Tuesday 20 December 2011

fbb's Rantings about the Brantings

The Best O' Leicester (and the Worst) : Episode 5
fbb Didn't get it Quite Right
Always check what you blog in minute detail, if you can; if not, guess!

In "Star Trak : The Next Generation?" (read again), fbb wrote, "Despite the fact that all four services follow the same route into Leicester, the dreaded computer prints out departure lists for each separate timetable, two at the Co-op and four at Pymm Ley Lane." INCORRECT!

On journeys towards Leicester, services 26, 27 and 28 serve The Brantings, whereas 29 and 29A don't. Or do, as we shall see. We need one of fbb's little maps. Slight bludner: Sacheverell Road should be Sacheverell Way, sorry, groovy Groby.
The Brantings is a little estate of houses off the Groby Road on the eastern boundary of the village of Groby. Once upon a time the A50 ran straight through the village and these properties were very much part of Groby. The building of the by-pass for the A50 and the new A46, also by-passing Leicester, separated The Brantings from the main village.
Although there is no sign of any difference between the various routes (hence fbb's confusion) on Arriva's map (or Leicester City's for that matter), Groby resident and good friend David advises that ONLY 26, 27 & 28 buses run via the Brantings. They stop here ...
... on the by-passed bit of Groby Road; the BLUE dot on the map above. Getting TO the stop is quite simple; they operate in a sort of straight line along the "old" A50. It's getting back onto the main road that is the hassle.
Buses have to turn LEFT out of Groby Road, then go up the the roundabout, right round the roundabout and back down towards Leicester, as pictured above. It must be a bit hairy at busy times. The pink line shows the 26 and the 28 from Groby village centre and the 27 joins them via Sacheverell Road.
So what has happened to the 29 and 29A. Presumably to save some of the hold-ups at the roundabout, the remaining two routes take Leicester Road up to the roundabout, then continue to Leicester avoiding the Brantings completely.
The nearest stop for the 29 and 29A is at the roundabout at the junction with Sacheverell Road, the RED dot.
This pic was taken before Star Trak screens were removed.

So, how do you find out about this? Where is this clearly explained in printed publicity? fbb simply does not know. The 26, 27 and 28 timetable doesn't say that they do run via the Brantings ...
On the other hand, the 29 and 29A timetable doesn't say that they don't call at the Brantings. 
In case you think fbb is being economical with the truth, the note "B" means tuns to (or from) Burton upon Trent as service 9 or 9A.

Arriva's web site keeps the Brantings information a closely guarded secret. It is only after beads-of-sweat research on Traveline that the difference is made clear, and then only if you look at the helpful pop-up local maps. Firstly the brown line VIA the Brantings ...
... with the green line showing a walk to a sample address on Overdale Avenue. Then the stop for the 29 & 29A NOT VIA The Brantings ...
... with a longer walk on the bridge over the A46.
Now, as is often the case with these detailed investigations, you might either be wondering what the fuss is about, OR you might have taken up petit-point needlework. BUT, if you lived at, or wanted to go to the Brantings you would struggle to find anything helpful.

fbb would bet his (incomplete) collection of Leicester bus leaflets that no-one at the end of a phone line would have a clue either.

Oh, fbb nearly forgot. Travelling FROM Leicester all five routes run via The Brantings. Why? Because it's quicker than using the roundabout, of course; although the road signs don't advertise the through route.
Here is one doing it!
Now that you have grasped this annoying little (little?) set of route complexities, there is only one thing left to say before you enter the sanatorium.

The evening and Sunday 29As DO run via the Brantings because, as everybody knows, the 26, 27, 28 and 29 don't run at all in the evenings, but the 27 does run (via The Brantings, of course) on Sundays. Blog readers will be tested on this in the new year!

Incidentally, this means that the minuscule estate at The Brantings gets two buses an hour to Leicester on Sunday daytimes (27 and 29A) whereas the much huger Groby village centre only gets one. That's transport planning for you.

   fbb's mini Advent Calendar: December 20th   
Frankincense : Looks a bit like those lumps of posh sugar you sometimes get in an upmarket caff (café), but fbb would not recommend eating it. Another pretty pointless prezzy procured for the Christ-child.

Incense (and frankincense is mega posh stuff) was part of the province of Priests. The ecclesiastical idea is (and was) that the sweet smelling pong would be pleasing to God, and would carry the worship of mankind "up" to heaven. In practice it was the temple equivalent of air freshener; making the pong of people less offensive to other people. It is an aromatic resin obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia.
The Magi's symbolic gift was to recognise the Christ-child as the ultimate Priest, one who was an intermediary between man and God. It is through Jesus, His Life, His Death and his Resurrection, that mankind can access almighty God.

Understand Jesus, understand God : Accept Jesus, accept His forgiveness : Follow Jesus, accept truth. He is Mr Super-Priest, replacing all human priests before and since.

Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life"
John Chapter 14 verse 6

The Zoroastrian Magi recognised something profound about what Jesus came to do; and it wasn't about floating around Palestine being "Meek and Mild". Cue gift number three!
 Next Blog : due Tuesday December 21st 


  1. Thanks for another fascinating blog - I have been preparing for the promised New Year test on this subject. However, as a result of my researches, I feel the need to take issue with your comment
    “BUT, if you lived at, or wanted to go to the Brantings you would struggle to find anything helpful.”
    By my reckoning there are at least SEVEN on-line ways for a resident of The Brantings to find out which buses serve their local stop, most of which are also available to a smartphone user and one also as printed publicity. So I think you may be being a little harsh in saying that they would struggle to find anything helpful !
    I can tell you are waiting with baited breath to find out what these seven ways are – so here goes.
    1) Google ‘Leicester Bus Map’ - and the first link suggested is at http://www.leicester.gov.uk/your-council-services/transport-traffic/transportpolicy/sustainable-team-homepage/buses-public-transport/
    Clicking on the link at the bottom of the page brings up a map of the Leicester area which makes it very clear that 26, 27 and 28 serve Groby Road in both directions while 29 and 29A only serve it towards Coalville. Towards Leicester, they are shown running via Leicester Road and the Groby by-pass – exactly as you have stated.
    This map is also available in hard-copy via an on-line request form – so presumably is also available at selected locations in Leicester. Presumably you could find out exactly where by phoning the council.

