Tuesday 21 June 2011

Piglet Goes to Haycorn Drive [2]

All is revealed!

Trams arrived at Malin Bridge (pronounced "May-lin", not as in the Shipping Forecast version), Sheffield on Tuesday 19th May 1908.
By 1922, a certain Mr Thrales, landlord of the Crown and Glove Inn in Stannington, was running buses from the tram terminus back to his pub, and to the neighbouring village of Bradfield.
On Monday 27th October 1930, Sheffield Transport** began its service 7, competing with and eventually taking over the Thrales operation. All remained stable until Sunday 6th January 1952 when the Malin Bridge Trams were withdrawn.  There was no replacement, but buses that had connected with the trams were extended through to City Centre to compensate. Malin Bridge was only a couple of stops from Hillsborough where frequent trams still plied their popular trade.
In August 1952, after signifcant public protest, a proper replacement bus service was introduced, numbered 88. Over the years the 88 was extended to new housing developments off the Stannington Road and today terminates at Hall Park Head, now as First's service 12.
Road by road, the Stannington route 7 remained relatively unchanged. It was linked cross-city with the 81/82/83/84 complex for many years, but unknitted a year or two ago and and numbered 11.  A diversion of part of the service from the Nethergate terminus ...
... via Acorn Drive completes the picture and provides us with the present service 11.  But Acorn Drive is only served on journeys TO City.

So why did Piglet (remember the back story!) fail to find these service 11 journeys? (read again).  Here's the service 7 timetable from City to Stannington ...  
... with nary a word about journeys to Acorn Drive.  The diverted trips only appear on the inward timetable ...
 ... which Travel South Yorkshire reproduces in the database.

Because the 11s take a minute or two longer to nip down to Nethergate and back (see map), and because going TO Acorn Drive is now, technically, two journeys, 
the computer pushes passengers onto a more complex, but slightly quicker, schedule. fbb does not blame SYT as such (makes a change) but merely warns on-line enthusiasts that computers don't always get it right. By "right", of course, fbb means that the answer is what real people would actually use.  A live person would get it exactly right.
Happy Piglet. Piglet's confusion resolved. Next time he should ask a man who knows; IF he can find one!

Tailpiece (a little curly tail?) : Now that you understand all this, BEWARE!  From 27th July, First has registered changes to this group of services. Again! Details are not yet available but the official documents refer to service 11, 12 and 13. Residents of Stannington,  you have been warned! [as an aside, fbb has been informed that nothing much will change in July and the number 13 is meaningless. We will see what Travel South Yorkshire comes up with this time!]

Fascinating Historical Note : In 1761 a farmer discovered the remnants of a brass plate dated approx 140AD which gave the "son of Albanus of the tribe of the Belgians" an area of land in Stannington in return for his loyal service to the Roman Empire. This event is commemorated in the road name "Albanus Ridge" ...
... a cul-de-sac on the Acorn Drive development. The plaque is in the British Museum. DO pop in and have a look.

** For the pedantic purists, the operator was Sheffield Joint Omnibus Committee; joint, that is, with the two Railway Companies.

Next blog : due Wednesday June 22nd  


  1. Surely the simple thing is for the person preparing the timetable for Traveline, or the SY journey planner to simply extend the outward journeys round the loop. That's what I do for Dorset services with a circular element. Of course that relies on the data inputter being bus savvy!!
    Ken Traveline Data Coordinator (Dorset)

  2. I have just (today) discovered why that cannot happen (from my mole at TSY). It USED to, back in the pre computer ruled 80s. The reason is that the bit of software that drives the "next time" systems cannot cope with "overlapping" times. And everything has to be on one single database. So to assist the very few who interrogate next times software, the majority who use printed material have abject confusion!

  3. Yes that is true, where I have that situation in Dorset there are two timetables, one that extends round loops for journey planning (with the loop showing on both outward and inward) and a different timetable that stops the outward journey where the driver books up, and this triggers the inward journey real time predictions. It's just a matter of remembering which version goes in which data set when doing the exports to the journey planner or RTI data manager.
    It's not rocket science, we all learnt long ago that a single database cannot drive journey planners, real time and timetable book production where circulars or other oddites exist.
    Ken traveline (Dorset)

  4. Please tell that to Travel South Yorkshire!