? Today's buses show UHL as a route "number" on the blind ...
... so "UHL" on the stop might be better and consistent with other services. That's what it says on the other side of the road.

No doubt some of fbb's critics will accuse him of making petty complaints; BUT ...

Most of what is wrong at this "Shop Window" costs hardly anything to put right; it needs a bit of thought and a few moments to peel off unwanted numbers. It could even be a "community project" and cost even less.

If "we" (corporately) wish to encourage bus travel and make it easy for passengers to understand, then sorting out the supposed trivialities will help enormously.

And a final concern at the Loros (or LOROS or Heathley Park) to City stop.
See how easy it would be for a passenger in the shelter to step out into the path of a speedy cyclist and be knocked down OR, even worse, force the cyclist to swerve into the road in front of something large and fast moving. There is no "cycle track" on the other side of the road ...
... so we must assume that the two-wheeled danger can approach from both directions.


Tomorrow we (unlike cycles!) cross the road and "enjoy" the outbound stop.

 Next "shop window" blog : Thursday 26th April 


  1. The UHL buses are still branded as 'Hospital Hopper', no idea when or where the picture FBB used was taken as not only is it not the normal branded vehicles, it is not an example of the normal spare vehicle for the UHL nor was it actually a Leicester based bus for very long (it was delivered in mid-May 2015 to Leicester but moved on to its intended home at Luton by the 8th July). Hospital Hopper is the brand name whilst UHL is the route number.

    Roadside in Leicester is complicated and 'political' the City Council are very defensive of their infrastructure and don't like operators doing too much but aren't really very good at updating them by themselves. The operators are hamstrung by a council trying to take more control than they have the resources to manage. I would agree with fbb about the style used, I am not a fan (and the newer style used elsewhere is if anything worse) as it can be difficult where there are a number of different routes to try to identify specific routes in the list (in this the stop mentioned is not the worse as all bar one service follow the same route so the difference stands out more than some others). The colour sections on the flag appear to have been done by the operators whilst the black on white ones are the out of date details left by the council. LCC were in the process of replacing all the flags but it appears to have stalled quite quickly but the Groby Road corridor was supposed to be part of that scheme.

    1. So when FBB says "todays buses", he illustrates this with a shot taken from nearly 3 years ago.

      Much chortling!!

      Some local authorities are pragmatic in allowing bus companies to update bus stop numbers and timetables. Others are very precious and protective for fear of being accused of favouring particular operators etc.

  2. Isn’t that ideal super simple Northampton ‘timetable’ really just a departure list. I thought they were frowned on here