Monday 30 March 2015

Bakewell Bus Bonanza

Derbyshire Daftness??
Back in 1952, Sheffield Joint Omnibus Committee ran two bus routes to Bakewell. Service 37 ran direct via Millhouses, Totley, Owler Bar and Baslow (A621). (click on these tables to enlarge)
7 journeys ran on Mondays to Saturday and 5 on Sundays. [SX means not Sundays]. Service 40 ran via Ecclesall and Fox House (A625), Nether Padley for Grindlesford Station, Grindleford and Calver Sough.
Here there were 6 on Monday to Friday, one extra on Saturday and 4 on Sunday. [SX as above].

By 1981 the to services followed the same routes (but with 200 added to their numbers) but the former 37 was much reduced.
Under privatisation, eventual owner First Bus progressively pulled out in a typical old-style First Bus way, leaving both routes to T M Travel, bedfellow of Trent. Expansion followed with buses running every hour on each leg, now numbered 218 (ex 237) and 214/215 (ex 240).
This pattern with minor variations, including an extension to Matlock, remained the norm for several years.

Then in February thus year a big change happened.
The 218 was rebranded as the Peak Line and provided with vehicles in a special livery.
Note the blind display, "Bakewell Direct then Chatsworth". Buses run as in the picture above to Bakewell, then Chatsworth and back to Sheffield every hour. An second service each hour wiggles the other way; Sheffield to Chatsworth, then Bakewell and direct back to the city.
The Chatsworth "wiggle" runs even when Chatsworth House is closed. The service via Fox House has been reduced to a few occasional trips.

On Saturday 29th March, First started their summer weekend Derbyshire network. This unusual development began in 2014 and provides Saturday and Sunday services on what were once traditional Sheffield routes. This includes a "new" (i.e. very old) service 240 with journeys via Chatsworth as 241.
Unusually however, instead of running via the A625 from City to Fox House, the 240/241 operates via Ringinglow, served Monday to Saturday by very occasional route 4 journeys.
The new 240/241 offers one little novelty, however.
As far as fbb can remember the road between the top of Long Line (the long [straight] line on the map) and Dore Moor has never otherwise carried a bus route.
occasional service 4 and 84 turn left here via Long Line
First's service 240/241 goes straight on

But don't try to find  timetables on First's web site. As late as Wednesday last week ...
... the new services were a closely guarded secret. There was no mention even yesterday, the first day of operation.

But T M Travel have trumped the new 240/241. From the same date the previously hourly Sunday service on the 218 ...

From 29th March
Extra Sunday journeys on Service 218 between Sheffield,
Bakewell and Chatsworth for the summer season.
Please see bus times page for full details.

... became half hourly, thus restoring the 1952 tradition of a "daily" service pattern from Sheffield to Bakewell. fbb did click on T M Travel's "bus times page" where, like First Bus above, the new times weren't! And still weren't yesterday; again the start day of the half hour Sunday frequency.
But Travel South Yorkshire comes to our on-line rescue; but not, of course, with any printed material.

Which begs the question. Will the operators tell anyone that these services exist?

Fact : never in the history of buses to Bakewell have services been so lavish. Three buses an hour on Sundays would appear to be ludicrous and unsustainable, yet First's summer only service was reported as being "busy" last year. Might there be competition on price, silly price, to fill seats and lose money? We will, as usual, have o wait and see.
How to Be Popular - NOT!
One of the characteristics of many ages is that religion becomes stilted, over complex and lacking in purpose. Self interest becomes more important that worshipping God.
When they arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus went to the Temple and began to drive out all those who were buying and selling. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the stools of those who sold pigeons, and he would not let anyone carry anything through the Temple courtyards. He then taught the people: “It is written in the Scriptures that God said, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for the people of all nations.’ But you have turned it into a hideout for thieves!”

The chief priests and the teachers of the Law heard of this, so they began looking for some way to kill Jesus. They were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.

As well as a challenge to a moribund religion, this provocative act was detrimental o all those who made money from monopolistic trading in "religious" goodies.

One thing was certain, the death of Jesus was no unhappy accident. He provoked it!
 Next rail blog : Tuesday 31st March 


  1. The other piece in the jigsaw of Bakewell - Sheffield is that for quite a few years following deregulation, PMT/First Potteries operated its Hanley - Sheffield service X23 via Bakewell and Owler Bar on a daily basis. The 218 was born out of the demise of X23 and, for a number of years in the early 2000s, had journeys extending to Buxton at three hourly intervals timed to connect with the 118 for Hanley.

    Chatsworth House, at this time, benefitted from the new 214, a direct replacement for the 240 via Fox House between Sheffield and Baslow before running on to Chatsworth and Matlock. For the first time, Chatsworth House had a regular clock-face timetabled bus service.

    Whilst there is now some seasonal competition, all of the development hard work seems to have now borne some fruit. The new 218 now also provides a regular clock-face timetabled service between Bakewell and Chatsworth House.

  2. Thank you anon for filling in the gaps so succinctly.These developments came at time when I was working very hard (too hard) running a residential youth holiday centre on IoW. There was little time to keep up with the ever changing detail of post deregulation.

  3. There's one more service between Sheffield and Bakewell, run by Hulleys pf Baslow under contract to Derbyshire County Council; this is the 275 which leaves Sheffield via Crosspool and Rivelin to Ladybower then turns south through Bamford to Hathersage and Grindleford and performs a double-run to Eyam and Stoney Middleton before returning to Calver and finally reaching Bakewell via Hassop. There are two journeys from Bakewell to Sheffield on Mondays to Saturdays and one in the opposite direction. Not a service for anyone in a hurry, but (like the others) a run through some beautiful scenery. Apart from the Eyam diversion this is very similar to the one-time Sheffield Joint Omnibus Committee's 44 service.

  4. 240/241 timetables - If you find the First South Yorkshire Travel News or Facebook entries for Derbyshire weekends you will find a link to a basic pdf of the timetables, but not the map. The pdf of the map was linked from the front page, but not the timetable! A case of "Too many hands spoiling the broth" and not enough hands to complete the timetable pages on time. Cornwall had its revised times up, but needs to delete links to the original emergency timetables - so much to get right - website are hard work.

  5. Re anon 1134. First are also competing on the 273 with a 2-hourly SSu Sheffield-Ladybower-Derwent (some)-Bamford- Castleton service.This ran as 244 (its historic route number) last year, but not serving Derwent, though custom was quite thin when I saw it. It was double-deck operated last year and as such can be highly recommended for the view!

    Hulleys only run M-S by the way;it's TM on Sundays.

  6. In my previous post I didn't mention the 273 as it runs to Castleton rather than to Bakewell. However there is s second through bus from Sheffield to Bakewell on weekdays which runs as a 'short' 273 as far as Yorkshire Brdige, changing its number there to 275. It appears from both DCC and SYPTE websites that the Sunday 273s operated by TM have ceased, leaving First as sole operator on Sundays, but on Summer Saturdays both Hulleys and First operate, the latter commercially. Last summer's 244 ran only to Bamford, terminating there.