Monday 13 June 2011

Piglet goes to Haycorn Drive [1]

Tigger hasn't had any breakfast yet; so Pooh had taken him to Piglet's house for some haycorns.

Piglet pushed the bowl of haycorns towards Tigger, and said: "Help yourself," and then he got close up to Pooh and felt much braver, and said, "So you're Tigger? Well, well!" in a careless sort of voice. But Tigger said nothing because his mouth was full of haycorns...

After a long munching noise he said:  "Ee-ers o i a-ors."

And when Pooh and Piglet said "What?", he said "Skoos ee," and went outside for a moment. There were gurgling sounds.

When he came back he said firmly:  "Tiggers don't like haycorns."

Younger readers will remember.  In today's story we join Piglet on holiday at St Lawrence Road in Tinsley, Sheffield.  Always happy for an adventure, Piglet intends to visit Acorn Drive at Stannington to replenish essential snack stocks.  His hosts have told him to catch a service 69 to Sheffield and then ask again.

But Piglet has become computer literate in recent years and aims to plan his trip on-line. Pooh would be proud of him because Pooh, sadly,  is a bear of very little brain!

Piglet goes to Google on his laptop and searches for "Sheffield Bus Timetables" ... 
... but this gives a list of 210 timetables, in no recognisable order and all containing, so we are told, the word "bus". Great: a complete waste of time! What about a search for a specific timetable, namely the 69? This box appears on the swirly and confusing home page of Travel South Yorkshire [TSY].
Alas, all this delivers is ...
... a bus from Barnsley, so not much good.  Undaunted but frustrated, Piglet has no choice but to go to his nearest stop, shown here subdued by shadow, and wait.
Eventually, along comes a non-existent 69. Neither fbb nor piglet has any idea as to why service 69 times must remain forever secret at Travel South Yorkshire Towers.  Perhaps the lads at HQ have never travelled on the 69?

Before leaving, however, Piglet has used SYT's journey planner to find his way to Acorn Drive ...
... which involves a change at Stannington Road to something called "SL2".
Now, apart from the undisputed fact that Snig Hill is NOWHERE near Kelham Island,  (the map shows where the island was, once, long ago) ...
... and, not surprisingly for SYT, Stannington Road has NOTHING to do with Little Matlock**, the journey looks reasonable.  At least it looks OK until Piglet gets off Supertram Link 2 (Now you all knew what SL2 was, didn't you?  Erm, actually, no!) here on Acorn Drive
He is immediately overtaken by a speeding service 11!  Why did Piglet have to change buses if there are through journeys? And it's not just the occasional glitch; every journey to Acorn Drive, according to the self-effacing Travel South Yorkshire,
requires a change, despite a more than satisfactory through service.
11s run from the centre of Sheffield to Acorn Drive every 30 minutes Monday to Friday and every 20 minutes on Saturday.  Here's a timetable extract:-
click to see in a readable size. 

fbb will allow a day or two for the interested reader to work the answer out for himself.  For the unsuccessful sleuth, a solution will be published in a few days.

Meanwhile, a  perturbed piglet finds not a single Haycorn on Acorn Drive.  All together now, "Aaaaah!"

** Little Matlock : Entrepreneur Thomas Halliday built the Robin Hood Inn ...
... on Greaves Lane on the banks of the Loxley river in about 1800.  He also planted trees etc. with the intention of developing a tourist resort to rival Matlock Bath in nearby Derbyshire. Hence his chosen name for the area. The pub is a good place for a meal and a drink but his development stopped there.  It is about three quarters of a mile from Stannington Road.  There are roads nearer echoing the Little Matlock name, but to use it as a definition of Stannington Road is nonsense!  The Robin Hood IS Little Matlock; there ain't nuttin'else!
Next blog : due Tuesday June 14th  


  1. Criticism does not stop at the SYPTE input into showing people how to travel to Acorn Drive! If one looks to the fountain of all knowledge about First Group buses in South Yorkshire, the First Group website itself, selecting the timetable for service 11 shows that no bus leaving the city centre travels on to Acorn Drive.

    Furthermore, for a return journey the buses operate as far as the "up" side of Snig Hill so journeying on to, say, Pinstone Street is allegedly not available.

    These terminal loops at each end, designed no doubt for passenger benefit(?) are ignored when placing information on line. It is understandable in service registration terms as one should not register the same section twice when only one bus operates that section, but the application of common sense in the presentation of public timetables is essential. Sadly, it appears lacking with the operator just as much as the PTE!!

  2. Thanks anonymous - there is a limit to what you can cover in one blog!

    Following this up at a more "official" level, at least two reliable authoritative sources have since told me that it is an "official requirement" that printed timetables mirror "exactly" the registration. I think that this is rubbish as there is NO "legal requirement" for any operator to provide a printed timetable at all!

    But it is a rumour that is spread quite widely. Clearly if it is true it's daft!

  3. Thanks, fbb. It has to be said that the public timetable must be an accurate representation of the registration and show buses leaving stops at the registered times. As far as I am aware, there is no requirement to show all or any registered journeys in a public timetable.

    However, the way in which registered journeys interact with one another should be shown where this is in the interest of gaining patronage and therefore business. For example, remember the Lincoln - Manchester service, X67? This, like so many others in the country, was registered in sections. The public does not want to know this and so the timetable simply showed what the bus did.

    If First SY want to register service 11 in, say, 2 sections (eg Sheffield - Hillsborough and Hillsborough - Stannington) then they can do so BUT the timetable would show the buses working through.

    Applying this logic to what we said earlier then they very much still have a case to answer!

    I remember that some services in days gone by (and it may well still be the case now) were registered by First SY as a service with only one terminal; for example, Hall Park - City - Bents Green loop - City - Hall Park. I seem to recall that this played havoc with the PTE's road side displays! One cannot argue that in such a case the public timetable should precisely match the registered version!

    (I've nearly got so wound up to have almost written a new blog.)