Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Bus Route? What Bus Route? (3)

This "stop with no buses" story was doing the rounds of the Yorkshire (and national) media a couple of weeks ago and the main dramatis personae are the former mining town of Maltby (Rotherham), South Yorkshire PTE (inevitably!) and the village of Tickhill.
Tickhill has a magnificent church ...
... and a distinctive market cross bang in the centre.
Discounting school services, Tickhill has two bus routes. Stagecoach 22 runs every 30 minutes via the "main road" and on to Worksop.
The 205 wiggles via Rossington and owes its survival to the shift time calls at the Exel Logostics depot ...
... yet another of those vast, seemingly unoccupied by humanity, distribution depots.
It is now a DHL depot ...
... but we wouldn't like accuracy to cloud the efforts of the timetable team at SYPTE. Back in the 70s (80s?) a brand new X25 appeared, jointly operated by SYPTE and East Midland. This was an innovative service through to Bawtry.
Importantly for our tragic bus stop saga, this linked Maltby with Tickhill via the A631. After the demise of the X25, local buses linked the two communities, but now there is nothing. First's service X1 reaches as far as the edge of town via Tickhill Road ...
... terminating at a long-standing turning loop at Quilter Road.

Here is the PTE's map as provided on its non-leaflets.
The square-shaped loop is at what was once known as Maltby Model Village, with "model" meaning "an example" rather than "miniature". Please ignore the positions of the stops on the map above; they are out of date. X10s are rare visitors to Quilter Road but all X10s and all X1s call at High Street. Also note that the PTE's network maps ...
... show the whole "model village" area incorrectly.

The current route outward to Quilter Road is via Mulget Lane, loop and back via Muglet Lane to Tickhill Road and on to the terminus. But inbound the service now cuts off the corner by using Hamilton Road to get the the "village" loop then returning via Muglet Lane and High Street.

So it transpires that THIS stop on Tickhill Road ...
... has buses TO Quilter Road, But THIS stop opposite ...
... has no buses at all; none from Tickhill and none in the way of X1s to Rotherham as they have turned off along Hamilton Road (left turn in picture above). This stop "is no more", "has ceased to be", "is bereft of buses, it rests in peace", and "is an ex-stop".
Soon after the stop expired, along came the PTE ...
... and installed a brand new shelter! The press takes up the story (condensed by fbb).

Public transport bosses spent almost £6,000 installing a bus shelter on a road where no buses run replacing an old pole in with a covered stand and seats. But changes made to timetables earlier this year meant services no longer call at the stop.
The blunder was spotted by resident James Rodgers (pictured), who said: How thoughtful of SYPTE to have provided a place to sit and wait for no bus!"

James (39) obtained the amount spent on the redundant stop using freedom of information laws. The SYPTE response revealed that the shelter and seats cost £4,482 and installation was a further £1,452; making a total of £5,934.

James said: “I had noticed that the stop was no longer served by buses and had a notice on the pole to say it was no longer in use. Then, to my surprise, I found the pole was gone and had been replaced by a brand new shelter complete with seats. It’s another example of where SYPTE doesn’t have knowledge of the local area.”

A spokeswoman for SYPTE said: “Part of the planning approval for the new Home Bargains store cited improvements to the stop on Tickhill Road. Buses used the stop when we agreed the installation of a shelter and it was paid for by the property developer. We are seeking permission to move the shelter to Hamilton Road, where it will benefit residents and those shopping at the store. We are also reviewing our installation processes to prevent this, where possible, from happening again.”

As if to compound the bludner, SYPTE cannot manage to spell the stop name properly on the shelter's "label".
No "L" in HamiLton.

We all make mistakes - fbb makes plenty as his critics are rightly quick to point out - but many of the Local Authority blunders derive from a simple lack of practical on-street knowledge of what they are dealing with; too much reliance on a computer screen, too little experience of reality.

Some would suggest that fbb should be kinder to the hard pressed staff in PTE towers, as opined by Alexander Pope in his "essay on Criticism" ...

Ah ne'er so dire a Thirst for Blogging boast,
Nor in the Critic let Temp'rance be lost!
Good-Nature and Good-Sense must always join;
To err is Human; to Forgive, Divine.

[Technical note: "join" was pronounced "jine" in Pope's day.]

But it can be hard to forgive a potential waste of six grand - whoever foots the bill. Remember that the bus stop was already labelled "out of use" when the lads turned up to plant the new one!

It doesn't just happen in the UK as Mr Patel reports.

Karnataka is a state in the south western region of India. It was formed on 1 November 1956, with the passage of the States Reorganisation Act. Originally known as the State of Mysore, it was renamed Karnataka in 1973. The state corresponds to the Carnatic region. The capital and largest city is Bangalore (Bengaluru).

The community in question carries different names according to the language in which it is written. The article carries the name Belagavi but it is also known as Belgaum.
The story is similar to others relayed by fbb
There is no Streetview in India, but a Google map might help our loyal readers. (click on the map for an enlargement)
It doesn't really help, but the shelter is somewhere in that area. With typical eastern laid-back-ness a spokesman said "It doesn't matter that there aren't any buses - there might be one day; and anyway people can enjoy a pleasant rest in them."

Much nicer that Maltby's minimalist offering!

fbb will be happy to add to his collection of bus stop blunders and shelter shambles. Please send info to

On a Happier Note
GoAhead Oxford bus has just announced the arrival of super new coaches for its Airline services.
This runs as separate service every 30 minutes to Heathrow ...
... and every hour to Gatport Airwick.
The journeys at 00 past the hour are "portmanteau" and serve both airports.

It is a marvellous service, now with stunning vehicles.

 Next "Best Timetable" blog : Thursday 13th June 

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