Monday 24 December 2012

The One Part Four

Completion and Competition
But first ...
 Advent Alphabetical Almanac 

X is a cross
Sorry; apart from musing over Romans debating the story of Christ in a xyst there isn't much else to consider! But in Western culture the cross stands for a whole rage of activties.

X is when something's wrong

X is a kiss, the sign of Love

X is the choice of the Voter

X is the Cross of Christianity

X is the inadequate abbreviation in Xmas

God created humans (how does not matter)
     with the ability to choose
The price of that risky gift
     is that we often choose to do wrong
Wrong could never be acceptable to a perfect God
Wrong must therefore be punished and cleansed
Jesus came to die on the cross to accept
      the punishment that should be ours
Our wrongs can be forgiven
We can be made clean
We can join God in eternal heaven

What is rather more spooky that any of us like to admit is this:- The more we, as a society, reject Christ, the more bad things keep happening. However hard we try to make things better in our own strength, things still go wrong and simply don't work out. That is the disease of sin that features so strongly in the Bible message and Christ-mas is there to offer us a way of dealing with the problem.

Unbelievable? Your call!
Continuing to unravel First Glasgow's "The One":-
This 1A reminds its passengers, both on the electronic display and in the windscreen, that it used to be numbered 204. A nice touch and really very helpful to passengers seeking to unravel the complexities of the new network and its numbering.

 1A Balloch  runs every 30 minutes Monday to Saturday and every hour evenings and Sundays.
This variant follows the "main line" as far as Milton on the outskirts of Dumbarton, then rather than running direct via ASDA into the town centre is pops off up the Stirling Road and does a circuit of the Bellsmyre housing scheme ...
... as can, sort pf, bee seen on this map extract.
Sadly this extract comes from the excellent Strathclyde Partnership for Transport map; at least it would be excellent if SPT had bothered to update it. It's dated December 2010 and has become increasingly useless.

The new 1A enters Dumbarton via Townend Road and continues, like The One service 1 via Alexandria then via Napierston Farm estate to Balloch.

Thus the three services (1, 1 and 1A) provide 6 buses an hour between Glasgow and Dumbarton which is every 10 minutes. So, how come the buses are emblazoned with "up to every 6 minutes".
Good question! Between Glasgow centre and Clydebank there is an additional 20 minute service of "short workings".
 1 Clydebank   runs every 30 minutes Monday to Saturday and every hour evenings and Sundays.
That gives 9 buses an hour over this inner section, or a bus every 6.666666666 (recurring) minutes. Not the most honest or helpful piece of PR if you are waiting in the rain on the Bellsmyre Estate for half an hour!

First Bus is not alone on these routes. Local services 205 and 208 (still numbered in the old series) are matched head to head by the ever expanding McGills buses who acquired the McColl's business earlier this month.
McGills have just re-introduced their version of a through service to Glasgow ...
... numbered 204X but offering a much faster running time from Balloch ...
... by missing our Dumbarton completely! And their timetable reveals yet another slight bending of the truth. True it only takes one hour to get to Argyle Street and Central Station but another 11 minutes to get to the terminus, just 4 stops away. Is Glasgow's traffic that bad?
Unfortunately it is almost impossible to trace the route in the City as nobody produces a map of the central area. So it is a bit of a guess, but fbb thinks the buses run via Argyle Street, Queen Street, Ingram Street, Glassford Street and Stockwell Street to a terminus near the St Enoch Centre on Osborne Street.
And apologies to Glasgow experts if this is wrong!

So the big question is, "Will First's new buses and the re-branding attract more passengers in general and counter the advance of the predatory McGill's monster?"

P.S. fbb forgot First's  1B  - a small number of Monday to Friday peak journeys which, ironically, follow a similar route to McGill's 204X by omitting Dumbarton.

They take an hour and 14 minutes from Argyle Street to Balloch; but it is evening peak.

 Next Bus Blog : Tuesday 25th December 


  1. If the 1 (Helensburgh), the 1 (Balloch) and the 1A (Balloch), give 6 buses an hour; then the short Glasgow-Clydebank workings offer another three, the extra peak hour 1Bs will make that at least 10 in those particular hours, so the 'up to every 6 minutes' is strictly correct, if one accepts that it is an average, and only applies to part of the route. Of course, the phrase 'up to' is the key, just like the 'from' used frequently for (e.g.) the fares offered by low-cost airlines. The chances of actually being able to travel for the minimum fares are usually remote, and no doubt the hours when there are 10 buses on the '1' are equally few and far between, but the claim is so vague in any case to be of little value.

    Fairly typical of modern marketing and promotion methods, but I suppose every business tries to promote the best aspects of its products.

    Have a good Christmas, and thanks for your posts during the last year.

  2. PS: not sure about your suggestion reagrding the McGills route in Glasgow, as the stop in Argyle Street that is 11 minutes from the terminus in Osborne St is the Central Station. If it used the route you suggest, then it would never pass the Central Station. Maybe the 11 minutes is mostly 'make-up' time?

  3. The Central Station stop in on Argyle Street adjacent to the Hielaman's Umbrella bridge. It is nearest to the Central Low Level platforms entrance.

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