Friday 3 June 2011

The Complexity of Cosgrove.

Rant or Realistic?
This is not the Cosgrove that fbb expected to find in his search engine. This is Miranda Cosgrove, (apparently) "one of the hottest young stars in Hollywood". When asked in an interview recently if she did know of Cosgrove in Northamptonshire,
this was her reply, as quoted in this screenshot from a "goss" web site:-
Perhaps not, eh?

Two fbb blog readers recently have accused the chubby one of writing a rant rather than a blog; things are, they say, not as bad as fbb makes out.   Really?

The invention of Milton Keynes City, plonked in the midst of rural Buckinghamshire, led to a major revision of bus services from Northampton.
In 1979, the 330 ran approx every two hours via Grafton Regis, whilst the 331 offered a similar frequency via Hanslope.   This pattern remained largely unchanged for nigh on 20 years, although the numbers had changed to 33/34 (Hanslope)  and 37 (Grafton Regis) by 1995.   Also joining the fray were a collection of "odd" journeys via Towcester, numbered 38.
Roll the calendar on a few more years and we have an hourly service X4 following the 37 route, (sort of, but sticking resolutely to the A508 and ignoring many previously-served villages) and an hourly 33 via Hanslope.   These have been joined by a hourly 89 via Towcester ...
... nipping off the A5 to pick up calls at villages, some of which are now missed by the X4. A recent Northamptonshire map will explain.
Towcester is top left of the map, Milton Keynes is bottom right.  Also please note, centre bottom, delightful Deanshanger, also with its own dedicated hourly service mentioned enthusiastically in an earlier blog (read again).

The along comes the chopper** and chops off the 14, replacing it with a diversion of the 89, presumably by paying Stagecoach a shilling or two for the privilege.
Bonus for the denizens of  Deanshanger who GAIN an hourly service to Northampton; but that leaves Cosgrove etc. unserved.   So the worthy and imaginative councillors of Northamptonshire create a service 90. It connects with the 89 in Potterspury a bit less than every two hours.  It is run by Centrebus, so it's a dead cert that there are no through fares and as people don't like changing anyway, custom will be minimal.  It will never survive the final NCC extermination programme in September.
But the self-same councillors were a bit slow making their imaginative decisions and so Cosgrove is shown as unserved on the latest Milton Keynes route map.   But it's in Northamptonshire, so who cares?
Now, it would be arrogant in the extreme of fbb (perish the thought) to suggest that a couple of groups of politicians in Northampton and Milton Keynes might come up with something better, together.

How about a two-hourly 89 via Deanshanger and a two-hourly 90 via Cosgrove, both running through to Milton Keynes and Northampton?   There might even be a bit of running time spare to do the occasional jiggle via  Wicken, rumoured to be provided with a taxibus "in due course".   That saves the cost of the 90 at a stroke.

Maybe there is a very good reason why diminutive Deanshanger deserves an hourly bus at the expense of other villages; perhaps a councillor lives there?  (Perish another thought?)

Rant or Realistic?  fbb sticks with realistic rant!

** another chopper, this time from "Oranges and Lemons"

P.S. A pic, taken in Olney, of the "fill-in" service 37 from there to Stoke Goldington (thanks to Alan, our Northampton correspondent).
See previous blog "Just Holding On" and its associated comments (read again). Note that the bus is helpfully liveried "Purple Route 7 every 30 mins".   It does, however, appear to be carrying one whole passenger en route for Stoke Goldington etc.

Blogger bonus on Northamptonshire : Saturday June 4th  

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