Wednesday 12 October 2011

An Arbourthorne Argonaut [2]

But first, yet another fbb grovel!

In yesterday's blog (read again), fbb castigated the petitioners of Sheffield S10 for getting it wrong about stops for the station. In fact Traveline is misleading when it says there is a stop on Harmer Lane (as blogged). fbb foolishly jumped to the wrong conclusion. A better stop name would be "Pond Street opposite bus station platform A"
In fact the stop is absolutely awful, located here, on the left on Pond Street with not even a proper shelter ...

...and the bus really ought to run via a proper bus station stand. fbb apologises unreservedly to the worthy petitioners. Thank you S10 resident, John, for sorting fbb out.  John also writes ...

On journeys from Fulwood it is true that there is a stop in view of the Station entrance (Suffolk Road), but this is only reached after a tortuous circuit of the City Centre giving at least 12 minutes extra journey time when compared to alighting from service 40 on Paternoster Row. Most passengers for the Station reluctantly alight on Arundel Gate and walk down Howard Street, which at least is downhill. 

This is a bit "technical" for an outsider to follow, but John (and the residents of S10) do have a point. The previous service 40 (more previously, service 60) ran to the bus station VIA a useful stop for the station and was much quicker.

Memo to fbb: get your research right before you write!

Despite fbb bludners, the core point is unchanged, Optio Orange is very far from a success for a significant number of passengers. What hope for Optio Red?
Back to Arbourthorne ...

A revised network from 1938.
When Sheffield Transport's service 5 began in 1937 (read again), East Bank Road was still incomplete; see the dotted lines to the right of the "d" of "Newfield". Hurlfield Road (below the brown "700" contour on he map) was little more than a farm access track ...
  ... seen here in about 1900. So when East Bank Road was fully open, the previous service 105 was significantly re-organised. Additionally a small suburban shopping centre was growing to support developing private housing around Gleadless Town End.
So, service 105 now terminated at Arbourthorne; that's Sheffield Transport's Arbourthorne (below),
of course, not the original hamlet at Norfolk Park. These two pics are, of course, modern; but, leaving aside the tram poles at Town End and the up-to-date street furniture, things are much the same as ever they were.

Two new routes began, one via Ridgeway Road (101), the other via Gleadless Common (102), both terminating outside the Red Lion at Town End. Note the the blue door of the now closed convenient conveniences, a feature of Sheffield termini since tram days. The pub looks closed as well!
Similar timetables were still in place in 1951. Things didn't change much, then. Here is the 101 and 102 to Gleadless, together providing a 10 minute frequency.
And the 105 running every 5 minutes at peak times.
So, apparently, it is all very straightforward. There is, however, a problem which, a few years later, will cause inexperienced passengers to tear out clumps of their hair and, many many years later, will give fbb sleepless nights as he tries to unravel what actually happens. But that is the essence of Part 3. Meanwhile, here is the note which will create so much apoplectic anguish in the future. 
At "busy times" (Monday to Saturday morning and evening peaks plus Saturday lunchtime peak) 101s and 102s do not run via Eastern Avenue, instead going straight up East Bank Road. See the dotted black line on the map above.

There is a logic. At those times the 105, which always travels via Eastern Avenue, is running its 5 minute "peak" service whereas at "non busy" times, the department wanted to preserve as frequent a timetable as possible where passengers numbers would be the greatest.

But we shall see the horrific comprehension consequences of this nicety in Episode 3.

Next blog : due Thursday October 13th  

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