Thursday, 24 September 2015

It's all Too Much Trouble, so ...

... You're Stuck in Lyme Regis
Being stuck in Lyme is a regular occurrence.
Although well protected by warning signs and with traffic lights controlling the very narrow bit ...
... the approach from the north is very tight. If one vehicle decided to "go for it" as a large vehicle (e.g. bus) is approaching from the bottom, a conflict of interests and an expensive scraping noise can ensue. So what happens if developers need to work on a building in the narrow bit?

Obviously Dorset County Council must insist that the work is done in the evenings, overnight even, when the buses have stopped running. That would be the sensible option.

But no. The council simply closes the road.
Of course, the appropriate officials will consult the bus company as to the best way to provide a service to the worthy Lymeys who may wish to leave the town occasionally.

No they don't. They just say, "tough luck; sort it out yourselves."

Never mind, eh? The bus company, always anxious to keep its customers happy, makes suitable arrangements to ensure that the folk who keep the company in business, the fare payers, are inconvenienced as little a possible.

No they don't; they just say to their customers, "tough luck, sort it out for yourselves."
The situation is made even more confusing because there is a major timetable change bang in the middle of the road closure.

But, being pragmatic and prudent, the bus company announces that the timetable change will be postponed by one month to reduce chaos and confusion to just one hit.

No they don't. They just say to their customers, "It's all changing. Tough luck; sort it out for youselves."

Here is an fbb map of the relevant services until Saturday 26th September.
X53 runs from Poole, Weymouth and Bridport via Lyme Regis and Rousdon to Seaton and on to Exeter every two hours. X31 runs hourly from Dorchester via Bridport and Lyme Regis to Axminster. For completeness fbb has show Axe Valley's route 885 from Axminster to Seaton.

The next map shows the arrangements (until 26th September) with the relevant bit of closed road shown in grey.
Although the notice doesn't tell you, the X31 doesn't serve Lyme Regis; that's an hourly service simply chopped out of the town. Buses sit at Hunters Lodge to wait for their correct time. Heres one doing it, photographed in fbb's "wing" mirror.
Presumably X31s in the other direction lurk somewhere at or before Charmouth. We are not told.

This is what the First Bus we site does tell us.

From 14 to 27 September, Service X31 is not serving Lyme Regis for the duration of works but instead, journeys are departing from Charmouth along the A35 and continuing to Axminster. The return journey are (sic!) along the same route in reverse.

Until 26 September, passengers using X31 services from Axminster should change Hunters Lodge for onward journeys to Lyme Regis by X53. (and from Lyme Regis to Axminster?)

Let's consider the implications of this advice. Buses from Axminster (X31) run every hour. So you would get off at the clearly marked stop at Hunters Lodge.
Only there isn't one. "Tough luck; sort it out yourselves." 

Assuming we spot the non-existent stop and manage to get off, we need to know what times the diverted X53 will pass to take us down the hill to Lyme. So we seek a "diversion" timetable.

Only here isn't one. "Tough luck; sort it out yourselves." 

Here is fbb's best estimate (remembering that X53s are only every TWO hours. The estimate is that the bus will be at Hunters Lodge a few minutes before it should have arrived at Lyme. See why on the maps above.

Let's hazard a guess at (e.g.) 1045; which gives the following ...
... with approximately 20 minutes to wait at Hunters Lodge. Is there a shelter?

Yes, but the X53 doesn't stop there. Where does it stop?

Not telling. "Tough luck; sort it out yourselves." 

And in the other direction? Again, there are no times published for the X53 at Humters Lodge; fbb has made an intelligent (?) guess.
 And we all know where the X53 stops don't we?

Not telling. "Tough luck; sort it out yourselves." 

Tomorrow, we will take a close look at stops at Hunters Lodge; a piece of research which is very academic because it all changes again on Sunday. (click to enlarge the timetable below) ...
... when X31s become X53s on Sunday but X51s on Monday to Satuday, all washed down with a good swig of Lyme Regis chaos - but, of course, totally different chaos from that of the last two weeks.

 Next Lyme Regis blog : Friday 25th September 

1 comment:

  1. It always amazes me that, when confronted by a section of road that is simply too narrow to pass two vehicles safely, the seemingly approved method of driving is simply to keep going and hope for the best! I see this all the time, whether driving a bus or a car.
    I was trained (so last millennium!) to STOP and assess the situation before deciding to proceed or to take some other action. Nowadays, most drivers (especially those of the female persuasion, but increasingly young males as well) are frightened of reversing, and to stop and wait demonstrates weakness, so forward progress must be maintained at all costs!!
    Still, watching their faces as they inch past my car in a narrow lane whilst climbing the muddy bank to their nearside can be quite entertaining!!!