    2) Use the ‘Next Buses’ site at http://www.nextbuses.mobi/ (principally designed for mobile phones) and type in, say, ‘Overdale Avenue’. The first four stops offered are at
    * Overdale Avenue (adjacent)
    * Overdale Avenue (opposite)
    * Anstey Lane Roundabout (just after)
    * Sachaverell Way (just before)
    The first of these is clearly served by buses from Leicester, but selecting the other stops (as at 13:00) reveals that during the afternoon there are buses to Leicester from
    a) Overdale Avenue (opposite) on 26, 27, 28 and 29A
    b) Anstey Lane Roundabout on 26, 28, 29 and 29A
    c) Sachaverell Way on 27
    This is probably all you would need to know to travel from Overdale Avenue to Leicester– but if you need more, you could use Traveline East Midlands for the remaining methods.

    3) ‘Plan a Journey’ from a sample address at 10 Overdale Avenue to Leicester. This shows 6 possible departures an hour during the day (1 x 26, 2 x 27, 1 x 28, 1 x 29, 1 x 29A). All of these depart from the stop at ‘Glenfield, opp Overdale Avenue (on Groby Road)’ with the exception of 29, which requires a walk to Anstey Lane Roundabout. Clicking on the ‘Local Map’ button shows the walk to these stops – which I presume is the method you used in the blog.

    4) ‘Find a Timetable’ by entering the same address. This lists all services within 20 minutes’ walk – which in addition to the aforementioned 26 /27/28/29/A also lists Circle Line 40, Centrebus 54, Roberts Coaches 120 and Kinchbus 123.
    For each of these routes timetables can either be displayed in scrollable or pdf format, with 26 & 28 being combined on a single table as are 29 & 29A. In either format, either ‘Main Stops’ or ‘All Stops’ can be selected, and the ‘All Stops’ version shows that towards Leicester, 26, 27, 28 and 29A serve Overdale Avenue (opp), although 29 never serves it and 29A misses it out on Sundays. The difference is made clear if you look at the 29/29A timetable.

    To be continued....

  2. 5) Display the Route maps for any of these services by clicking on ‘Map’. By default, the ‘Outbound’ direction is shown (from Leicester) which shows all of these routes running along Groby Road. If you select ‘Inbound’, the route for buses towards Leicester is shown, which make it clear that 29 does not serve Overdale Avenue (opp), whilst 26/27/28 and 29A do. Unfortunately, as the computer-generated map joins stops by the shortest route, it shows a double-run from Leicester Road to Overdale Avenue and back along Groby Road rather than continuing along Groby Road to turn left onto the A50, as it does in reality. Not ideal – but at least it shows that Overdale Avenue is served by these routes.

    As an aside, clicking on ‘Map’ for the 40, 54, 120 and 123 shows that none of them actually reach Groby, but have stops within reasonable walking distance less than a mile away in either Gynsill Lane or Station Road, Glenfield. For our Overdale Avenue resident, this may be useful to know for future reference, but if they’d looked at the Leicester Bus Map they would of course know this anyway.

    6) Find the ‘Next Departures’ for 10 Overdale Avenue by clicking ‘More’, and then ‘Next Departures’ - and entering the required address, which then displays a list of nearby stops in order of increasing walk time. The stop at Overdale Avenue is 4 minutes away from No. 10, and clicking ‘Submit’ lists departures from this pair of stops in either direction. This is rather like ‘Next Buses’, but also handles future dates/times. Another difference is that it deals with groups of stops, so you can also enter options such as ‘St Margarets Bus Station’, ‘Victoria Coach Station’ or ‘Bristol Parkway Rail Station’ to see full departure lists now or in the future.
    Getting back to Overdale Avenue, selecting an appropriate time on a weekday shows it is served by 26,27,28,29 and 29A out of Leicester and all of these except 29 towards Leicester.

    7) Finally, create a printable Departure List for a specific stop by clicking ‘More’, and then ‘Times from my Stop’, enter an address, and select the required stop from the map. As an alternative, you can display the list of stops served by, say, 26 and select the Overdale Avenue stop. The resulting departure list will be spread over a number of pages, as required – in this case two pages with 26/27 on the first and 28/29A on the second. This is also quite handy for generating a departure list from St Margarets Bus Station for the opposite direction - in which case there are single pages for 26/27/28 (from Bay 5) and 29/29A (from Bay 6).

    Hmmm.... I hear you say. This is all very well, but if our Overdale Avenue resident had read the blog, he would know that 29A doesn’t serve the Overdale Avenue stop during weekday daytimes, while it DOES serve it on Sundays – so most of the above is actually incorrect!

    I know – so contacted Traveline to query the information currently shown. I have now received a very pleasant e-mail back from Leicestershire County Council, confirming that the 29A details need changing and stating that the corrected timetable will be uploaded onto Traveline in the next week or so. I will keep you posted !

  3. I'm pleased to report that the 29A timetable has now been updated on Traveline - so times, departure lists, etc. from Overdale Avenue are now correct.