Saturday, 19 May 2018

Saturday Silliness Report

Beyond Belief Yet Again!
A few days back, fbb reported on a really daft timetable published by Travel South Yorkshire [TSY], the withered publicity arm of South Yorkshire Passenger Transport not-very-Executive. Dynamically Executive-ing from its opulent office block plumb in the (very expensive) centre of Sheffield ...
... it managed to suggest that, for the "summer" service reduction, route 83 would drop from every 20 minutes to every 30 whilst route 83a would remain at every 20. (click on the screenshot below to enlarge it)
The world outside TSY towers will never known how this nonsense happened, but fbb suspects PTE incompetence rather than bus company incompetence.

But a few days ago, the on-line timetable was changed ...
... without announcement, note or warning.
Both services are now every 30 minutes giving a joint and even 15 minute headway over the common sections of route.

Thankfully, TSY has seen the error of whosoever made the bludner and corrected the misconception just over a week before the change.

Of course, neither TSY not the to bus operators will be printing any publicity for this change which has grown from a school summer holiday "trim" to a three month economy measure. What's the betting the full service doesn't return in September?

Or have they seen the error of their ways? Read on, good people!

Hot on the heels of the 83/83a correction comes the somewhat delayed publication of changes to service 7/8.

Or are they?
Ominously, no mention of service 8????

Service 7/8, like the 83/83a above, is/are a joint service cobbled together by the Sheffield Bus Partnership to improve buses in Sheffield - i.e. to reduce frequencies. 

7 is operated by Stagecoach and 8/8a by First. Both bus 7 and 8/8a run every 20 minutes Monday to Friday giving a ten minute frequency on the common section of the route.
The 7 starts from Crystal Peaks shopping centre and runs via Woodhouse and Normanton Hill whilst the 8, also starting at the shopping centre serves Base Green and Birley. They join near Manor Top (just off the map above) and run cross city ...
... via Wadsley Bridge and Wordsworth Avenue to terminate at Ecclesfield. The "summer service reduction" operating for three months is "because thousands of students have gone home for the hols". Quite how this affects the 7/8/8a, serving traditional residential areas of the city, and NOT serving much of the Uni infrastructure, is unclear.

But here is a timetable extract for that service cutback.
And, yes, you've guessed it! Stagecoach service 7 is cut to every 30 minutes for the "summer" whilst First service 8/8a remains at every 20. Just like the 83/83a nonsense above, this leads to two buses running from Manor Top to Ecclesfield at 1232 - exactly the same times. This repeats once every hour.

If it isn't incompetence again, fbb will eat his hat!
fbb awaits a reply from First to confirm or refute the accuracy of the TSY non-leaflet. He will report when such a reply arrives - more accurately IF such a reply arrives!

A Big Surprise At Ashford - Not!
As you may have already heard, we’ll be introducing slightly bigger buses to little & often routes. We know that many of you love the convenience of the little & often service but wish the buses had a bit more space for your legs and shopping!
The buses will still be often – up to every 12 minutes on route B and every 10 minutes on route C, but with greater comfort and more capacity on board. 
So we are REDUCING frequencies.

It is reported that the new bigger buses will be Solos in standard Stagecoach livery but with "little and often" branding.

We’ve seen a fantastic 35% growth in bus use on these routes since we launched the little & often service just over a year ago.

So we are REDUCING frequencies.

We hope that bringing in these larger buses will build a network that works for you and is sustainable over the long term.

A new route A  service  linking   Singleton with the town centre will  also become part of the little & (not quite so) often network.

The switch to little & often on routes E and G didn’t result in an increase in bus use. This means that we now need to readjust the level of service in areas covered by these routes so that it matches more closely the actual demand for travel.

So we are REDUCING frequencies on G and WITHDRAWING route E.
The latter faces the unkindest cut of all from every 20 minutes ...
... on the northern side of town replaced by the occasional service 666 ...
... and a rejig of the hourly service 1.
The Orbital Park bit (south east of the centre) is covered by making he reduced service G run cross town ...
... and thus a less painful reduction.

When Stagecoach re-invented the "minibus revolution" at Ashford, bus watchers were either enthusiastic about Stagecoach's bravery or portenders of doom and failure. So the minibuses are being withdrawn and services handed over to "real" buses.
The too-small vehicles will be re-used by "other Stagecoach companies" - YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

So is it "Good News" or "Bad News"? "Good" if you would like a comfy seat and room for your shopping bags but "Bad" if you thought that you could make the historic "Minibus Revolution" work in the 21st Century.

It might also be bad news all round if these cuts eat back into the "encouraging" 35% growth and lead to a further series of reductions.

Hot News At Hunmanby!
Sheffield correspondent Roy has been on his travels again and observed a notable piece of publicity as he trundled through Hunmanby Station.

There it is, south of Filey on the railway line between Hull and Scarborough. The station building is now in private hands leaving a bus shelter-type unstaffed station.
It was this poster that attracted Roy's attention.
Warnings for the May 2018 change? Advance warning for December 2018 - the benefits of Northern Rail's improvements?
Nope. A Warning about changes from 10th December 2017, still displayed in mid-May 2018.

The station used to have a signal box, a crossover and a real building on the northbound platform.

 trouble with trams blog etc. : Sunday 20th May 


  1. Our local hospital closed last autumn in anticipation of winter staffing issues. It was announced, yesterday, that it will open again on 9th July. If the NHS think that winter runs until July why cannot a transport poster last for more than one year. After all, a felt tip pen to change it to 2018 is cheaper than a whole new poster.

  2. Ref Little and Often what was Stagecoach supposed to do?

    Keep running the unsuccessful routes until they went bankrupt?
    Keep running the busy routes with inadequate vehicles?
    Not bothered with the experiment in the first place?

    Presumably Stagecoach thought that there was something to gain from the Little & Often experiment, and it seems there was: some good growth and but also proof that some routes are weak. I suggest that First, for example, would have simply shut up shop and left town.

    Whatever FBB might continue to like to think, operators and local authorities simply don't have endless pots of money to run buses for the sake of it. Hard decisions have to be made; better it be through management than through receivership!