Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Life And The Limits Of Lockdown (2)

And Now For Some Good News
For Sheffield ...
fbb already reported that his "bête noir" Travel South Yorkshire had done sterling work to get a full list of timetables in place in time for the next big cutback - yesterday 30th March. So it is, pretty much, all on line.
These tables are listed by District (Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield) and appear to be up-to-date.
A click on the service number brings up, usually, the timetable prepared by the operator.
Sensibly "the lads and lasses" have chosen to eschew their "sustainable" non-leaflet standard format in order to get stuff out quickly. Equally sadly, all the pre-virus timetables are still in place and available to download ...
... with just a tiny header to warn users that everything in this section is ALL WRONG!
Why not just remove the links?

It always amazes fbb that PTE and operators spend huge amounts of time and money all doing the same job, namely delivering timetables, maps (sometimes) and journey planners. Not surpisingly all the whizzo technology at SYPTE towers has yet to deliver an updated journey planner.
Surely it would be sensible to have just one source of information for an area? Like an electronic all-services timetable book which might, under the present circumstances, have to be on-line.
So why does fbb help produce yet another source of information?

GoTimetable Sheffield, which is, by some strange coincidence, an on line timetable book containing all services, was also updated in time for the big uncoordinated change yesterday. Available as an "Android" App and a standard "www" web site, it allows search by route number or location.
Each service has a simple banner explaining what has happened. There is a red warning at the top of the scrollable timetabled and a "What's New" menu page summarising the whole sorry mess.
The data compiler (that's fbb!) and the technical team are poised in their various lockdown situations, ready to amend and update as further changes happen; and, possibly, just possibly, common sense might prevail and the Sheffield Bus Partnership might start working together.

It would, sadly, be the first time such a revolution has happened since the Partnership was instigated.

But Hooray For The Potteries!
A correspondent tells me that D & G Buses (now part of the proliferating Peddle portmanteau of passenger transport provision) had been working together unofficially with First Bus to offer co-ordinated transport in Arnold Bennett's "Five Towns".

Actually Bennett knew there were SIX towns but thought that the phrase "Five Towns" was more mellifluous as part of his skillful wordplay.

But we digress.

Here from First's Potteries web site.
"Our friends at D & G bus ..." - a real turn up for the (on-line timetable) book.

Just an example. First's 98 and 99 are suspended ...
 99 is "replaced" by D & G's reduced-to-hourly 94A.
And from D & G itself?

This is a difficult time for all, and the world changed with the announcement of a national lockdown. Passenger numbers have fallen to 15% or less of normal numbers.  With the help of Local Authority partners, and our staff who are being magnificent, we continue to provide a reduced service on most routes.

Please note that bus stops and third party websites will not be updated. Currently our own website is the best source of up-to-date information.

And the web site tells is, for example ...

32X Tean - Cheadle - Werrington - Hanley fast and direct
This service is temporarily withdrawn, but First Potteries' Kingfisher service provides alternative journeys - visit www.potteriesbuses.com for details
33 Newcastle - Westlands
Normal service - click HERE for the timetable

35 Newcastle - Cross Heath - Chesterton
Normal service - click HERE for the timetable

38 Crewe - Haslington - Sandbach - Congleton - Macclesfield
This service is temporarily withdrawn, but Arriva North West service 38 provides alternative journeys - visit www.arrivabus.co.uk for details

Hearty congratulations to all who are working so very very hard to "get bus travel done", as a certain politician might opine.
Of course "working together" however "unofficially" is utterly illegal; but surely the grey suits in Westminster and the boffins in the Competition and Marketing Authority will offer the same legal freedom to buses as they have to Isle of Wight ferries?

Meanwhile the Sheffield Bus Partnership delivers uncoordinated timetables even on "officially" registered joint services.
Beyond belief!

But No Good News For Hull!
Wasn't HMG planning to help the rail industry - even the non franchisees? Maybe not, it would appear.

Filling Your Time : Filling Your Patterns?
Adult colouring books have been something of a modern craze. Apparently it is good for relaxations and mindfulness. We are all different, of course, but fbb was never very keen on "colouring in" when he was a sproglet. The crayoned pictures never looked as richly coloured as the illustrations and doing huge areas of sky was really tedious.

But the modern ones replace tedium with potential frustration.
What happens when you get a bit of the pattern wrong and spoil the whole page? Aaaargh!

But this idea from Hornby looked more attractive.
How about a really nice maroon with cream round the windows?

Sadly it is only for "Kids".
Hmmm. It doesn't say how old "Kids" have to be. As fbb sinks gracefully (?) into his second childhood ...

... maybe he should start with the really challenging dot to dot?
Just a tad patronising, mayhap, even for a young 'un?

 Heathrow blog returns? : Wednesday 1st April 

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Short Thought

No one has ever explained why Moses is pictured lugging a couple of huge gravestones own Mount Sinai. The so-called ten commandments are remarkably short in Hebrew and would fit easily on a couple of shards of rock about the size pf playing cards.

But were they COMMANDments?

The Hebrews (Israelites : Jews : Children of God) were privileged to be the Covenant People of Yahweh (the "I am God" God!). A "Covenant" is a formal agreement made between two (or more) parties. The "set of ten" was the core of the covenant.

Each party has something to give and something to receive.

So the first part (1 to 5) is what God expects to receive and the people agreed to give. The principles have not changed, surely, for people of faith.

Worship no God but Me
      Fair enough if you want the "covenant" to be real?
Do not make idols to worship
      The need to focus on what is really important  
Do not mis-use My name
      OMG, don't ; mutual respect is essential 
Observe a Sabbath day (take a proper break - chill)
      Just one day in seven for putting Faith first
Respect your Family (and those you share your life with)
       And, obviously, putting others first as much as poss.

So, what about the other half of the Covenant?
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