Monday, 28 September 2015

It OUGHT to be Simple ...

... But Palpably it Isn't.
fbb was at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital recently, not for any personal re-plumbing, but to chauffeur and elderly (should that be "more elderly"?) chum. Whilst waiting for the lift he espied the above. The only necessary notice is this one.
The "E149" can be used as a code to explain all the rest to whomsoever has need to access that very important door. If, as we are to assume, there has been a recent outbreak of storing tins of baked beans in a lift machine room or, heaven forfend, passing electrical engineers coming in and accessing the lift machinery without authorisation, security will be improved by NOT advertising the purpose if this particular door.

But when joe public wishes to find a bus stop, secrecy is inappropriate but, sadly, very common.

The shambles at Lyme Regis has gone through several stages, the latest coming into effect today. But initially, potential passengers from Lyme Regis were advised to catch the X53 and change at Hunters Lodge.
With passenger's confusion meters in the red zone, you would expect the management at First Bus to do everything it could to make this bus-swap as simple as possible. In the "good old days" companies would put large signs on their stop poles, augmented with temporary stops and clear direction signs to the replacements.

So ubiquitous are these in London ...
... that you can buy a shoulder bag appropriately emblazoned!

Now let's go to Hunters Lodge and begin with on-line infromation.
The pub is botttom right next to the road to Lyme Regis. The chunk of the A35 shown is at the start of the Axminster by-pass with Aminster to the left and, ultimately, Dorchester to the right. the single westbound stop is called ...
... Hunters Lodge Garage. And here it is.
Does the bus stop at the stop sign? NO. Does the bus stop at the shelter? NO. It stops in the layby ahead where the car is parked. There is no Hunters Lodge Garage! It is long gone. But, at least, there is some hope of catching a bus.

Opposite this stop are stops in the other direction, notably "Opp" the non-existant Hunters Lodge garage.
Next to it is a second stop ...
... called Raymonds Hill. Neither of these is marked by a stop sign, shelter or road markings.
The empyrical evidence suggests that these stops, like the mythical ghost garage, simple do not exist.

Perhaps there are stops on the road to Lyme Regis? Google Maps shows them.
 Here they are, unmarked in reality ... 
... and called "Stonecrest" which is a name equally invisible to the uninitiated. But better than nothing you might think. Maybe not. They are 500 metres down a busy road with no street lighting or footpath. Great for bus interchange.

And if you were coming from Axminster on a diverted X31 going straight along the A35, and resolutely NOT serving Lyme Regis ...
... how would you know where to board your X53 down the hill?

But what is this that fbb espied when he parked in that bus layby to investigate?
There; blink and you'll miss it. fbb did on two previous visits. 
it is a road sign cunningly disguising a bus stop. The stop is not marked on any map. The Traveline stop lists don't list this stop anywhere but fbb suspects that it is a replacement for the invisible "Raymonds Hill" and "Opp Hunters Lodge Garage". It is placed there so bus drivers on the X31 can pull into the right turn lane and get round the corner "safely". In order to support this safer manoeuvre, passengers have to lurk on a busy roadside with no light, no pavement and the distinct possibility of a vehicle turning left off the A35 and crushing them to a pulp!

A few questions to resolve, then.

Where does the diverted X31 stop as it travels eastbound to Charmouth?
Where does the diverted X53 stop as it approaches Hunters Lodge after climbing the hill from Lyme on its way east to Bridport?

If anyone has tried to make the interchange there, how many have ended up in Casualty at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital? At least there they have a surfeit of signs and notices to enjoy.

Does anybody know? Does anybody care?

Fear not, for from today the arrangements at Lyme all change. fbb is out and about observing the revised set up, consoling the occasional lost passenger and boiling with rage at the success of local authority's and bus company's combined skill at putting people off bus travel for life.

Conclusions tomorrow.

 Next Lyme Regis mystery bog : Tuesday 29th September 


  1. I assume you mean Mystery Blog not Bog although a mystery bog is even more intriguing!

  2. Hunters Lodge is in Devon so I cannot do anything myself however I have asked Devon CC to add a new Naptan point in the top of Lyme Road to attach the services to. I am also waiting for confirmation from First as to the status of the eastbound main road "stop" as it may well have been replaced by the one in Lyme Road, or may be regarded as a "stop opposite" the westbound stop on direct journeys.
    The additional Raymonds Hill stop is a Google import from the National Coach Services Database, and holds only National Express information.
    In a previous blog mention was made of Axe Valley using the number 899 for three distinctly different versions of the services to and from Seaton. At a recent meeting of Traveline people my Devon colleagues commented on the fact that they had declined the use of the vacant numbers 890 and 891 which is why there are three 899's.
    Ken - Traveline Dorset.

  3. "The only necessary notice is this one. The "E149" can be used as a code to explain all the rest to whomsoever has need to access that very important door."

    You're seriously saying that showing 'E149' is sufficient to warn those who don't need access to the door, but who may try it, that possible death awaits?