Friday 30 August 2013

That's The Way NOT to Do It! [1]

Northampton Station Closed in 1987!
Oh no it didn't!
Oh yes it did!
But it was Northampton on the Boston "Elevated" in the USA.
The orange "El" ...
... was replaced by the underground (metro) "Orange" line.
Meanwhile, in the Northampton we all know and love, there have been developments in the arrangements for the station rebuilding works. We can usefully compare the set-up with that outlined in yesterdays Sheffield Tram blog.

You nay well remember that most buses are diverted away from West Bridge and temporary stops have been provided for the remainder. The westbound example was particularly underwhelming ...
... with no pole, no flag and no timetables. Recently this has changed, with a replacement replacement westbound stop on the top of the bridge. Little white rectangles can be espied in the picture below.
The new westbound stop has Stagecoach timetables and a flag but nothing from Uno which operates past there in the evening.

But information at the station itself is still lamentable. On the way in you can have ...
... wheeled access to. So that's allright, then. On the way out and just outside the booking hall you can follow arrows to ...
... and no mention of Town Centre, or, heaven forfend, buses. ["Buses, what are they?" said a fictional spokesman for London Midland, the train operator.] Our Northampton correspondent, Alan, was able to persuade the people with the confusers to update the Station Information poster; from uselessly out of date ...
... to just useless.
The internal road network at the station is still laughably wrong and replacement temporary stops "X" and "Y" are in the wrong place. They should be roughly where the green line directs cyclists to waver back across multiple lines of cones and traffic having already crossed pointlessly at X and Y. Fortunately the poster is so unimaginative that no-one ever uses it, right or wrong.

Before we look at present day arrangements, we should be reminded that, prior to the start of work on the new building, potential bus passengers would walk out of the station building, bear left across a short-stay parking area and there on their own little bus lane ...
... would be east- and west-bound bus stops with shelters, timetables and a modicum of electronic information. Of course we could go back even further to fbb's dim and distant youth. Having alighted from their Jubilee-hauled express (?) and exited from the London and North Western Railway's finest red brick ...
... it was a quick nip up the steps to the bus stops.
Even better; when busy trains arrived from London, the station staff would open the door which led direct onto West Bridge. This was located at the top of the footbridge stairs and the creaky wooden footbridge was, in those far-off days, glued on to the road bridge.
Interchange was simple; and whilst many passengers would walk to town, others could catch red Corporation buses to the town centre stops close to All Saints Church or green United Counties buses to Derngate bus station. And just across the less-busy road was the stop for westbound routes.

So, tomorrow, we look in detail at the supposedly simple process of alighting from a train from London and catching a bus westbound to the delights of dynamic Duston.

 Next Bus/Rail Blog: Saturday 31st August 

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