Wednesday 29 May 2013

Glasgow, Simplicity Itself (?) Part 2

The Maryhill Road Corridor
Pre-Sunday 26th, key bus routes via Maryhill (Glasgow) were as follows:-

 61  Summerston : every 12 minutes

 40  Drumchapel and Clydebank : every 12 minutes

 119  Milngavie  : every 20 minutes

See "Glasgow, Simplicity Itself (?) Part 1" (read again). Note also that C8, 10, C10 and C12 are rural routes venturing into wild and open country to the north, where be dragons and Balfron. 16 & 17 are operated by Glasgow Citybus and explained (inadequately, maybe) in yesterdays post.

So, here goes with the First Bus revamp:-

 61  Remains largely unchanged running through the City centre from Sandyhills but has an increased frequency of every 10 minutes to its usual terminus at Summerton.

 60 & 60A  Run every 10 minutes through from Easterhouse replacing the every 12 minute service 40. Both routes run together through Maryhill to Canniesburn Toll (top left of map above).

 60A  Continues very 20 minutes to Milngavie, replacing the 119 which also operated every 20 minutes.
 60   Continues every 20 minutes to Drumchapel and Clydebank. But here there is a decrease of frequency. Its predecessor, the 40, ran every 12 minutes; so from Canniesburn Toll to Drumchapel there is a cut.
This reduction is mitigated by an extra service, labelled M60, which enhances the service 60 frequency to 9 buses an hour from Drumchapel to Clydebank.
Both the 60 and the M60 are shown as terminating at Clydebank Bus Station ...
... but a glance at the map implies that both run on northbound to the Clyde Shopping Centre.
So what's wrong?

Nothing except silly computer systems, yet again. Times for Clyde Shopping Centre (Clydebank, according to First!) are shown on the return timetable only ...
... and completely ignored on the outward tables. How very sensible to show a major traffic objective incorrectly. But the timetable pages were probably designed, as ever, by someone who has never been to Clydebank. Fortunately, fbb has! And Drumchapel. And Summerston.

Despite this obvious silliness, we can see how the Simplicity network works. Between City and Maryhill, buses (60, 60A and 61) run at an improved combined frequency of every 5 minutes; half the buses run to Summerston which, again, gets an improvement. Milngavie itself is unchanged at 20 minutes. Drumchapel to Clydebank is more frequent than the previous Overgound 40, leaving the section between Canniesburn Toll and Drumchapel estate, via the posh Bearsden's Canniesburn Road ...
... as the only section to lose a bit of frequency.
Every 10 minutes with 60A at Canniesburn (right) and 9 buses an hour with M60 (left) with a more than acceptable every 20 between. Very clever.

It is schemes like this that have been implemented on all main corridors in Glasgow. Only time will tell if it will work because, as ever, First Bus needs to balance the costs of increased frequency and the savings of some pruning against what needs to be an increased ridership and a better profit margin.

Revisions in Southampton, recently announced, suggest that its new network has not been as successful as hoped; Portsmouth continues to be titivated; so have First got it right in Glasgow?

From yesterday's "Glasgow Evening Times"

Many electronic displays at bus stops were giving out wrong information. One in Hope Street, in the city centre, still advertised that a 54 bus to Summerston was arriving, even though it is no longer running and has been replaced by a 7 or 7A service.

Bryan Kelly tweeted: "Lots of confused people at stops as LED signs & timetable info boards still show pre simpliCity info!", while David Graham said: "1st day of new timetable NO timetables in bus shelters".

Many others also reacted with confusion to the new service changes.

Lynn Wilson, 64, from Hyndland, said: "I'm a pensioner and use an OAP pass, so it's very difficult for me to find out the changes as I don't use a computer. It would be very useful if they had the timetables on the buses, that would have been a great help."

 Next Bus Blog : Thursday 30th May 

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