This No 2 lady was not confused because she had read the East Devon timetable book. She was doing another bit of the Jurassic Coast path, walking back from Lyme to Seaton. Had she come a week earlier, she might well have been confused because the timetable book is dated 20th September, but the X53/899 changes took place on 27th thereof with nothing to indicate this in the book.
Just up from the abandoned Co-op stop was the delightful Penny Black caff ...
At 1105 your well-refreshed author repaired to Langmoor Gardens to be greeted by two gentlemen clutching X51/X53 leaflets (un)helpfully supplied by First Bus. TOTALLY USELESS. Surely whoever distributed these should have added a photocopied warning? The shambles lasts for 5 weeks!
One gent was adamant that when Lyme Regis was "closed" First "always" ran the 31 (or X31, or X51) to and from Lyme Regis via Hunters Lodge and why wasn't that happening this time.
With a bus every half hour between Bridport, Charmouth, NOT Lyme Regis and Axminster it would have been simple to cobble together an emergency timetable. Why was this not done?
The evidence suggests that First Bus had a corporate sulk ...
As 1120 approached the gaggle of potential passengers grew to a crowd of 16, of which approximately 100% had not the faintest clue what was happening. 50% were there for the scheduled X51 (or 31 or X31) to Axminster (1120) so they were OK; but confused when an X53 arrived.
The other 50% were expecting the 1116 to Bridport and were thus utterly disappointed. fbb was kepy busy doing First's job for them. One party of three were aiming for Weymouth for the day and were equally disconsolate when fbb told them they could get there but upon arrival would have missed the last bus back!
They decided to go by car.
It was an appalling example of GROSS MISMANAGEMENT by First Bus; as an absolute minimum, with no bus top signs and contradictory information all over the place First should have provided staff at Lyme Regis to explain.
And changing at Hunters Lodge? Misses the connection by about 7 minutes. Changing at Axminster Station? The Shuttle arrives 5 minutes before the eastbound X51 or X53 departs. fbb's shuttle was early in ...
Unless, of course, you wanted the first X53 through from Exeter which was running 22 minutes late.
Exhausted and profoundly disappointed by what he observed, fbb caught the ever reliable AVT 885 back to Seaton; and an opportunity to check with the now open TiC.
"Do you have any X53 leaflets?"
"It's all in the new Devon Book."
"But it isn't right; buses are not running to Lyme Regis."
"Yes, we know."
"But have you any information about the special arrangements?"
"We did have ONE COPY (fbb's capitals) of the shuttle timetable but it's gone."
So no printed timetables from First Bus in Seaton. It's no wonder the service "wasn't performing well" if the company doesn't bother with publicity! DISGRACEFUL. And no information about the Lyme Regis blockade ANYWHERE in fbb's little town. .
FIVE WEEKS of corporate inspired ignorance.