Wednesday 4 September 2013

Timings Built On Serving Filton [2]

One of the enduring mysteries of Bristol is the question "Where is The Centre?" Not, please note, "Where is the centre?"; the capital letters are important. Some maps show the city centre like this:-
But, pedantically, such a cartographical interpretation is less than correct. Although much rebuilt, firstly as a result of wartime bomb damage and later as part of the city's regeneration programme ...
... the Broad Quay area (historically developed from a now-filled-in dock) was ...
... The Tramway Centre. It was here where most of Bristol's horse trams (later electric) congregated. When wartime damage abruptly ended the tram system it was here where most of the buses congregated and the name became just "The Centre".
Even today, you will find many of First Bus's city and country routes calling at busy stops on or near Broad Quay..

In 1912, the Filton tram was numbered 6. The route had been extended from Horfield to near the Church ...
... from where Tram No 233 has its blind set for returning to the "Tramway Cenre".
It was at Filton Church that "motor charabancs" could be boarded for onward travel to Thormbury.
Later, of course, the motor bus services were extended and augmented to carry the thousands of workers to and from the various factories north of the former Filton Village.
In 1957, one such route was numbered 73, seen here in 1957 outside the well-known and popular Anchor Hotel.
Today's main First Bus route to Filton is the 75 running every 10 minutes along the busy Gloucester Road (A38) through "the village" to the Patchway roundabout.
Here the route runs via Coniston Road to its terminus at the out-of-town shopping mall delightfully named Cribbs Causeway. It's companion, route 76, leaves the main drag at Horfield and follows a shorter route via Southmead and Crow Lane to the "Mall".
But don't take fbb's word for it, check on First's current on-line plan of Bristol City routes which clearly shows the 76 ...
... NOT going to Cribbs Causeway. Whoops! Now, "new look" and keener First, what's the point of publishing route maps that are wrong; and wrong through incompetence and lack of update?

In passing, please note that the route 75 does not have a "time point" at the traditional Filton Church but quotes a stop some distance further north, almost at Patchway. Furthermore, as is so often the case, names on the map do not match the timetable except at the terminus. Very helpful and usefully informative, NOT!

And it is the complications of time points, stop names and stop locations that concerns fbb. There are, you will observe, far more bus routes than just the simply city service 75 passing through the traditional "village" of Filton.
So, tomorrow, we take a look at where the stops are and what they are called. It will be quite hard work, so settle down with your thinking head attached and, perhaps, a cup of strong black coffee to hand. You may well need it!
What exactly do they mean?
Just past fbb mansions is the vehicular entrance to Tesco and, for no obvious reason, the lads arrived yesterday to resurface the junction and dig up the pedestrian walkway.
Three-way traffic lights coped (just about) with traffic and a set of signs was provided for pedestrians. Approaching from the town centre this was the unhelpful offer:-
On yesterday morning's "constitutional" fbb, always the rebel, circumnavigated the barrier and walked on fearlessly. Just beyond the barrier were two signs facing the road.
Across the junction, for those approaching from the opposite direction, was another variation; but, this time, no barrier.
It would seem that there was no way for pedestrians to "officially" get to Tesco. Sensibly, most, like fbb, ignored the nonsense and used their common sense! Presumably we taxpayers are footing the bill for someone to plan and install these helpful notices?
 Next Bus Blog : Thursday 5th September 


  1. I think the picture of the KSW is a little later than 1957 as the 73 at that time was the clockwise part of a circular service serving the more inner parts of northern Bristol. The circular later disappeared and the number was resurrected in 1973 as the northern part of the 3 which had hitherto operated from Whitchurch across the City to Filton. The bus stop design is also a clue.

    As part of the Bristol Omnibus renumbering scheme all Bristol Joint Services routes (they were all joint with Bristol City Council)were numbered under 100. All BOC routes had suffixes eliminated, but they were still required for Bristol City, as may be seen.

    I will say no more now in case I steal FBB's thunder, except that some of the destinations were most interesting.

    1. Yes, it must be a lot later than 1957! I would say the earliest it could possibly be is the second half of 1972, as the double-N 'arrow head' symbol didn't appear until then. The bus also appears to be in NBC green, as I don't think BOC ever sunk to the level of painting mudguards Tilling green (some did, more's the pity!)

      YHT923 ended up at Martin's of Middlewich in 1976, by which time it had progressed to route 74!

  2. My source MAY have said a 1957 bus rather than a 1957 picture and I jumped to the wrong conclusion! common failing, I fear!


    1. That makes sense. BOC continued to buy KSWs for some years after the Lodekka had been introduced; and YHT923 did indeed date from 1957. Not sure why they stuck with KSWs for so long - possibly they were cheaper than the more complex Lodekkas?

    2. I understand that, in the absence of low bridges requiring their use, Bristol City Council did not not want to spend their ratepayers money on the additional £500 per bus for no reason.