Friday 13 September 2013

Yo! Yeovil [3]

St Johns Church is historic and picturesque ...
... but fbb found the town itself to be somewhat disappointing. There didn't seem to be an obvious "centre", although "The Borough" probably fulfills that role.
This is still the busy town centre bus stop from where (simplistically) the pedestrianised Middle Street runs downhill to the bus station. Parallel to the "traditional" shopping street is Quedam ...
The Centre is named after Quedam Street (or Quidhham Place), one of the streets over where the Centre was constructed. The meaning of the word “Quedam” (pronounced kwee-dam) is obscure, but, is believed to be taken from the Latin “in quedam via” meaning “in a certain street” without further description. 

... (or is it "The" Quedam?), an attractive collection of modern retail outlets ...
... sadly many of them empty.

On 30th June 2008 a 22 strong team from Tamburino Restaurant (led by owner Domenico Taravella), made 2,291 Pizzas in the Centre to set a new world record length of 476.7 m (1,563 ft 11 in) in the category of world’s longest line of Pizzas.

So says Wikipedia : unfortunately Tamborino is not in the Quendam precinct although the line of Pizzas was! The claim to the record is disputed.

And so to the bus station ...
... where the pleasant (?) ambiance (as in Taunton) is mitigated by dire warnings of death. Together with the armed guards in the razor wire bedecked watchtowers, the teams of near rabid dogs, and Blakey-type inspectors equipped with tasers; we are all welcome at the interchange.

The stands are equipped with flags like this one ...
... labelled "First" but served by no FirstBus buses. Each stand has timetables displayed ...
... like this one. First is transforming travel by NOT operating the 74! It's all typically depressing and a poor advert for bus travel.

Vehicle quality is varied ...
... but guess whose look the oldest? fbb has, however, sought comfort from a FirstBus "informed source" which hints (darkly?) at possible improvements at both Taunton and Yeovil. Bearing in mind the positive strides elsewhere in their empire, maybe things will get better. The pigs may land at some time in the future?

But we must end with two positives at Yeovil's terrifying bus station. It has a magnificent caff ...
... which, sadly due to the little local difficulty with his return journey by bus 68 (as previously blogged), fbb was unable to test drive.

And (pause for fanfare) ...
.... it has a Travel Shop!
This magnificent edifice has won the prestigious Moir Lockhead Golden Raspberry Award ...
... for the most inaptly named bus station facility in the Cosmos. This "Travel Shop" consists of ...
... a tatty old office table with piles of First timetables. One (hardly) saving grace; there was a full set!

There is nowhere to obtain printed information for the other operators (Stagecoach, South West Coaches, Damory) and there is no real person to ask either. Absolutely and depressingly appalling.

Don't go by bus,
buy a car;
or a bike;
or a pony;
or a skateboard;
or a new pair of walking boots;
or become a hermit.

Dear Mr FirstBus,
Would you like to be seen as kind, konsiderate and kuddly; would you like to encourage people to travel by bus? Then why not ask the other operators (running bus routes that you have backed out of?) for piles of their leaflets to put on your tatty office desk. Not much to ask, is it?

 Next non-Bus Blog : Saturday 14th September 


  1. INTEGRATION IS COMING! . . . . . well, in Stafford, at least.
    Whilst about my lawful occasions this week, I was required to change trains in Stafford. As is my wont, I cast despairingly about in the up-side ticket hall for any sign of bus information.
    And Lo! in a carousel all by itself was a rack of Arriva timetable booklets for Walsall, Lichfield . . . and Stafford! There may have been more, but with the colours of the booklets all the same, I might have missed others.
    Whatever - full marks to Arriva! (Nothing from LastBus, I'm afraid, but then Stafford is rather at the end of the line for them).
    Are we witnessing a renaissance of Company timetable booklets? Arriva have these (in a county where a full range of books is but a recent-ish memory), and I hear that more similar books may be due to appear elsewhere in the Blue Empire. The great and good Barry Doe will be pleased, I'm sure!

  2. From memory the TIC is at the opposite end of the town centre. A long walk from the Bus Station It used to be reasonably good at supplying SCC publications. Now SCC don't apparently produce anything how do the TIC answer bus enquiries?
    Does anyone know?
    According to the Barry Doe website Webbers still use SCC publications!

  3. Because of the difficulty with the return journey (big delays) I never found the TIC. Maybe try next time!

  4. Taunton is now devoid of all those signs, and indeed the NBC buffet signs you found on your last visit. Even the First signs have gone!

  5. First hold the contract with SCC to update the countywide bus stops and timetable cases. Unsure what that entails now, as SCC don't produce timetables - but in First's case they just printed out OT7 files and stick them on backing paper. There used to be some inconsistency when other operators timetables needing updating on the same cases - unsure why that might be but competition is a strange thing.
    I wouldn't pay too much attention to Barry Doe's site, as it refers to Stagecoach Devon as Devon General/Bayline which has not existed nor operated since 2003....
    WebberBus produce and distribute their own leaflets - they used to be available at local TICs but they do post them out on request.
    First also produce and distribute their own leaflets - SCC don't bother to produce timetables now. It's easier to claim lack of use of buses when you don't promote them full stop.