Monday, 10 June 2019

Bus Route? What Bus Route? (1)

In Sheffield
Ringinglow is a hamlet on the western edge of built up Sheffield on a road that crosses the moors and arrives eventually at Hathersage. For many years it was served by occasional journeys on service 4. Then came a Sheffield Transport re-jig and journeys was extracted from the busy cross city service 81/2/3/4.
Buses turned by pulling into a side road (Fulwood Lane, on the left in the picture below) then reversing onto a stop outside this row of cottages, the flag latterly fixed to the street lamp on the left.
This view looks back towards Sheffield. Just past the cars on the left in the middle distance is the popular Norfolk Arms pub and opposite is the "round house" - it isn't, it is octagonal!
Then buses to Ringinglow got the chop completely. But a few years ago a limited service returned being extensions of service 4 (a much reduced service 4) but just like the "good old days". But we are now one man operated and we cannot turn by reversing; well we can, it is not forbidden, but it is not "advised".

So service 4 performs a large loop ...
 ... out via Ringinglow Road (as ever) but continuing via Sheephill Road and Long Line back to rejoin its outward route at Bents Green. So where does it now stop?

Google maps has the answer. It calls opposite the Norfolk Arms at a stop called "Sheephill Road".
Only it doesn't. Or it doesn't appear to.
The verge is used as parking for the pub and offers no stop pole, no flag - indeed no indication that a bus stops there.

Opposite this non-stop, however, IS a pole and flag set ...
... but, because nothing stops there, the ever efficient South Yorkshire PTE had removed the flag and posted a notice in the frame saying "This stop in no longer in use".

Did that imply, thought one of fbb's many Sheffield contacts, that service 4 no longer served Ringinglow? Of course not, but an innocent walker, expecting a ride back to city, might well be a bit miffed that service 4 had vanished.

fbb's informant decided to write to the PTE to suggest that the flag be re-instated but tagged "opposite side of road" and that a service 4 timetable be posted in the frame.

The reply was beyond belief.

Yes, the flag could be replaced with "opposite side of road" added.


A timetable could not be posted opposite the pub because it was a "virtual stop"

i.e. no pole or frame! It is not clear why a pole could not be installed - even if it were at the back of the "parking by convention" verge. Even better, Google Streetview shows an ideal (black) pole in just the right place.
But here's the laugh which makes you cry:-

A timetable could not be posted in the existing frame on the wrong side of the road because ...

It is not possible to have timetables for both directions in the frame on the one pole.

Readers are invited to follow the logic of this reply; which clearly comes from a PTE minion who has never been to Ringinglow and spends the day peering at a computer database.

Even if the computer won't PRINT two timetables for the same indexed pole, it could, surely, be persuaded to print one for the opposite direction for heinously "wrong" installation. If  Deep Throat resists the programer, then fbb has the answer.
This hi-tech solution could be applied to a print-out of the PTE's non-leaflet for service 4.
Maybe not, however, as there are no buses from Ringinglow to Sheffield, according to the ever un-helpful PTE. you can only get back to Sheffield from Bents Green!
Of course, GoTimetable Sheffield gets it right.
It may be, however, that this has all been sorted now (fat chance?); fbb awaits a report from any passing Sheffielder.

There is a lovely walk from Fulwood (service 120 and 83a) to Ringinglow and on via Whirlow (service 81) to Millhouses (service 97 and 98) all part of Sheffield's extensive and gorgeous "Round Walk" - with the benefit of a recuperative "jar" at the Norfolk Arms!!

In Thames Ditton?
In this case, fbb can only reproduce the press article with a sense of frustration because it contains insufficient information to allow 100% reliable verification.
Hampton Court Way is the A309, that runs northwards from the celebrated roundabout and traffic jam at the end of the Kingston By-pass. The junction is known as Scilly Isles.

A series of roundabouts were built at the busy (for the 1930s) intersection, then called "traffic islands". The unfamiliar nature of the double roundabout caused it to be called the "silly islands", which became locally accepted as its name, but this soon evolved into the "Scilly Isles", copying the name of the islands to the west of Cornwall. This name, although intended to be disapproving, thus became an official name, visible on all approaches to the junction and the highest definition maps.
Not surprisingly, Hampton Court Way leads to Hampton Court! As far as fbb can tell, and, with the help of the dreaded Google Maps, there are bus stops  marked all along the road.

Which makes this article slightly suspicious.
If the author means Thames Ditton, then you would suppose that he refers to the roundabout at the junction of the A309 ...
... and Embercourt Road. Approaching from Thames Ditton Station buses could go straight on, turn left or turn right. The left hand turn (southbound) is school service 661 ...
... and the northbound turn is route 513 (Monday to Friday only) according to Google.

But is it?
No it isn't! The 513 runs from Thames Ditton Station via Weston Green Road and Scilly Isles as confirmed by the Surrey county route map.
This map (which does not show school services) shows that nothing bus-wise runs via Hampton Court Way north of Weston Green  So is this the shelter without a bus route?
But there is a flag? Maybe, just maybe a 513 journey goes thattaway.
Note "H" on the 1130 from Downside says "runs via Hampton Court at 1208"! To make it from Weston Green in four minutes it MUST use Hampton Court Way and, in theory at least, stop at the recently installed shelter.

Technically, Elmbridge Council is right, presumably making their decision on the basis of a computer database. On Mondays to Fridays at approximately 1205 a service 513 DOES have the ability to stop at the new shelter, despite the opinions of local residents.

Here it is confirmed by Traveline.

More tomorrow!

 Next Bus Route? What Bus Route blog : Tuesday 11th July 

1 comment:

  1. The Islands off Cornwall are the Isles of Scilly. Never the Scilly Isles.