Wednesday 22 February 2012

Bus Rides Bought from Bawtry [3]

Extra Journeys Available - or not?
Bawtry's on-line presence is minimalist, with a web site that offers little except:-

Welcome to Bawtry Our Town
In the 12th century Bawtry was the third largest inland port in England. Today Bawtry provides high class shopping during the day and an eclectic social scene in the evenings.

The list of forthcoming activities (in 2009!) is as follows:-

These are Bawtry's major events, refer to the Town Council Newsletter for actual dates and times.
Bawtry Action for Recreation and Sports (BARS) Sports Day at the Memorial Sports Ground
 Late night Christmas shopping, 5pm to 8pm, Thursday 3 December 2009
Carol Service on Market Hill .

The town is on the south eastern tip of South Yorkshire with the border with Nottinghamshire literally at the end of the High Street (called South Parade at that point). It had a station on the East Coast main line ...
... which closed in June 1965. It was a busy staging post on two main trade routes, the Great North Road and what became the A631 from Yorkshire to Lincolnshire. Its bus services are in the hands of Stagecoach, successors to East Midland and run, mainly north and south to Doncaster, Worksop and Retford.
In the late 70s and early 80s there was a newly created link east to Sheffield which did not survive the turbulent post privatisation years.
But we have been looking at cross-border links to the North Nottinghamshire villages of Scaftworth, Everton, Mattersey and Mattersey Thorpe. WHY? Because, at first glance, there isn't much on offer.

But the Stagecoach printed timetable guides us, via the "star" note, to service 27A.
The leaflet is, however, less than helpful in matters of detail. Travel South Yorkshire obediently copies the Stagecoach words without really understanding what they mean.
TSY also copies the Stagecoach mistake as the fourth time should read 1255!
But you will not find four bus trips to Mattersey Thorpe, only two.
The 1055 and 1255 are arrival times back at Bawtry. Nottinghamshire and Stagecoach both provide an on-line timetable, but the latter incorporates the Mattersey journeys into a complicated composite with 27A journeys in the opposite direction to Misson and a schoolday bus, service 129.
It's accurate but very messy. The star refers back to connections for Retford.

Unhelpfully, Nottinghamshire makes no mention of the fact that journeys have to be pre-booked, so tough luck if you arrive at Bawtry from Doncaster at 1000 on the service 99 to change to the 1015 service 27A ...
... and you haven't pre-booked, you could have and long long wait until 1642 if no-one else requires the elusive 27A.

Traveline Yorkshire makes no mention of the service at all, leaving off peak potential travellers to Mattersey Thorpe with a tortuous route via Retford. What fun!
One hour and 36 minutes as opposed to a mere 17 minutes on the 27A. fbb is not 100% certain where the captivating Cooks Cottages can be encountered but he is 100% certain that he would prefer to interchange at the impressive new Retford bus station.
Traveline East Midlands does include the errant journeys ...
... without a clear mention that they have to be pre-booked. The technology also tells the unwary that the Stagecoach bus will be going to Bawtry, which is where you would be waiting to board it. Once again this is because the data has been entered erroneously in the form of a "circular" service, which it isn't. Will the destination screen on the bus be more helpful? "Service" 27A?
service 27A at Mattersey Thorpe

So the traveller has a choice:-
Incomplete and effectively incorrect paper information from TSY
Incomplete and effectively incorrect paper infromation from Stagecoach
Incomplete and confusing on-line information from Stagecoach
Incomplete on-line information from Nottinghamshire
Incomplete information from Traveline Yorkshire
Incomplete information from Traveline East Midlands

Sometimes (no, often), fbb wonders whether "the powers that be" (in this case Nottinghamshire which sponsors service 27A) actually want people to use their services. If they do, then surely this ...
... is a more helpful presentation of the options available from Bawtry to Mattersey.

Oh dear, what can the matter be?
When are the buses from Bawtry to Mattersey?
Complications bludgeon and batter me
It's hard to find out what's there.

 Next Blog : due Thursday February 23rd 

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