Thursday 1 May 2014

Typical Traveline Travesty [2]

There is no road access to Smallbrook Junction station (Ryde, Isle of Wight); indeed the only access is by Island Line Train or the Isle of Wight Steam Railway as both stop there when the latter is steaming. Somehow, you think there ought be at least a footpath ...
... from Smallbrook Lane (top left) to the station. Incidentally, Monktonmead Brook is the "small brook" from which the former junction takes its name. The gash through the woods to the east of the "junction" is indeed shown on maps as a footpath (red dashed lines), but there is no route across the track.
Neither is there any obvious way on to the path from Smallbrook Lane. The jungle appears impenetrable.
To the west of the line, however, there is an unprotected lineside track but locked and barred to all but Island Line key holders.
Thus the only way is on a train!

For reasons only known within the darker recesses of his brain, Northampton correspondent Alan (on a day jolly to the Island) was musing about this situation and asked himself, "How would I get to Tesco from Smallbrook Junction?" Tesco is the square block on the bottom right of the aerial view below.
Were it possible it would be a quick five minutes toddle across the fields.

So Alan, knowing no fear, asked Traveline. His simple query was for a journey from Smallbrook Junction to Tesco Ryde. And here (ta da!) is the answer.
You set off southbound from Smallbrook to Brading, where you wait 25 minutes for the next train back to Ryde. (The same train!). This takes you northbound, passing through Smallbrook Junction again (of course) to Ryde Pier Head. Thence you take the Wightlink Ferry to Portsmouth Harbour. A quick walk up the exit ramp, an about turn and down the entry ramp and ...
... catch the same boat back to Ryde. Traveline insists that you walk down Ryde pier and, as you do so, you will be passed by the connecting train.
From the Esplanade bus station you will catch the service 3 to Tesco. Simple!
It is just possible that some of our readers may have spotted a tiny problem with this travel plan. For those still mystified and muttering "what's wrong with that?" (possibly Traveline data managers?), here is an fbb map.
The blue lines show the train from Smallbrook to Ryde Pier Head via Brading; red lines reveal the round trip to Portsmouth Harbour. The unnecessary walk down Ryde Pier is dotted black and white and the final leg by Southern Vectis route 3 is shown in green.

Traveline journey time, two hours and twenty five minutes.

Sorry, Traveline enthusiasts (are there any?), it is obvious to all and sundry that the answer above is total and utter garbage. Surely the system must offer a simpler journey? And indeed it does, of course it does, as we shall see tomorrow.

 Next bus/rail blog : Thursday 1st May 

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