Wednesday, 26 February 2020

The Barricade of Brookhouse Hill (2)

The closure of Sheffield's  Brookhouse Hill (passing Fulwood Church) for resurfacing presents substantial problems for bus routes 83a and 120 as there is no way round. The back streets of Fulwood are narrow and dead ended ...
... and impassable by bus. Incidentally the  very solid looking shop on the right (Truffles) selling, erm, truffles, other chocolates and "gifts" used to be a wooden hut selling fruit and veg!

But the lack of an obvious "way round" led the powers that be to suggest that both services should terminate at Old Fulwood Road ...
... a few yards short of the closure and of the church (PW on map below) without any alternative "up the hill".
The decision to deprive a whole area of the city ...
... of its usual bus services was about as stupid at First, Stagecoach and the PTE could possibly have made - as stupid and ANY they have made previously. There would be an awful lot of potential bus passengers without a bus; and a steep long walk down, but worse, a steep walk back up.

The local yokels, led by chum and Sheffield correspondent John, and including neighbourly County Councillors, began a vociferous campaign to demand buses up the hill - somehow.

It was the electronic version of pitchforks at dawn, at lunchtime and at twilight!

The first results of this vehemence was that the hours of disruption were reduced to 0700 to 1900 Monday to Friday.

There IS a road up the hill (the yellow road just below "Fulwood" on this map extract).
It is called Slayleigh Lane. It serves posh villas (very posh!) and passes a few cottages that stood in the corners of farm fields way back when.

It also has lots of trees positioned in such a way as to make a first class job of smashing the top deck front windows of double deckers.
It also has thin bits where it squeezes past some of the aforementioned ancient dwellings.
But it offered some possibilities.

Then Stagecoach announced that it would, indeed, be running its 83a ...
... via Slayleigh Lane. Bingo. The 83a is single deck so perhaps a few dents from low hanging branches but, hopefully, no serious damage.

BUT. The First Bus and Stagecoach joint 120 is double deck ...
... and no way would they get up Slayleigh Lane unscathed.

After much posturing postulating and prevarication a workable scheme was agreed by all parties.
The 83a (RED) will run to its normal timetable but diverted.

The 120 (BLUE) will terminate as per the previous potty plan at Old Fulwood Road Woofindin Road.

A temporary 120S (GREEN) will run as a SINGLE DECK "shuttle" ("S" for shuttle - gettit!) from the Old Fulwood Road loop, via Slayleigh Lane and round the standard service 60 loop.

The "resources" for the shuttle would be provided by saving one bus on the 120's cycle because they are all turning short. Clever eh?

And everybody is happy?

Far from it. People using the buses on the top of the bottom half of Crimicar Lane (confusing isn't it), Brooklands Avenue and Moorcroft Road ...
... might choose to heave themselves up to the junction of Moorcroft Road and Crimicar Lane BUT ...
... diverted buses will descend the UPPER part of Crimicar Lane (upper left on the map above) and turn LEFT into Hallamshire Road, thus miss ALL the stops at the junction. Hopefully someone will provide some temporary "dolly-stops".


But most on the unserved roads would face considerable inconvenience - even hardship.

But the poor arrangment doesn't end there. The 120S timetable has been published ...
... and it runs every 12 minutes.

But the 120 runs every 10 minutes!

They don't match, they don't connect most of the time and some residents of Upper Fulwood will have to wait up to to minutes for their onward 120.


This is what SHOULD happen:-
The 120S should do a figure of eight route as shown in GREEN. This would need TWO buses each running every twenty minutes giving a ten minute service to match the ten minute service 120.

Of course this would need EXTRA resources, bus and driver, and involve extra cost rather than diverting a dribble from the 120.

The 120 is a very profitable route so it can stand extra "pain" for a short term.

And if there is a bit of "pain" it will be a lot less than the loss of passengers whose service is arbitrarily taken from them.

Short term "pain" - long term gain in PR, in stability and in retaining the loyalty of your customers.

It all kicks off on Monday so there is still time to change your minds, people. Come on ...


 Next Exeter birthday trip blog : Thursday 27th February 


  1. Fbb's solution assumes neat connections between the shuttle and the main service. The extent of late running and bunching on 120 is such that exact connections would be unattainable much of the time. The closest comparison is between tram and the SL1 bus at Middlewood where no attempt to achieve connections with a particular tram is made.

  2. Why have a moan about the shuttle bus? Why doesn't the 83a do the bigger loop.....after all if you look at the timetable it has ample layover at Westminster Crescent so wouldn't then cost operators even extra money when they know full well customer will be put off traveling regardless because the road is matter how good the alternative offer is.

  3. The 83a is at best every 20 mins and, of course, run by Stagecoach not First which in the present (non)-partnership is probably an insuperable obstacle!

  4. But should the bus operator bear the cost of disruption caused by someone else?