Friday 7 December 2012

Timetable Books Totally Brill! [3]

But when it comes to the evening services ...
But first:-
 Advent Alphabetical Almanac 

G is for Good News
The word "gospel" is a contraction of "god", old Englsh for "good", and "spel" which means "news" or (a nice old-fashioned word) "tidings". What's that go to do with spelling as in "can you spell "Mephibosheth"? When you spell a word, you are speaking out each letter; when you bring news, good or bad, you are speaking out the detail.

An angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds, and the glory of the Lord shone over them. They were terribly afraid, but the angel said to them, “Don't be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people. This very day in David's town your Saviour was born; Christ the Lord!"

Many of those who choose to reject anything "religious" ask the oft-repeated question "if there is a God, why doesn't He do something about all the bad things in the world? Good question! But the answer is blindingly obvious - God has already done all that is needed to rid the world of every scrap of evil. He has sent his "Son", Jesus, to offer the support, the forgiveness and the life-style decisions we all need to deal with our personal wrongs, and thus make our individual contribution to evil-ridding!

Try reading a collection of Jesus' teaching which we call "The Sermon on the Mount". (Matthew's account of the Good News, chapters 5,6 and 7. Go on, be brave and read it!

That's how to sort out all the evil in the world. That's Christmas!
Back to our Blog.

The planners of Portsmouth's network have been very clever; very clever indeed. Faced with an on-going series of local authority funding cut-backs, First have taken the bull by the horns and come up with a better network without additional cash. The trouble with being "clever" is that the cleverness can sometimes bamboozle the customer.

Try, for example, a journey from Copnor to visit Aunty Flo, recovering from a hip operation in Queen Alexandra's Hospital at Cosham.
But you don't fancy a 12 minute walk, in the cold, wet and dark. Surely First say something about "connections" in their excellent timetable book.
And when we look at the timetables themselves we see the problem ...
... namely that evening buses via Copnor only run as far a Cosham, whereas, during the day, they serve the Pasteur Road entrance to the hospital and continue via Wymering to Paulsgove. So where are these fabulous First connectional opportunities. A Traveline enquiry from Copnor to Paulsgrove ...
... suggests that the connection involves a 32 minute wait outside the Health Centre.

It looks a really attractive place to wait, espeially at night. Some connection! Yet, elsewhere, First talk about a three minute connection. So let's look at the evening services route map ...

The 2 runs only between Portsmouth, Copnor and Cosham, whilst the 3 and 3A only run between Cosham and Paulsgrove or Fareham. Evening journeys via North End are provided ONLY by service 7, one of the Waterlooville group. Keen readers can compare this map with the daytime services from yesterdays blog. (read again)

It would seem, then, that when a nice service 2 arrives in Cosham at 19 and 49 minutes past each hour ...

... it changes, like Ciinderella's pumpkin, into a nice onward service 3 at 21 and 51 minutes past each hour. It would seem (only "seem" because nowhere do First admit to this cunning plan) that 2s become 3s and vice versa and the frustrated traveller from Copnor to the hospital can just sit tight as usual.

Now, Mr First, if fbb's guess is correct, wouldn't it be a good idea to publish the through timetable and let those lovely people at Traveline know? Here is an extract from similar journey as provided by the xephos system.
And fbb knows that the bus doesn't call at Cosham Station; this should read "Northern Road for Cosham Station". Despite this bludner, the xephos version provides the benefits of a correct presentation of the through journeys. Or has fbb got it wrong, yet again?

 Next Bus Blog : Saturday 8th December 


  1. I'm sure you're right that the 2 interworks with the 3/3A in the evenings. And I think that something similar happens with the short workings of the service 7, which apparently terminate at Cosham. My guess is that the bus arriving as 7 then does a return trip to Paulsgrove (2C), followed by a return trip to Highbury (12), before going back to Southsea as the 7.
    Overall, I think the evening service pattern does a good job (at least on paper - I haven't seen it in operation). It offers reasonable journey opportunities, with guaranteed connections where necessary. But it could be presented more clearly in the timetable book, so that we can see all the through workings and the connections. Although they use the same service numbers throughout the day, most of the evening services are shortened versions of the daytime routes. Only the 1, and alternate jouneys on the 7, cover the full daytime route. And the 2C has no direct daytime equivalent. I think we need a bit more help to understand how to get from A to B in the evenings.

  2. Thanks, Steve. I must confess that the ramifications of 7 + 12 + 2C were beyond the frazzled seasonal brain! Given a hour or two of investigative time, I will have a go at sorting it out!