Friday 15 July 2011

Depressing Doncaster Discoveries [4]

Bamboozled at Balby

Balby is an unassuming suburb of Doncaster. Probably its only nationwide claim to fame is as the setting for the late Ronnie Barker's superb comedy, "Open All Hours".
Arkwright's corner shop location was on Lister Avenue and was in reality then (and maybe still is) a Hairdresser's.
This series of four blogs has be examining publicity and background for bus service 18 for Dinnington, which passes through Balby. But inexorably we will be dragged into an intimate relationship with buses to Alverley Lane and Broomhouse Lane. In 1987, for example, these were numbers 156 and 157 respectively.
This fbb map of 1987 routes referred to in the blog will help. Hopefully.
And a similar diagram of services up to 23rd July 2011. Note that the 18 now runs via Broomhouse Lane and not Warmsworth and the 156 and 157 are a single service 16; now via Warde Avenue ...
... and serving both Alverley Lane and Broomhouse Lane. Indeed here is a 16, returning from Alverley Lane (turning circle) ...
... via Springwell Road and turning left into Broomhouse Lane.
Where it will do its little loop in the estate via Millwood Road before trundling back to Doncaster.

All very straightforward and fairly simple to follow; that is until this little triangle appears on the map for the revised 18 ...
... totally unexplained by Travel South Yorkshire or their super "inter-inactive" map. As they say at the end of most EastEnders episodes, "What's going on?" fbb spent several hours wrestling with this one. What possible reason might some 18s have for diverting via Warde Avenue; and when do such journeys divert - and why?

The answer is to be found in the 16 timetable, also revised from 24th July.
Lo and behold, the evening service on route 16 is withdrawn.

Replaced by the new 18B journeys, following the same route at least as far as the turn into the estate at Broomhouse Lane.
Sadly, Alverley Lane loses its evening service completely. Every 15 minutes during the day (Mon to Sat) and not a dicky bird in the evening.  

Needless to say, NONE of this subtlety is explained by Travel South Yorkshire. There's not even a note about the 18A journeys on the 16 leaflet.  
AND - similarly, nothing is said on the new 18 leaflet! So for a Broomhouse Lane (estate) or Warde Avenue passenger, TSY simply tells them that they have lost their evening service, and tough all round.

AND - of course, the journey planner doesn't find any through journeys to Broomhouse Lane (estate) at any time of day (as usual); you have to get off and walk. 

AND - as can be seen above, the outward timetable fails to mention Broomhouse Lane anyway. Astoundingly, because they ought to know better, First's version of the 16 timetable also fails to explain its "two legged" arrangement properly.

AND - the 18B timetable implies that the service doesn't call at some Broomhouse Lane stops; but, of course it does.

AND - Apart from all that, the leaflets are doing a grand job.  Just a reminder of TSY's policy:- 
So now you know!

P.S. fbb has prepared a timetable (here) for the revised 16 and the 18B which would explain all to the good folks of Broomhouse Lane. It also clarifies the route via Warde Avenue for both services and the 16 presentation would make the Journey Planner work properly as well. Wins all round.

Episode 1 read again (here)
Episode 2 read again (here)
Episode 3 read again (here)

Next blog : due Saturday July 16th  

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