Friday, 11 January 2019

Missing Map Materialises (3)

But First And At Last
The splendid folk at LBUG (Lancashire Bus Users Group) have promptly posted the new Lancaster and Morecambe map as (slightly) amended from this coming Sunday.
Details of this change, with revised timetables for all the services that were revised only three months ago (!), have also now appeared on the Stagecoach web site.

Previously the information was actually there but so well hidden than few would ever have found it.
fbb did mention that Torrisholme Road (Lancaster end thereof) was now busless. In a feeble sop to the residents thereof, Stagecoach have provided an hourly evening service on route 7 to Vale which serves part of Torrisholme Road.
Also available is a revised network map which isn't.
It is merely a tweak the map which accompanied the previously changed services ...
... which therefore doesn't include the service 7 at all.

Very poor customer service.

But the text explanations do begin to throw light on the reason for service 2's diversion and Torrisholme Road's denuding.

New Buses
Service 1 will be run with brand new buses featuring free WiFi and USB charging points. They also have ergonomically designed seating for greater comfort.

Hooray. So the lads will have a whole load of "old" double deck buses which used to operate route 1. Now there is a big problem with passenger numbers from the University to and from the City. Frankly, there are too many of them and, horror of horror, they want to travel on buses.

Duplication at busy lecture times is expensive, so the cunning plan is to use the "old" route 1 buses on the route 2; same timetable but extra seats. But they won't go under the bridge!
(Photo from Jim Davies of LBUG)

Extra Capacity 
To allow us to increase the capacity on service 2, buses will no longer travel under Torrisholme Road railway bridge. This means all service 2 buses will now run via Morecambe Road and Scale Hall, with double decker buses being used to provide more space. 

Seemples. Pull out of the Torrisholme Road bit where there aren't many passengers but improve capacity for the students who bring in loadsa money.

So that an evening service continues on Torrisholme Road, to the east of the bridge, service 7 will now run from the bus station at 19:15, 20:15, 21:15 and 23:00 on Monday to Saturday evenings.

fbb was, of course, technically incorrect when he said that the low-bridge end of Torrisholme Road would be unserved. A detailed inspection reveals things are slightly better than fbb had assumed.

Of the five stops now vacated by service 2, three ...
... (from top to bottom) Owen Road, Elmsdale Close and Noel Road are covered by service 7, every 20 minutes.
Ryelands Road has service 8 operated by Kirby Lonsdale Coaches but only every hour ...
A poor substitute for a bus every 15 minutes!

Which leaves just one stop, Watery Lane ...
... with no bus service at all.

But stops at the end of Scale Hall Road are not far away.
But for many ex service 2 passengers there will be a problem. They will be fine for getting into Lancaster but, should they be inconsiderate enough to want to go to Torrisholme, Bare, Morecambe or Heysham, they will need to travel into Lancaster, change buses, pay an extra fare and face a significantly longer journey.

Commercialism trumps customer service, yet again.

The blog looking at the rest of the Lancashire rural service map will appear tomorrow.

The Wonders Of  Technology - Again
A twitterer posted this picture on-line recently. It is of a departure screen at (presumed) Waterloo East.
Thanks to the wonders of high-tech signalling and the marvels of passenger information systems we are told that the late running 0815 to Horsham will arrive at Platform A ...
... at exactly the same time as the on-time 0817 to Orpington.

Might be a bit of a squash?

 Next Lancaster map blog - Saturday 12th January 


  1. The departure screen is not of Waterloo East but St Pancras International, although the dilemma of two trains turning up at once remains. However, because the display is talking about trains a whole 20 minutes into the future anything could happen. The trains are coming from Peterborough and Luton respectively and only get to share a track from St Pancras Canal Tunnel Junction. If the Horsham train continues to be late then the Orpington will just have to wait.

    1. Of the seven trains shown (remembering that this is Thameslink with all its previous problems). six are on time, with one just two minutes late (and still 20+ minutes away).

      If I were Thameslink management, I'd be screaming "RESULT" very loudly indeed!!!!

  2. "Commercialism trumps customer service, yet again".

    No . . . . actually, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

    You've admitted that, of 5 bus stops unserved by Route 2, three have an alternative service every 20 minutes; one a bus every hour and one is nearby other bus stops.

    On this occasion, I can only see that Stagecoach have identified a problem and resolved it at minimal extra cost, whilst inconveniencing as few passengers as possible. Students will pay cheap fares, so the bus needs to pile the seats on sale high to balance the books.

    We've discussed before the timeliness of publicising service changes . . . . you've admitted that the information was available in the background, and also that the information is now in the foreground around 4-5 days prior to implementation. That seems to be about right to me; the danger of bringing the information out too early is that passengers don't research properly, and take the new times as current times.

    Good story, but not the "disarster, dahling" that it is portrayed to be. Nice maps, though!!

    1. Maybe not a disaster, but a bloody nuisance if you want to travel from Torrisholme Road to Morecambe. Also a good example for those arguing for more public control of bus services to exploit.

    2. No reason to suggest that a publicly controlled network would have made a different decision. Just down the coast is Blackpool which is council owned and makes similar decisions - eg the recent cut of service 7 back to St.Annes requiring a change of buses for people going from Lytham to parts of southern Blackpool or a walk from a nearby corridor - pretty much just like Stagecoach here. Similar examples could be highlighted with Readings cuts in Caversham - oh and TFLs axe cutting in London.

  3. In the good old days there would have been no estimated time for the 0815, so there would have been no inconsistency with the following time. Would that have been better?

  4. "Commercialism trumps customer service, yet again"

    FBB is aware of the Transport Act 1985 and its provisions is he? Or is that a bit to modern and radical for him?

    By all means argue that the system is wrong, but criticising Stagecoach for doing what the law encourages achieves nothing.