Tuesday 10 March 2015

Stagecoach and the Lunatics? [2]

Stagecoach Neatness : Stagecoach Nastiness?
In 1948 Northampton Corporation Transport started a new route to North Western Avenue. Thus was to serve developments along the Welford Road; an extension of the suburb and former village of Kingsthorpe.
Shamefully, fbb has to admit that he never, ever, rode this route; it was particularly uninteresting, just reversing in the Avenue and standing on the opposite side of the road.
Using various route numbers, the service was extended in a loop to serve the Spring Park estate aka Acre Lane. Numbered 4A it was one of the last services operated by the ailing First Northampton.
Stagecoach had progressively invaded First's ex Corporation network and replaced the 4A with a 20 minute frequency service 15 with branded vehicles.
The route followed all previous Acre Lane routes.
So here comes the cunning plan. With a bit of "Section 106" cash, the "new" 22 (see yesterday's blog - read again) is to be diverted via the Marina Estate ...
... which has nothing to do with Northampton Marina but is named after, and built on th site of, The Princess Marina Hospital. Frequency is to be upped to every 20 minutes and the route will be linked to the service 15 (once NCT 22). This will give Kingsthorpe residents and link to the railway station and the Sixfield footy stadium.

The Marina estate ...
... will replace the decaying remnants of the hospital as mapped above. Development is in the hands of Persimmon Homes and others. The exiting 22 will be diverted at the roundabout shown above and run via the new housing rejoining the former route just north of the St Crispin Retirement village which will lose its bus stop. Raised kerbs are already ready on the new bits of road.
Now for the bad news. Looking at the Stagecoach web site for Northampton, it appears that the new timetable is already available.
But clicking on Acre Lane to St Giles Park simply brings up the current route 15.
Note that the heading is the wrong way round for the timetable and there is no mention of times through to Duston. Likewise wrong headings adorn times for the other direction.
There is a header for the old timetable ...
... which links to exactly the same "wrongly labelled" tables.

Not very good. It also provokes a question oft posed by fbb. Do those who create this nonsense ever use their own web sites? fbb doubts whether hey ever do.

Menwhile, Traveline in its glorious incompetence, provides us with the new evenings and Sundays 15A which ventures further into the wilds of Duston than the daytime version.
As usual the computer merges the new Monday to Saturday 15 with the old but in a way cunningly designed to baffle and confuse ...
... and compounds this by telling us that the 15 serves Wootton and Grange Park!
It doesn't.
It did, a reorganisation or two ago, and the poor Traveline gnomes have left the old destination in place. After all we shouldn't expect suppliers of bus information to know where the buses go in real life, should we?

Such a pity that a neat and useful development is advertised in such a confusing manner. Stagecoach have a reputation for doing good things and encouraging new business. Good publicity is essential; let's hope they get it right in time for the April start.

 Next bus blog : Wednesday 11th March 

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