Wednesday 24 April 2013

Studying at St Andrews [3]

When you count you begin with 1, 2, 3,
When you sing you begin with Doh, Ray, Me,
When you go to St Andrew's, it's A, B, C!
And a fourth route, a 99 plus D.
From Leuchars station (red dot top left) to St Andrews bus station, Stagecoach 99 runs every 10 minutes during Monday to Saturday daytimes. Yesterday we saw the this generated 5 separate timetables in the opposite direction (from Leuchars to Dundee) although the route of the 99. 99A, 99B, 99C and 99D were identical. See "Studying at St Andrews [2]" (read again)

Likewise southbound from the station to the bus station in the celebrated golf and university town, all five are the same and, once again, there are five separate timetables; sorry NO timetables, just departure lists.
99 (unadorned) runs just St Andrews (presumably the bus station), but with each of the lettered routes continuing to provide a network of town services; 99A, C and D to Bogward and 99B whisking the shopaholics to Morrisions.

Would that it were as simple as that!

You would need to have an intimate knowledge of the street layout of St Andrews to understand exactly what is happening. With this supreme geographical and cartographic insight a skilled omnibologist might be able to unravel the truth, based on the route descriptions on each separate list.

As a starter, note that the only DIRECT bus to Bogward ...
Bogward stops : 99A, 99C, 99D

... (via Buchanan Gardens, B939) would appear to be 99D**, and that ALL buses (except 99, of course!) serve Morrisons ...
... on John Knox Road, south of the town and just off the continuing A915.

Befuddled students of bus routes have two maps to help them. The stagecoach offering is more-or-less geographically accurate but, arguably, difficult to interpret because, whilst road names are OK, the location of side-road named time points is not shown.
click on the map for a readable enlargement

Where is Madras College on South Street? What or who is "J Anderson" on Scooniehill Road? And is the Madras College on Kilrymont Road something to do with the other one of South Street? A better match-up would help. Maybe our readers are better equipped intellectually than fbb. Have a try!
A click makes the timetable bigger but no less challenging.

Or, a visitor to the town could use the diagram on display at Leuchars station.
This introduces some further un-timetabled mysteries, namely Byre Theatre, Bridge Street, Botanic Gardens and Lamond Drive (west and east, of course). Our patient and inquisitive readers may like to match up the Fife Council diagram with the Stagecoach map; but should allow themselves several cups of black coffee and a tub of tranquilisers. Perhaps, like fbb, they could visit the town, sit in the sun, enjoy a cup of Costa Lot coffee and watch the buses trundle merrily by.
And they would probably be no nearer understanding the network. That's a 99D, by the way, going direct to Bogward, except that it does a loop via the town centre first, not shown in the Fife Council map. So perhaps not quite so direct**.

And, if you do accept fbb's challenge of sorting this out, you might well start by ignoring the 92, 94, 96 and 96A on the Fife map; just stick to the simplicity (!) of the various 99s. And remember (how could you ever forget) that plain unadorned 99s don't go any further than the bus station.

Never one to shrink from danger, your chubby author will reveal the results of his long hours of late night research tomorrow.

** In fact the QUICKEST timetabled bus to Bogward is the 99C because of the time penalty of that tour round the town; but it all depends on where exctly you think "Bogward" is!

 Next bus blog : Thursday 25th April 


  1. Ah yes - cartographers - please remember to show timing points clearly on your bs maps as it's often impossible to match up the timetables to the maps otherwise! This problem happens a lot I've found.

  2. Also timetable designers - if possible name your timing points after things you can see from a map. It's surprising what a difference there is between giving directions over the phone from a map and giving directions actually on the ground - "go uphill, opposite McDonalds", versus "head west along High Street" could be exactly the same thing depending on where you are at the time.

  3. Other countries found a surprisingly simple solution for this: Bus stop names. The names are displayed on the stop signs on the road, in the timetables, on the network maps, the bus drivers know the names and the name of the next stop(s) is announced or displayed in the bus.

    When I am in Britain as a tourist I often have the problem that I want to go to Example street, but the bus driver doesn't know where this is and I don't know, that for the locals the stop is "round the corner where the fox and duck once was".

  4. Public transport is one of the most challenging kind of thing for all but there are many great transport companies in the market.Many ways where public transport can be possible.