Friday, 3 August 2018

Jaunts and Jollifications (Various)

Jerusalem Jaunt - a P.S.
Needless to say, in today's high tech age, fbb could not find a timetable anywhere fro the Jerusalem tram system, a k a Light Rail. Journey planner - yes; day-by-day frequency guide - yes; timetable - no way, oi veh!
Things to note:- the system shuts down completely for the Jewish Sabbath which runs from sunset on Friday to sunset of Saturday. Also; every 14.5 minutes? Completely un-memorable, surely a simple every 15 minutes would make more sense to potential passengers, especially if they have a tight connection for an onward journey.

No 1 son sent this picture of a tram stop ticket machine.
The basic paper ticket fare is ...
... 5.9 nis (New Israeli Shekels) with a shekel being 20p. Effectively a flat fare on £1.20 but with transfers allowed within a set time period. Cheap as chips!

The discount, however, only appears to be available on a Rav Kav (stored value) card, as do discounts for multiple tickets.
The web site explains come of this, and warn the user about the need to validate tickets on boarding the tram.
Failure to validate incurs an instant fine of 118 nis, issued by aggressive and unforgiving transport police.
It is easy to forget top validate on a crowded tram and vociferous complains have been laid at the door of the operator impugning their motives, suggesting that the whole fines system is just a way of increasing revenue.

Didn't First Bus once advertise their "standard fare" as £10, which would be charged if the hapless passenger offended in any way by inadvertently (of maybe vertently) paying the wrong amount?

Jurassic Jaunt
Remember those Jurassic Coaster buses in green ...
... being ex First Bus Green Line deckers from Slough.
These buses are now appearing in a real Jurassic Coaster livery and they do look rather smart.
The route is but a shadow of its former self (once Exeter to Bournemouth) but the branding is a positive step. Sadly, the posh new scheme is still not universally applied - which probably means its impact will not stimulate ridership for this summer season.
£12 for a day rover is a bit rich, only suitable for the rich; but £20 for a party of 5 is laughably cheap. Odd pricing strategy, perhaps?

Jaffa Cake Jaunt
No 2 grandson (aged 14) has just spent a few days with the old crusties. Taken by a parent from Wantage to Andover, he has become very familiar with the journey which is relieved via his "device" and the purchase of a packet of Jaffa Cakes.
These used to be £1.20 for a pack of three, that's eight bob a biscuit in real money.

Now you have to buy four (shock horror) ...
... and they coast £1.50; a significant saving per piece at seven and a tanner each. But, as No 2 grandson points out, that's OK if you want four - AND the packaging is grossly inferior with no inner sleeve. Shameful.

Co-incidentally, dad had sent fbb a picture of the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem ...
... somewhat amended by the imaginative 14 year old.
Sadly the youngster showed no interest whatsoever in the stunning fact that he arrived at Axminster in a uniquely liveried train.
No sense of, like, occasion - the youth of today

Junior's Jolly Jammy** Jaunt
A tradition of the family (two grandson, son and daughter-in-law) is to visit to Sidmouth to buy yummy snacks. Having been berated by a really nasty comment on a recent blog because he had used the work Moslem rather than Muslim, fbb was interested in a family snack trip by motor bus.

(For the record Moslem and Muslim are both acceptable versions of the appellation for a follower of the Islam faith. Neither has any political, religious or racialist connotations BUT Moslem is just a bit old-fashioned, just like fbb)

Anyway, the outward Jaunt was by Stagecoach service 9A which ran 23 minutes late due to traffic in Lyme Regis. At each stop the driver apologised for the delay and when the gang alighted at Sidmouth ...
... he thanked everyone for their patience. EXCELLENT customer service. He also charged No 2 grandson £2 instead of £2.40 because he had run out of change. EXCELLENT customer service.

The terminus st Sidmouth Triangle is provided with a really useful electronic display ...
... a VDU screen  of unhelpful legibility. Now the old dot matrix versions were visible - so much for new technology.

Sidmouth was famously festooned with floral fragrance ...
... some paid-for publicly, some provided by a pub but pretty as a picture both.
After the Moslem/Muslim unkindness, fbb was very pleased that his snack was to be obtained at a purveyor of doughnuts ...
...complete with hot doughnut machine.
At only about three million calories a nut (actually a ring), the snack was well worth the journey. Sadly they were served in a bag marked "Do-Nuts".
The bus ride back was the twiddly way with Axe Valley ...
Sadly (again) the fit and vibrant grandson fell asleep at the best bit - no sense of, like, occasion - the youth of today.

Fare with Axe Valley, £2.90 and no reduction for lack of change. But the trip was spot on time!

** Of course, they were snack sized ring doughnuts, dusted in sugar ...
... but super yummy all the same!

Today the Sidmouth Folk Festival gets under way. Over 80 activities and events in just over a week. Worth a visit, but go by bus or use the Park and Ride. The town itself will be, to use a technical term, full.
That shelter (above, upper right) is where buses used to terminate; at the western end of the esplanade.

Time For a Re-Think - P.S.
Common sense prevails - eventually; after two days in which to alienate passengers. Let us hope that the pen-pusher who caused this unnecessary mess is pushing his or her pen at the desk in the JobCentre!

 Next signal box blog : Saturday 4th August 


  1. I've noticed lots of bus companies now do cheap group tickets for groups of up to 5. A good idea to try and tempt people out of their cars which carry 5 people at near enough the same price as 1.

  2. When you look at the detail of the Eos case the only one who appears responsible for the mess is the managers of Eos who decided to drop the services early at less than a weeks notice despite having agreed and registered an end date. When challenged on Twitter the response appeared to be we can't keep running because our drivers are moving to Arriva for the replacements, which neither explains why the sudden need to cancel immediately (the start date at Arriva for the drivers being based on the end date of Eos operations surely?) nor why they couldn't have agreed with Arriva for either the drivers to be 'loaned' back for a month or Arriva to run 'on hire' for a month both of which would solve the problem without a break in service or trying to get something through that was borderline for acceptance and couldn't be processed in the notice period requested as it would need the TC to review the case before a decision could be made.

    The Licensing Office are there to ensure fair competition by ensuring all companies are working to the same rules & timescales (so not allowing operators to start/drop routes as they please) and to protect customers by stopping operators dropping services without proper notice (as Eos have done in this case). I suspect that Eos didn't have permission to finish early so Arriva couldn't get permission to start early.

  3. EOS did apparently run a limited service over the last 2 days. Parts of the routes do have competition from others.

    For pics of EOS's last day and more details see
    Richard French's blog (retired MD of Brighton and Hove.)

    1. Apologies - It should read Roger French

  4. Given how much unnecessary packaging there is these days, surely the loss of the Jaffa inner sleeve is a good thing?

    Whilst I'm nit-picking, don't forget that there are two South West DMUS with the 'Xmas Cracker' livery

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