Saturday, 12 January 2019

Missing Map Materialises (4)

But First : Another One Bites The Dust
Remember Ford's "Chariot"? This is the "Uber" style ride-sharing minibus service launched in London. (outline blog to read again - here).
This was tweeted a day or so ago.
And it is not just in London.
The whole business employs 650 people of whom some may be offered employment elsewhere in the Ford group. But as recent news bulletins have been full of news of "restructuring", there doesn't seem to be much hope for most.

Ford have been coy about the reasons for closure, but some ride-sharing watchers suggest poor ridership numbers, declining since the early days of youthful phone tapping customers.

One article suggests that the minibuses in New York have been carrying less than 9 passengers a day in each vehicle.

Only two  left? How long for the other two?

Like a blue van with his heart removed, empty yet again
I've run just as far as I can run
I will never see the Chariot days with minibuses packed
I'll not be doin' fine 'cos something lacked ...

How long, how long
Pick me Up will last
How long, how long
Will Click have clicked its last?

We all remember The Eagles song?

Back to the Comparative Sanity of Lancashire
Ecky thump? Nay lad, that's Yorkshire.
The prestigious 555 links Lancaster with Keswick and, try as he might, fbb could not squeeze it all on the new Lancaster rural and inter-urban services map.
He also messed it up (a bit!) and was upbraided gently by LBUG boss Jim Davies and send a collection of corrections ...
... which are not quite as horrific as they might appear.

The re-think (still awaiting the approval of "sir") is done and dispatched.
But let's start a few years ago. The route retains its old Ribble  number ...
... and has much the same service pattern as way back in the days of the Great Britain Bus Timetable - and probably well before that. (click on the timetable below for a better view)
There was an hourly service between Lancaster and Keswick where connections (poor) enabled the determined bus rider to continue to Carlisle; a bum crushing four hours or so!

It is similar today, as per this extract
Lancaster to Keswick was (in 1999) a tad over two and a half hours -it is now three.
This section is now numbered 554 and also merits a bit of "Lakes" branding.
Add in this leg to Carlisle, still with poor connections, and your through trek could now be as long as a whopping five hours. fbb wonders whether anyone attempts it these days.Lets hope their bladders are stronger than your blogger's.

But, boy do you need a map. The Cumbria county wide version is helpful, but it can be tricky to match Stagecoach's limited point times to real geography.

LBUG's Jim was anxious to show the differences between the 555 and the 755.
755? fbb had never heard of it until he started this little project.
Three journeys (four Sundays and Bank Holidays) link Morecambe with the Lakes, and fbb, silly old codger that he is, assumed that 755s went the same way as 555s.

Oh no they don't!

North of Carnforth the 555 runs via the A69070 and Burton in Kendal ...
... whereas the 755 whizzes along the part dual carriageway A6, meeting up again at Milnthorpe.

A little further north the 555 leaves the A6 ...
... to serve the village of Heversham ...
... with stops adjacent to the splendid church. From the activity thereat and the cars parked nearby, fbb guesses that the Streetview noddy car chuntered past on a Sunday!

You do wonder, however, whether Heversham would get such a luxurious hourly service (Monday to Saturday) if it weren't on that long-standing route to the glories of the lake district.

The 755 passes the village by on the by pass.

The 555 has  one last trick up its sleeve. In a recent development (how recent fbb does not know) the Summer timetable offers something more.
Extra journeys double the frequency between Keswick and Kendal, then whizz non-stop down the M6  reducing the total running time from three hours to two and a quarter. In this direction the fast bus overtakes the slow journey which leaves Keswick half an hour earlier.

Finally, take a look at the 555 (RED) and 755 (GREEN)  bifurcation on the excellent Carlisle network map.
It also shows the journeys via the M6 (YELLOW).

Would a proper geographical map have been better for the lads (and lasses?) at LBUG?

There are still those journeys from Lancaster to the east of the M6 to examine. Later?

Today fbb is off to Bristol to enjoy a ride on Metrobus M1 - a report is planned for Monday's blog.

 Next mixture of matters blog  : Sunday 13th January 

1 comment:

  1. I notice that some early morning and evening 555 journeys do operate via Bowness, but not all of those run to/from Lancaster. Would any of these qualify that diversion to be included on the map?