Sunday 12 February 2012

A Lotta Hassle for Little Houghton [1]

Jolly Puzzles with Journey Planners - Again!
fbb wanted to get to a house in Buttercross Drive, Little Houghton (near Barnsley).
At the end of the road which runs past this little cul-de-sac used to be Houghton Main Colliery, part of the vast Barnsley and Dearne Valley Coalfield.
Like its associated pit, Grimesthorpe, this colliery closed in 1993 and nothing recognisable remains apart from this sign at the former entrance to the site.
Just opposite the ex pithead winding wheel is this bus stop ...
... called "Little Houghton Ings Lane Middecliffe Lane." Readers should try to remember this location. Nice chainlink fence?

Just to complete the picture, here is an aerial view of Little Houghton. Buttercross Drive is marked with a Google Maps letter "A", and the former entrance to the pit, plus bus stop and winding wheel are at the obvious layby cum turning loop on the left.
So now all we have to do is to interrogate either Traveline or Transport Defunct. fbb has used the former as the answers take up less space, but, please be assured, they do both give the similar answers.

Which begs the question, why are we taxpayers shelling out our millions for two bits of expensive electronic gubbins? Answers, please to Justine Greening, who is Minister of Transport for this week.

We are travelling from Barnsley Centre to Buttercross Drive and we may choose the actual address from a list which includes ...
... addresses in Doncaster, Rotherham and, unbelievably, Kilmarnock.

fbb is sure that many people wanting to get to Buttercross Drive will be happy to go to a retail park in Ayrshire as a viable alternative. Confidence is beginning to evaporate like the dew in the early morning sun. Very poetic by not very practicable.

fbb chooses No. 8 for obvious reasons.

Traveline offers the prospective bus passenger four main options each hour, as recorded below. Our journey is scheduled to leave Barnsley Interchange any time around 11.00 am on a Friday if our readers want to double-check. P. Dantik and Ken Traveline-Dorset are dead certs!

Option 1 : 1055 service 219 and an 8 minute connection at Middlecliffe for service 67 and a short walk:-
Total journey time : 39 minutes

Option 2 : 1110 service 218 and a 6 minute change at Darfield for service 33 and an 18 minute walk
Total journey time : 50 minutes

Option 3 : 1125 service 219, no change and a 16 minute walk
Total journey time : 39 minutes

Option 4 : 1140 service 218, 17 minute change at Darfield and a short walk.
Total journey time : 43 minutes.

And an Option 5 that Traveline does not give you; but with too big a panel to print out so fbb summarises thus:-
  1105 Barnsley service 67 
       no changes         
  1222 Little Houghton    
    and a short walk         
Total journey time : 1 hour and 17 minutes. You're right, it is a long way round but it is all on the one bus.

You can also tell your friends that you enjoyed sitting on the bus just as it was going to jump. They will be both impressed and bewildered.
Back to the task in hand.

Assuming that you have the choice of all five options; which journey would you take? You will need to set the "risk" of tight connection times against possible long walks. It might be pouring with rain! You might prefer one through journey but taking much longer.

fbb invites comments and will follow up with further debate from Monday.

 Next Blog : due Monday February 13th 

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