Thursday 9 December 2010

Seasonal Service Surprise

Happy Christmas Day

Christmas:- the "mas", feast, birthday celebration of the coming of the Christ, the Messiah, the Saviour of the World.   It must surely be the biggest birthday party ever to which the Birthday Boy isn't usually invited.   Most folk seem to be drawn into a massive celebration of, erm ..., well ..., absolutely nothing.   Wierd!

So how does public transport respond to the festive season?


If you live in Salisbury (and many other fair-sized settlements) there are no buses on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.   That's Go-Ahead territory, as is Poole.   Here you get nothing on Christmas Day but a "basic" service on five routes on 26th December - which includes a bus every 15 minutes between Bournemouth and Poole.

Sheffield fares a little better but still with empty streets on Christmas Day and a special contracted service on Boxing Day.  This will bring huge excitement to the "hairies" as they slaver steadily over Stagecoach buses on "First" routes.

Manchester seems to leave it all to the operators who would appear to respond in different ways.

And so, what of London; our great multi-faith, multi-cultural, 24-hour city, pulsating with life, love and opportunity? There are SOME buses on Boxing Day, although advance publicity on-line says nothing about them, but on the Day itself...

... not a Christmas Chorizo, not a Festive Frankfurter, not a single seasonal sausage!   No normal service buses will run on 25th December.   Presumably the metropolis provides paltry pulsation on Christmas Day.

And so to fat bus bloke's adopted County.  Looking at the sparse provision nationally one might expect Isle of Wight buses to give up for a fortnight; but NO!

On Christmas Day (yes, you did read rightly!) buses will run hourly from about 0830 to 2330 on three key routes linking all Island towns except Freshwater and Yarmouth way out west. Boxing Day, 1st and 2nd January will have a Sunday service and a SATURDAY frequency, no less, will operate on New Year's Day!   And none of this finishing early on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve either as buses will run a normal weekday service right through!

So, here in the rural backwaters we have better bus services over the festive period than anywhere in the country.   Why?   fbb has no obvious explanation; but harsh commercial considerations may be involved with a little dose of local politics.

But, if the Island can do it properly, why can't Boris?

The great birthday party day approaches and so fbb wishes our reader ...

A happy CHRIST mas - if you've got something to celebrate ... OR

A happy whatever if you haven't!

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