Tuesday 15 May 2012

Terrific Top Timetable [the sequel]

How to publicise a bus service.
Two "trendy" timetable covers?

The Gosport & Fareham book was late and the Southampton version nearly so, but both productions are excellent examples of how to present a new network to the public. It was a pleasure to see a good selection of passengers actually using their booklets on recent visits.

Both publications have pages which explain the new routes and their relationship to the previous network.
Southampton uses the route colours in is heading whilst Fareham is monochrome:-
Southampton's network map is in the form of a diagram which takes significant liberties with georgraphy, but the book does include accurate individual route maps. There is a niggle with that for the 4, 4A and X4 group, where a little more detail (with road names?) in the Warsash, Titchfield and Locks Heath areas would be helpful.
And a bad house point for spelling Bursledon wrongly.
Write out 100 times "Bursledon" and hand to me first thing tomorrow morning.

For fbb, less than familiar with the detailed geography of Southampton, the individual maps were simply great, as was the City Centre stop locations panel ...
... although this might have benefited from the use of route colours to match the rest of the book.

The Fareham book has two multicoloured maps, more practicable for the smaller geographical areas:-
These were just as helpful as Southampton's individual route maps.

Of course, it would be unreaslistic to expect a commercial operator to include other company's services, but the Fareham book, oddly, shows both Greyhound (a First brand) and National Express departures, plus times for the Stagecoach 69 to Winchester.
Not shown, sadly, is the X57 (that's X for Xelabus, not X for eXpress!) which fills in some gaps left with the introduction of the "fast" X4 between Fareham and Portsmouth ...
... not much of a filler but better than nothing; seen here at the "launch"
And one final mystery exposed by fellow blogger at the "Southern England Bus Scene" blog (read here) ...
 ... branding for the 4, 4A and X4 group of services. "Solent Ranger" doesn't get a mention anywhere else; was it an "afterthought"?

And one final question ...
Is this better than the usual "then at these minutes past each hour" panel in a timetable? Southampton does it this way whilst Fareham stays with convention. The print is very small; fbb's chum had to take his glasses off to read it!

Minor niggles apart, these are excellent productions and should be distributed to all bus operators as an outstanding example of best practice. If First can gradually improve all its publicity, printed and roadside, to this standard than the new-look management deserves to succeed.

Death to leaflets!
Power to the timetable book!

Tomorrow, fbb's return visit to the Gosport and Fareham busway; including "The Great Bus Race"!

 Next Blog : Wednesday 16th May 


  1. Stop AB in Southampton City Centre looks to be in a rather strange location, and I certainly don't remember one there in my youth!

  2. Regarding Stop AB, this also confused me at first. However, on examination, the vertical line below the identifier is not a downward vertical arrow pointing to a stop on Pound Tree Road but an upward arrow connecting the list of routes (1,2,2A,3,S1) to the southbound stop in Above Bar Street. This stop certainly exists now, and judging from Google Streetview looks as though it has been there for some time.

  3. Indeed, NMcB is right. Perhaps it is more obvious as a user when you're looking at the map as a whole. I certainly cannot fault the map.

    Stop AB has been there for years and years.

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