Thursday 19 June 2014

Is it Nuts? Or Necessary? [4]

Whoops! Again!
Due to a piece of incompetence, the forthcoming blog "Ghastly Google Gigo (1)" was erroneously bunged on line yesterday. It will re-appear in its correct place on Saturday. The note at the foot of today's post may provide a bit of an excuse. Back to the correct order of things.
Penzance; the story so far:-

We have learned the routes taken by the various service 1 varieties on leaving Penzance.
We have learned that 1Bs and 1Cs are straightforward ...
... apart from a few trips that continue to Lamorna.
We have also learned that the new Cornwall network map is wrong (or, at least, misleading) because it shows 1 and 1A buses as running via Lamorna all the time; which they don't.
There's no mention of 1B and 1C. Perhaps the cartographers couldn't understand the timetables either? Then some guy writes in and says that 1s and 1As also run to Lamorna.
Which they do; and NOT via Western Esplanade on Schooldays (red box, 1510 from Penzance) BUT via Newlyn Coombe (a sort of 1C) and via Chywoone Crescent. And there's more:-
The 1740 1A DOES run via Western Esplanade (1A) but also via Chywoone Crescent, Paul and Lamorna (as 1B or 1C). So when our anonymous blog comment writer opined that it was all simple ...
... he was living in a simplistic but unreal dream world.
Perhaps a list, rather than a map will help; this being some selected samples from the Penzance Travel Shop staff manual; answering the question, "which bus do we catch to ..."
Oh yes, siree; very simple!

Of course, the author of the "it's simple" comment (see yesterday's blog - read again) admits to being a "local" and, if he were a regular traveller to and from Chywoone Crescent, would soon learn to look at times and not route numbers.
It's the occasional brave soul, maybe temporarily bereft of their motor car, for whom the fun with the 1 drives them away from even the remote possibility of going by bus!

One of the problems with bus operation today is that lots of the routes lose money. The local authority may, should it so choose and if it has got the lolly, support unremunerative services via the tendering system. There is a very real pressure to get the best value out of tender money and thus provide as many links as possible for as little cash. That much is understood.

The crunch question, however, is whether lots of wiggles and varieties such as we see here are, in the end, counter-productive. Do they make the timetable so confusing that it is a disincentive to travel? With high fares for the few that pay, that leaves just a few old ladies and a dog making "essential" journeys on a fairly regular basis.

The answer, of course, is both financial and political. If we want low taxes, then we can't have lots of empty "subsidised" buses running about. The bus companies can't run empty buses either because, if they don't make a profit, they will cease to exist and there will be no buses at all!

Tough questions, appropriately illustrated by services 1, 1A, 1B and 1C.

And 6A!

By comparison, the problems at Lands End are deliciously simple to resolve.
An irrelevant anecdote
On Tuesday last, fbb had a brief visit to Axminster Hospital for a "procedure", details of which are best left to the readers' imagination.
No food had passed the chubby one's lips for 24 hours previously. (Aaaaaaah!)

As is usual, at least five times from five different people, fbb was asked his date of birth and address so that the "procedure" was not performed on the wrong patient. Five times debate ensued about an item on the form which read "allergic to eggs". On each occasion fbb corrected the member of staff; "it's not an allergy," he proffered, "just a mild reaction." Nevertheless, the old man had to have RED wristbands (two, the second one in case an arm drops off without warning) applied to signify "allergy patient." Probably unnecessary in fbb's case, but it is good to see the medics being doubly careful.

But the spiffing news was that when the "procedure" was over, fbb was offered tea or coffee and a selection of sandwiches. His plate arrived with one quarter round each of; beef, cheese'n'tomato, tuna'n'cucumber and, guess what ... 

... an egg sandwich. So much for careful questions!

For the record, fbb's purple passages are all clear of things that should not be there and his next appointment is in three years' time.
 Next bus blog : Friday 20th June 


  1. Where is Part Three???

  2. Part three was published yesterday but got mixed up with the bludner as admitted at the top of this post. Listed in the "Blog Archive" panel on the left of today's text.

  3. Love the idea of a blog that gets smaller day by day. Could only be thought up by someone connected to the bus industry.