Tuesday 29 May 2012

Grim Happenings at Glenfield Hospital [2]

And now for the big surprise!
In our somewhat frustrated attempt to catch a bus to Glenfield Hospital, we came to the depressing conclusion that service 14A, via the New Parks Estate was the best on offer. The journey time was half and hour and you would catch the 20 minute frequency First service from the salubrious environs of Abbey Road, at the "tatty" end of Leicester City Centre. Nice!

This information was dutifully gleaned from the City of Leicester map and bus guide ...
... which shows just three routes serving the busy Hospital of which only the 14A makes sense from the centre of the City.

But look closely at the map ...
... and you will espy another 9 (repeat NINE) other routes adjacent to the hospital. It is fair to say that none of these routes enter the hospital grounds but stop on the main Groby Road ...
... with the hospital in the trees to the left, across the pedestrian crossing.

What is even better is that services 26, 27, 28 and 29 combine to give a bus every 10 mins Monday to Saturday daytime. What is even better is that the journey takes just 16 minutes. What is even better is that all the routes leave from the well-appointed St Margarets Bus Station.
But Leicester City Council doesn't seem to know this, or, if its Councillors and officers do, they don't seem to want to tell you. Might this be because that data is derived from a "confuser system", and the lad who drew up the departure list (extract above) has never been to Leicester in his life? What is equally depressing is that the Hospital itself makes no effort whatsoever to tell you anything useful.

But there's more frustration to be had yet!

If we were to leave the hospital by the South Exit, we might well spy a bus stop opposite on the internal hospital road.
This one of three on the loop road than encircles the main hospital complex. On Google Maps this one is served by the aforementioned 14A (which it may well be; on a convoluted route to escape from the hospital grounds) ...
... for its route via New Parks back into the City. Odd, though, that traveline thinks buses leave from a station?
But those west and northern "stations" on the hospital "ring road" remain omnibologically anonymous. Indeed that on the west doesn't even have a pole or a "flag".
So what ghostly routes stop there, serving ghostly passengers; or perhaps the privileged few who are part of the secret Glenfield Hospital bus users club? Or does the dedicated hospital bus, the UHL Hospital Hopper trundle round this way for the benefit of NHS staff?
That red dot, on the Traveline route map of the UHL, is definitely at the "Main Entrance"  which is on the eastern side of the complex. And that is the only stop shown on the Hospital's own site plan.
"HH" is, of course, the "Hospital Hopper", helpfully showing the meaningless "UHL" on its blinds; and next to that is a little midi-bus logo and a disabled buggy logo.

Nothing anywhere else. Perhaps buses used to circle the grounds but perform this gyration no more; and hospital managers (of which there are hundreds) don't travel by bus; therefore don't know that unused stops ought to be removed?

No doubt a Leicester bus enthusiast and expert will be able to solve the apparently intractable problem of the Glenfield Ghost buses and its equally ghostly passengers.
the garden at Glenfield Hospital

And, talking of ghost buses ...

There are several more; as we shall see tomorrow when we "virtually" walk to the Groby Road stop to catch our frequent bus service back to Leicester City Centre.

Meanwhile a hospital hopper, when worked by First, leaves the main entrance; but ...
 ... where does it stop next?

 Next Blog : Wednesday 30th May 


  1. You may be surprised to know that this time Traveline is your friend - if you ask it how to get from Leicester (centre) to Glenfield Hospital it gives you a choice of the Groby road routes or the 14A, with maps to show where the stops are.

    You are also being a bit unfair to the city council's map - the little square you show has a "blow up" in the top corner which makes it clear how close Groby Road is to the hospital entrance.

    I haven't been to Glenfield Hospital, but I have been to the County Council offices which are next door - a bit of lateral thinking suggests, correctly, they they have a much more informative webpage on how to get there.

  2. In answer to your last question, on the assumption that it would serve the stops shown in the current University Hospitals Leicester 'Hospital Hopper' timetable leaflet at http://www.leicestershospitals.nhs.uk/patients/getting-to-hospital/bus-travel/hospital-hopper-bus/, its next stop is on Groby Road at 'Gilroes Cemetery/LOROS' (Leicester Organisation for the Relief Of Suffering). The leaflet makes it clear that the service is Limited Stop, so although it probably passes them, the 'UHL' omits the stops at the hospital's South Entrance and on Groby Road served by the 14A.
    Traveline, of course, has a different name for the next stop, i.e. 'Leicester Frith, adj Heathley Park Drive'. This is actually a much better description of the location - as although it is the nearest stop to LOROS, which is in Duncombe Road, it is by no means adjacent to it. Having said that, if you look at the Traveline map itself, it calls the stop 'Leicester Frith, LOROS Hospital' - which rather adds to the confusion !

  3. Frankfrog : I wasn't critical of the City Map, but I was, rightly, critical of the lack of Groby Road services for the Hospital in the alphabetical index of destination shown.
    NMcB : Yep, Gilroes Cemetery it is as will be revealed tomorrow.
    Thanks, both, for your comments!

  4. In response to your comment of the meaningless UHL, it stands for University Hospitals Leicester (the name of the local health authority) and is the route number of the service as registered and as referred to in all publicity and when answering all enquiries, so hardly meaningless.