Saturday, 30 June 2018

The Good, The Very Good and the Ugly

Salty Fudge
fbb has been accused of being very horrid to poor old First Bus (surely not?) and in particular poor old First Bus on Sheffield. But this is not fair; where Mr Fearnley's finest features "First"-rate publicity, fbb is always ready to report thereon with enthusiasm.

The launch of "along the Salt Road" branding for the Birmingham to Worcester 144 was accompanied by Roman Centurions, refurbished buses and fudge!
The latter offers only about 8 million calories a bar!

A few days after the launch, a leaflet dropped through the fbbs' active letterbox.
There were the timetable pages, of course ...
... plus an excellent route map.
There are also maps for each of the main towns served, showing every stop.
To encourage you to set off and explore, there are helpful "tourist" panels scattered through the little booklet ...
...all excellent "come and try me" stuff. The 144 runs "limited stop" between Birmingham and Rubery, and the leaflet provides a detailed map for that section as well.
Just one small concern niggles the chubby one, however.

There are timetables for Sunday, for Monday to Friday during school holidays AND Saturday ...
... and a separate table for schooldays. No probs, it makes sense to cut down on confusion and clutter, BUT ...
... the headings are quite difficult to read. More contrast required.

Seaside Fantastic
Just a reminder, really, to First Bus senior management, as to how good their Cornwall (Kernow) timetable BOOK is.
It is 182 pages long and contains all of the company's offerings. There are two maps (Ray Stenning, of course), for west of Truro ...
... and the rest of the county.
(click on ANY Kernow picture and you should get an enlargement)

There is plenty of fares info with some very good deals weekly and for families.
£12 for one day - £26 for 7 days (one person), £24/£50 for a family.

But there is one snag. The booklet is "perfect bound"; i.e. sets of pages glued to a spine. There is really no other way to do it, but stuff  "down the crack" cab be hard to dig out.
This can be frustrating with long routes which run over two pages.
There is a "gutter" on each page, but some will find it hard to pull the sheets apart.
But at least fbb can boost his energy levels to assist with the amazonian effort needed!
Perhaps a free bar of fudge with every booklet?

Sheffield Farce - Again!
Stagecoach are being innovative. They have joined the existing X17 (Matlock, Chesterfield, Sheffield) with the relatively new X65 (Meadowhall and Barnsley)

Here is a timetable extract from Derbyshire showing how it fits together.
Amongst other benefits, it gives folk from Chesterfield and parts of Sheffield a fast run to Meadowhall and, even more exciting, it serves the new IKEA store.

So, how does the ever (in)competent PTE handle the new service.

Looks fine.

What’s changed
Extended beyond Sheffield to run through to Meadowhall and Barnsley, replacing service X65 to improve access to employment.

Yes, absolutely right.

But then comes this:-

Please note that due to technical difficulties we have not been able to show the timetable in this leaflet operating as a through service between Barnsley, Sheffield, Chesterfield and Matlock. This will be rectified as soon as possible.

At least (unlike the ludicrous "underground-style" map) they do admit it is wrong.

But why is it wrong? Derbyshire's version has been available on-line for the public for over two weeks, and probably longer in the "back office".

It could have been dealt with easily using copy and paste by any average 7 year old; but not, apparently, the over-large over-expensive PTE. Anyway, it would involve talking to those oddities across the border - and that would never do.

Or the PTE gnomes could just poke the Derbyshire pages on their web site!

Until they wind up the computer, or give young Justin a bag of toffees, we have to put up with Sheffield to Chesterfield and Matlock ...
... including acres of completely unnecessary blank space. Then we have separate tables for Barnsley to Sheffield.
Beyond belief!

It's the fault of the computer, you know.

The whole web site has been busted on-and-off for the last few days.
Hey ho.

Please note that ALL the headlines above are for events long past.

Time for more essential research.

 Next oddments collection - Sunday 1st July 

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