Wednesday 28 September 2011

Alan Analyses the Alterations

Yesterday fbb commented that Travel South Yorkshire
was offering future service changes from 5th Sept 2011.
Today the web site is showing the first few changes from
30th October 2011!
 Back to today's blog ...

"Northamptonshire Changes" Road Trip

fbb is indepted to Alan,  his Northampton correspondent, for this account and begins with a very crude map of the area for those who are less than familiar with the county of boots, shoes and Des O'Connor.
Alan's trip began with Cooks Minibus service 43...
... from the County Town to Wollaston. In loving memory of Yorks bus service Bellgraphic ticket system  (read again), the driver of the ex. County Council owned vehicle went one better. (Or worse?). He was using a pad of Johns Groves emergency tickets, i.e.hand written receipts. How quaint! Note also the informative destination display.

In Cogenhoe the driver advised two elderly ladies waiting for their usual, but now revised, bus to town that he would be back in 45 minutes after going to Wollaston.

Memo to NCC : perhaps it MIGHT be a good idea to tell people their bus has changed?

And so to Wellingborough, that celebrated home of all that is good (bad, appalling, execrable, cr*p?) about bus information. See previous blogs; Weeping for Wellingborough [1] (read again) and [2] (read again). 
Firstly a picture of the timetable display at the Library, the only place in the town where you can(not) get leaflets.

Even the natives are revolting. (Well it is Wellingborough!)
In case this picture is too pixelated to read, it refers to the difficulty, nay "grate" (sic!) difficulty, for those want to get to or from, amongst other places, their "collage" (sic!).  The results of the protest are plain to see from the resolutely unchanging timetable.

But there is (un)real time information in Wellingborough ...
... and how truly helpful of the County to indicate, with consummate clarity, the THREE different places that the westbound services X4 and X47 serve when they arrive in Northampton.

Gentle hint to NCC - they are ALL the same place. How about using the SAME NAME? But, then again, if you confuse people so much they'll stop using the buses and that will save all that embarrassing subsidy money. Now, there's a plan. 

Alan was off to the station, a ghostly destination served by ghostly buses for which there is not a jot or tittle of information in the town centre.  
And one further manifestation of NCC's cunning plan is at the invisible station where we are told, (a) in big, bold type, that there are NO BUSES from the stop; together with a long and tear-jerking paragraph about the sadness of things, and (b) we are also given, stuffed in the bottom of the frame and nearly illegible, the timetable of the buses that leave from the stop.

Question to NCC staff. Do you have a brain, even if it is shared between several of you? 

And so, off to Corby, where information sources will have improved since fbb's recent blog (read again), won't they?
NO! Despite a diligent search, Alan could find no source of bus timetable leaflets in the town centre. The Library offered to print out a copy of any leaflet he wanted, but for 10p a page.

Question to Corby Library and/or the NCC. Have you tried to print out Stagecoach PDF files? Have you tried to read them when you have the hard copy in your hand? Question to Stagecoach. Have you?
Alan's return to Northampton was fairly uneventful by comparison; a service 67 to Market Harborough with a typical Centrebus destination display; an arrival at a stop which was "out of use due to road works" only there weren't any so it wasn't; and a straightforward trip back on the Stagecoach X7.

All in all, a profoundly depressing commentary on public transport in the 21st century.

The 67 runs via the picturesque Northamptonshire village of Dingley; bet you thought the name was made up, but here it really is:-
Very picture sque?

Next blog : Thursday September 29th


  1. You are far too kind with Travel South Yorkshire, fbb. Yes, they have published changes to services for the end of October.

    Firstly, they mention in the text that service 73 is to cease and then generously offer the information that it is to be replaced by the new 72; but no link to or mention of the 72.

    And, no mention at all of any service change on a route which has to cross into Derbyshire to complete the service (barring X17).

  2. Thank you anonymous. It was just a few weeks ago that a comment writer accused me of being horrid to TSY, and advising Director Brown to have nothing to do with me! That particular "anon" did not live in S Yorks.
    Perhaps I should have made it clear in today's "stop press" that NONE of the significant changes have yet appeared; notably the major revisions to service 52 rumoured to be joining the "Optio Orange" scheme.
    Today's list is a bit longer but there's lots and lots to come!