Monday 17 September 2012

Northamptonshire has a Bus Strategy

Wonderful Waterloo? : a Postscript
In yesterday's blog, fbb mentioned a prodding pole; used to correct recalcitrant flaps on the 1961 departure board at London's Waterloo station. Re-watching "Terminus", featured in yesterday's blog, (read again)
And the prodding man is checking where next he needs to prod. Such onerous responsibility. In 1961, fbb would have been on a train shown (just left of centre) a at Havant for Hayling Island, Fratton, Portsmouth and Ryde. The flaps don't differentiate between the two Portsmouth station; neither do they tell you that you need a ferry to egt to Ryde. It is a "Fast Train" and, of course, conveys  a full Restaurant and Buffet car.

Those were the days!

fbb is informed by Alan (as below) that the ticket booth picture from yesterday's blog is indeed York! It comes from another BR film "This is York" which sees the station there through the eyes of the often top-hatted station master.
Northamptonshire really does have a Bus Strategy!
At least, it has 48 A4 page a consultative version ...
... with a pretty purple cover! Next comes ...
... a completely blank purple page. Page 3 tells me what the document is. Page 4 is ...
blank and it tells me so. Page 5 is more exciting, because it is a contents index ...
... which is also blank. But then (brace yourself) comes page 6 ...

And then the fun, the spills and thrills all begin on page 7. Which tells us that Northamptonshire County Council [NCC] wants its buses to be "FIT FOR PURPOSE". No there's an imaginative and original policy strategy. But there's more. NCC wants its buses to be fit for lots of things, as below on page 8.

Pages 9 to 34 outline how the Council is going to implement it's strategy and lists 18 (yes, you read it here first) 18 polices for Public Transport in the county. Now some have accused fbb of being anti-public transport. NOT TRUE. Some have accused fbb of making a fuss about nothing. NOT TRUE. Some have even accused fbb of getting it wrong. PERISH THE THOUGHT.

But fbb can summarise NCC's "Fit for.." strategy as follows.

 1  Get the operators to improve commercial services when practicable

 2  Get developers to provide money / suitable roads for new services

 3  Use new technology if we can afford it

 4  Provide tendered services if we can afford it

And that's about it. Page 36 is anther one of these:-
Then you can read the whole lot again in "summary" form from pages 37 to 46 and we end with another one of these at page 47:-
And a nearly blank purple page for 48 with the added joy of these helpful words:-

Northamptonshire bus Strategy
For more information please contact

As an example of the powefully useful bus strategy, local correspondent Alan sends this picture ...
... and this comment:-

When the junction at Kingsthorpe was redesigned someone had the good idea of making the inbound bus bay long enough for two buses to load at the same time so two raised kerbs were installed. Unfortunately the lad they sent out to measure a bus measured an Optare Solo or a milk float or got feet and metres mixed up so the rear of the bus at the front kerb overhangs the second kerb. And of course the whole bus bay isn't long enough so the rear of any second bus blocks the exit from Kingsland Avenue.

The "experts" who designed this **** up are the same ones who telll us that the Fishmarket site for the new bus station is big enough. As Private Fraser says "We're doomed."

Regular blog readers will remember that the proposed new bus station is palpably too small and offers no room for vehicle "layover", so simply won't work. Everyone of a practical nature knows that, but the authorities are unmoved. This letter was recently received by our local sleuth. It is from Councillor Mackintosh, the leader of the Council
Dear Alan, 

Thank you for your e-mail. I am sure you will be pleased to know that a real scale exercise has been carried out with buses and a model of the Fishmarket bus station development which shows this scheme working well. I am sure you will agree that is good news.

Best wishes


A real scale excercise? But what scale. Our man in the know suggests that they might have been using these scale models ...
A "Corgi Collectable" Daimler CVG6 of the former Northampton Transport to 1/76th scale! Now that might work. Pity the Council can't shrink the passengers to fit!

And as for the Bus Strategy Document ...

Probably fit for ...
Cynical? Moi?

Blog readers may like to download their own full copy of this bilge thought-provoking document, so fbb has provided a link (here).


 Next Bus Blog : Tuesday 18th September 

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