Tuesday 9 October 2012

Partnership Proposals Promulgated [2]

A suitably anonymous commentator** on yesterday's blog impugned fbb's sense of rectitude and natural justice by implying that the fat and arrogant one was criticising SYPTE unjustly (surely not?) for innocently re-publishing wrong timetables created by the Stagecoach electronic registration system (read again). fbb responded robustly and reminded Mr Nonymous that most Stagecoach printed material shows "loop" journeys correctly; so they have no excuse for promulgating piffle in Sheffield. Here is the "outwards" route 70 timetable ...
... which shows times right round the "loop" from Killamarsh to Norwood. And the return timetable shows the times ...
... right round the "loop" from Killamarsh via Norwood.

As Mr Punch would say with squeaky voice, "That's the way to do it!". And on their version of the 70 leaflet, guess what, SYPTE gets it wrong!

** Perhaps A. Nonymous is SYPTE's Director-in-chief, David Brown?
fbb is looking at the improvements in publicity promised by Sheffield bigwigs as a consequence of the impressive (?) Sheffield Bus Partnership in which First and Stagecoach are "working together to provide a better bus service for the people of Sheffield." Maybe, maybe not; but fbb is checking on the supposedly "new-look" on-line and printed timetable leaflets. One on-going complaint, and not just from the corpulent one has been:-

 Misleading maps   e.g. service 42
We  were left, yesterday, with the challenge of understanding the route of service 42 from the excellent map (!) produced by expensive software supplied by Swedish firm Kartor.
Don't worry, the Sheffield ones are in English!
The software is "ideal", say its promoters, because it is all created automatically from one central database.  It is that automated process that produces the 42 map shown above; which our readers are challenged to understand.

Don't bother, it's not worth the effort; fbb will explain all. The 42 via the snappily titled Normanton Spring, Normanton Spring Road, Normanton Grove is a schooldays only diversion, formerly a separate service numbered 41. Then the extra bit shown north of Waterthorpe is the 0523 from Sheffield to Crystal Peaks.
 Confusing   and   no improvement   
Now a "proper" map would make those exceptional journeys clear by using (say) dotted lines and adding an explanatory note alongside the very occasional diversions. Here's one fbb made earlier:-
And, just for the record, apart from a couple of early morning trips, the all-day service 42 does NOT serve Waterthorpe.  That is simply  WRONG . Crystal Peaks is not Waterthorpe; Crystal Peaks is Crystal Peaks shopping centre; Waterthorpe is Waterthorpe.

The dowloaded Kartor file is just too memory hungry and unmanageable for fbb to do anything better, but an extract from fbb's network map may help.
At least it's got a few road names. When the "Partnership" was announced, fbb offered to produce route maps that were, well, useful; but his offer was politely but firmly declined. What is particularly galling is that boss DB told fbb that Stagecoach would be providing brand new maps via their own supplier (that's FWT).

Perhaps the boss was confused, (no wonder with maps like the current ones!), but the really good news (yes there is some!) is that we will have two new all-operator network maps at last. These are now available on-line and they are magnificent.
They appear to be accurate at first glance, but reasonably well-hidden in the depths of the TSY web site. They are so different from the poor quality of the cartography on the leaflets. It should not be difficult to simply extract the lines, road names and route numbers for each service from the big maps and jiggle them to create an equally good presentation for every timetable leaflet. But, of course, that can't be done; it's not "automatic".

Generally, apart from the new super-maps, there has been no improvement in printed and on-line publicity as a result of the much-vaunted "Partnership". Perhaps we had better offer a slightly more positive angle on all this. The PTE has only had about 9 months to get this sorted, so doing anything different from "normal" may have been quite beyond them in such a short timescale. Cynical, moi?

 And there's more ...

 Appalling routedescriptions   e.g. service 95
Route 95 to Walkley dates from horse tram days. When the electric trams were withdrawn in 1956, the bus route followed the old tram tracks, terminating in a little turning loop via "back streets" at Walkley Library on South Road.
Unhampered by the need for overhead and rails, part of the service was extended along Bole Hill Road to a terminus at what Sheffield Transport called Walkley Tinker Lane.
For reasons only known to the designers of this modern TSY map, there is no label for the main (South Road) Walkley stop which is indicated by the two minuscule dots below the "B" of Bole Hill Road.

Had Sheffield Transport called the new terminus "Bole Hills Tinker Lane" in the first place, at least some of the data management problems perpetrated by Travel South Yorkshire [TSY] would have been avoided. Tinker Lane is not Walkley and never has been; even Transport Defunct calls it "Crookes"; which it isn't.
So when the TSY leaflet bravely announces ...
... we can be sure that there will be a credibility gap of substantial proportions. This problem has been another of fbb's perennial moans, supported by many other correspondents who have contacted TSY about the eternal labelling nonsense. So has it got any better under the "Partnership", as promised?

Tomorrow we look in detail at the route 95 information. Before that, we enjoy a picture of a tram on its way from the South Road terminus to City in (?) the early 1900s. Electric trams started in 1899.
In fact, it hasn't changed much at all!

Fat Bus Bloke's Bible Blog examines the "Einstein epistle" (read here)

 Next Bus Blog : Wednesday 10th October 


  1. Sorry to be picky again, but Rebuttle ? Or am I missing a pun somewhere ?

  2. Write out 50 times "rebuttal", fbb! Another (yet another) naughty step infringement. Should have perused my Shorter Oxford Dictionary