But first, First:-
Monday 25 November 2013
Have You Seen "Les Usines d'Ugine?" 
A Further Foray into France.
But first, First:-
But first, First:-
Remember this from the Aberdeen "Platinum" blogs?
Today we have two sets of figures which support fbb's off-the-cuff "Hooray!".
First, First Mancehster ...
... where big First cheese Dave Alexander (centre) in company with chair of Transport for Greater Manchester Andrew Fender (right) and vice chair ditto Mark Aldred (left) are clutching the good news passenger-wise. The raw statistic represents an additional 150,000 passenger journeys every week.
Next, First in West Yorkshire.
That's Dave Alexander again (who's a clever boy, then?) supported by Metro West Yorkshire chair James Lewis ...
[NO! Not the antique James Lewis but this one]
... in reporting 5% growth; that's an extra 100,000 journeys a week!
Well done all concerned! Uncle Giles will be upping his Christmas present budget, no doubt.
So, off we go to Ugine.
But not to play Connect4 (a game at which fbb's No 1 son was a killer, aged 9) ...
... or to enjoy the view, spectacular though it be. Our task is to experience Ugine's public transport, past and present. To be brutally honest, fbb had never heard of Ugine until his truck driving chum started to report his adventures thereat. So, where and what is Ugine?
Ugine est une petite ville de Savoie au pied des gorges de l'Arly. Elle est traversée par deux rivières, la Chaise et l'Arly, dont le confluent se trouve à la sortie d'Ugine en direction d'Albertville.
Just nip over the mountains to the north and east and you are in Switzerland.
There are just two conventional bus routes in and to the town which has a population of just over 7000. A trunk route 51 runs from Annecy in the north to Albertville in the south.
The brand, operated by Transdev, is "Lihsa" ...
... Lignes Interurbaines de Haute-SAvoie.
In style, the operation is more like a Scottish Citylink coach service, rather than a typical inter-urban bus route.
at Annecy station
The 51 timetable is well-nigh incomprehensible to UK bus passengers as there is just one table with all trips in a mélange mystérieux. At first glance it looks like an hourly service, but when you explore the niceties of the column heading notes, the truth emerges.
It pans out like this (through journeys Annecy, Ugine, Albertville only):-
Monday to Thursday : 9 trips
Friday : 10
Saturday : 7
Sunday : 5
An alterative service runs from Albertville, serving more parts of Ugine.
This offers 9 trips on Mondays to Fridays (of which the 0450 and 2050 are on request only) and 3 on Saturdays; none on Sundays.
Note that the "C" starts from the bus station (gare routi%egrave;re) whereas the 51 starts from the railway station (gare); apparently. fbb thinks these are the same place! The operator, CoRAL (another clever acronym) ...
... serves the Albertville region, urban and rural.
Also, at Ugine ...
... you might just spot the A3, A4 and A5. These are operated by ...
... and are pre-book only. fbb is somewhat baffled by the timetables for these three routes; all three have two round trips shown on the "horaire" and all three leave Albertville at exactly the same time. Presumably there is some clever vehicle and passenger juggling at Ugine where the three services split? More research needed.
And that's it; the sum total of Ugine's public transport!
But what is this building?
It looks remarkably like a railway station building in the style of the pre-SNCF Paris-Lyon-Mediterranée company. It has a white-on-blue "Ugine" nameboard and a canopy. And there are tracks (and trucks!) there as well.
Prochain blogue "rail" : Mardi le 26 Novembre