Tuesday 6 May 2014

Ellis Expounds its Excellence [2]

See also "Ellis Expounds its Excellence [1]" (read again)

There are, according to Traveline, 7 National Express routes that serve Northampton.
302, 305, 314 and 326 are single journeys out-and-back serving such places as Bristol, Liverpool, Clacton, Cambridge, Newcastle upon Tyne and many towns and villages in between. 440 is one overnight journey on the trunk route between London and Manchester. The 455 is the descendant of United Counties MX5 to London which started soon after the very first section of the M1 opened.
707 runs to Luton, Heathrow and Gatwick airports 8 times a day.

In total there are 23 National Express departures from Northampton each day. And this is correspondent Alan's picture of the lavish terminal facilities.
At fbb's request, Alan returned to Victoria Street and took a few more piccies. First, a shot of the timetable display in the two shelters.
Nothing in that one and ...
... something in that one!
Three possible sources of info. On-line, of course, for those who have remembered to bring their tablets.
By phone. Mrs Clump of Norman Road Northampton is reported as saying "how can I use my phone here, it's screwed to the wall back at home!"
Or, you can double down to the Post Office on St Giles Street as reported by fbb in an earlier blog. See "North Gate; No Good or Nice Goody? The Sequel" (read again).
And that, NatEx travellers, is that. Even the bus stop flag fails to mention National Express.
It's a long time since either of these servces operated from Victoria Street.

But what is this we see on the floor of the shelter?
It tells us that National Express services leave from Victoria Street; it shows (incorrectly, of course. Silver Street no longer exists) where the bus station is ...
... and it tells us that Bounds Taxis sell NatEx tickets from their attractive office ...
... next to the dustbins and opposite the new bus station.

Correspondent Alan obtained a copy of the leaflet for fbb. From where? From Bounds taxi office, of course. But surely, we hear you cry, there is some information inside the bus station? Of course there is. It is here, photographed by Alan; a photocopied page stuck to a Stagecoach banner with bits of Selllotape.
And as stand-up Jimmy Wheeler (1910 to 1970) used to say ...
... "Aye, aye, That's yer lot!"

In fact, the astounding appliqué announcement was only there until last Friday. Thus our ace reporter, the man on the spot, sent this message last Saturday via the bus blog teleprinter:-

So tough cheese for any innocent passenger turning up at the "interchange" hoping to interchange to a coach service!

Without a shadow of doubt, facilities for coach services are atrocious and a disgrace to the town. These points have been put to MP Michael Ellis ...
... and, tomorrow we examine his reply.

It is, fbb promises, a real treat!
Press release and news-bite spectacular:-

Managing Director of First Bus, Giles Fearnley, has hailed the second annual "Catch the Bus Week" a fantastic success.
Across the UK First has introduced and participated in a number of initiatives to support the week long campaign which has been led by sustainable transport group Greener Journeys and designed to encourage more trips by bus and coach and fewer car journeys.

First highlights during Catch the Bus Week, which ran from April 28 to May 4, include:

   In York First introduced the first of its hybrid buses;
   In Leeds First welcomed Chair of Bus Users UK, Gillian Merron
        and launched MCard smart ticketing
   Sheffield photocall to mark the introduction of 27
        micro-hybrid buses
   First Manchester  launched MCard smart ticketing
   In Essex, Norfolk & Suffolk, a 20% reduction for weekly tickets
   In the Midlands and Potteries "Meet the Manager" sessions
   First Scotland East welcomed Planning Minister, Derek Mackay

Meanwhile Giles Fearnley joined "Greener Journeys" ...

... and the Minister of State for Transport, Baroness Kramer, at a national launch in London.

Giles said: "Greener Journeys and its marvellous Catch the Bus Week campaign goes from strength to strength. This year has been another fantastic success and I'm proud that our teams across the country have done so much to support it."

fbb hopes Giles enjoyed his launch; but the benefits to passengers of Catch the Bus Week seem somewhat elusive. Certainly the "successful" event passed East Devon by! fbb didn't even get a spongy green hand to wave.

Making the switch to coach is not a good idea in Northampton!
 Next coach blog : Wednesday 7th May 

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