Friday, 19 April 2019

Passengers for Pill, Portway and Portishead (3)

Consistency, What Consistency?
fbb has researched NINE manifestations of the X3/X3A/X4 timetable for buses between Bristol and Portishead, trying to understand how a newcomer to the bus service might cope with what is on-line and in print. The NINE (First Bus unless otherwise stated) are:

Existing timetable:-
On-line timetable
Timetable headings
Traveline timetable
Timetable leaflet
X3 etc route map
Excel network map

New timetable from April 28th
Timetable leaflet
X3 etc route map
Excel network map

All sources tell us that buses start from Bristol. Good so far!

This only appears on the leaflet front cover (both old and new) and in the individual on-line timetable heading. No times are given; probably not necessary as it is not far (except when beset with congestion) from Bristol.

Ashton Gate
This is, in effect, a horrible multi level road junction ...
... where the road to Portishead leaves the "main" roads out of Bristol. Somewhere amongst the terrifying squiggles bottom left are two bus stops.
The one on Ashton Road ...
... is called Winterstoke Road (obviously!) whilst the other one ...
... is called Blackmoors Lane.

The cartographic name only appears on the two editions of the network  map ...
... but on the leaflet route map it is called Bower Ashton. The stop is not ideally placed for either! No times are given.

Abbots Leigh
Appears on all timetables and map except in the headings for the on-line times.

Appears on all timetables maps and headings for X3A and X4. Well done folks!

Easton in Gordano
No times, but appears on most headings and maps. The new network map implies that it is served by all routes ...
... which is geographically true but the X3 only grazes the very edge of the village at the Rudgeleigh Steakhouse.
Better, perhaps top show the "blob" on the X3A/X4 line only?

But what of poor neglected Portbury?
Before the arrival of the M5, Portishead buses used to all run through the village following the orange road as in the above map. Now you have to alight at the Gordano Services roundabout ...
... or on Station Road beyond the M5.
A magnificent footbridge will take you from bus stop ...
... over the replacement road and the M5 to the other end of the village. Nowhere is this mentioned.

Appears everywhere. Another housepoint. As sheepway is a bit of a non event, how about making the stop "Sheepway Station Road for Portbury"?

The station at Sheepway was called Portbury and was on the Bristol to Portishead line.
It is now a splendid private residence.

Portishead Marina
(X3 only) This appears on leaflet maps but not in any timetable. It's represents a big area of housing and deserves better. In the headings to First's on-line timetables it appears as Portbury Wharf ...
... which used to be where the housing estate is now. Wrong and wholly misleading.

Appears in all versions of the timetables and in a Portishead town centre enlargement as part of the route map in leaflets only.

Combe Road (Portishead town centre)
(NOT Coombe Road!) Yep, they all go there, in Traveline's case THREE times. It really only needs to appear once as a departure in each timetable.

Redcliffe Bay
This appears sporadically on the maps and in the on-line headings but never in timetables. As it is conceptually the outer terminus of all three routes, it surely should appear everywhere.

Nightingale Rise
This appears as a timepoint in both editions of the printed timetable but not on any map! Network maps show "Police HQ" instead which appears nowhere else!

Dear First Bus ...

 It's A Mess 

... so please do something about it. Surely ALL route maps, timetable and timetable headings should all show the same core information and certainly the same time points.

 Next Weekend blog : Saturday 20th April 

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After the "Last Supper" events flowed thick and fast. Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray where he was arrested.
He was passed from one "authority" to another. His trail before the Jewish supreme court (The Sanhedrin) was an illegal farce, but they could not pass the death sentence.
Pilate (Roman authority) and Herod (The nominal "king") wanted nothing to do with it until Pilate (famous for sorting out the sewers of Rome) hit on the idea of the tradition of releasing one prisoner at the Passover.

The crowd bayed for Jesus (Yeshua ben Yusuf) and the other Jesus (Yeshua Ber Abbas) was duly released. Then, inevitably (he had set his face towards Jerusalem, remember) to the cross.
The Passover Lamb has been sacrificed, the body broken and the blood shed - the people can now be saved from their slavery to sin.

But via a dead saviour - via an apparent failure?

There must be more if it is be a GOOD Friday!

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