Wednesday 23 December 2015

Sheffield Blunder : Sunken Boats : Stagecoach Brands

A Few Bits of Catch-Up

 Sheffield Bludner 

The Sheffield not-very-Partnership bludners on. Sheffield City Council is "going to sort it out" which is a bit rich, as the City Council has no authority to do anything. Most services are commercial and those that are tendered are within the fiefdom of the PTE. The Partnership has been posting posters promulgating promises of perfection to come (snigger snigger)!
But they (the partnership) also says: “The few last weeks have been particularly difficult, especially given the number and severity of the road works and the resulting traffic congestion.”

However, Sheffield Council said there is no extra work happening in the city and have asked the operators to make ‘urgent’ improvements.

fbb thinks the City Fathers are implying that, as the horrendous work was being horrendous before the November 1st débacle it shouldn't have made much difference. i.e. "It isn't our fault, guv!" They may, or may not, be right.

Bus chiefs insist they are ‘listening’ carefully to customers and that new timetables will be implemented in early 2016 to tackle the issue of ‘bus bunching’. “We’ve got some more double decker buses for our busiest routes, and we’ll be running additional journey’s during peak travel times.”

A list of changes had been published for January 3rd.
Of these, the 19 (etc) is a Rotherham Route and the 98/99 is based in Donny. Of the remainder only 85/86 is a nominally "joint" partnership route; the rest are exclusively First. The changes would be best described as "tinkering" with times although the three routes to/via Meadowhell have a significant (?) route change. Service 18 is an example.

1. Amending the Monday-Friday 07:41 Graves Park to City Centre to operate 5 minutes earlier at 07:36.
2. The 16:40 Saturday City Centre to Meadowhall journey will operate at 16:30.
3. In both directions the route taken between Arena Square and Meadowhall Drive will operate via Carbrook Street and Dunlop Street to benefit from the new bus priorities which will improve the service and also avoid congestion along Attercliffe Common.
4. Journeys towards Meadowhall will also via Meadowhall Way (The Source) instead of Meadowhall Road to improve punctuality.

A map? The old route to the Shopping Paradise (using the 38 map, 'cos the 18 map is wrong) ...
... and its replacement:-
It appears that the corner cutting route via Industrial Estate back roads will include a bus priority exit from Carbrook Street (left) onto the main road (Attercliffe Common) ...
Will it work? Watch this blog!

 Sunken Boats 

The sad, but inevitable, decline and fall of Scoot Ferries has been exposed by the on-line news web site.

Yarmouth Harbour seized a boat
As correctly called by an OnTheWight commenter, Yarmouth Harbour seized the Yarmouth Lymington Scoot boat for non-payment of berthing fees and fuel. The amount owed is around £10,000.

Amount owed so far
As the process in only two days in, all of the amounts owed aren’t yet known. However, the total so far for money owed is £120,000. If the boat charter contract is included, this amount raises to £246,000. (Scoot had secured a charter payment holiday from the supplier of the boats, which gave a payment holiday until January 2016. The company had signed a five year contract to charter the boats.)

The article goes on to detail the weekly costs for staff and fuel. If these are correct, and there is no reason to believe otherwise, the company was always seriously under-funded and doomed, if not from day one, certainly from the start of the Cowes Portsmouth run.


 Stagecoach Brand 

A long time ago (well quite recently, actually) in a galaxy far, far away (actually Aberdeen, Scotland):-
Probably the only feeble way fbb can hook on to the Star Wars Hype!

Services north of Aberdeen have always been a tad on the complex side, particularly at peak times, so below is the "standard" off-peak patters, here from the Saturday schedule.
This network has been rebranded ...
... as Buchan Express, complete with WiFi, seat belts, reclining seats and snowfalls at every seat.
The vehicles are spectacular ...
... and liveried in very un-Stagecoach colours with just a miminal touch of the driver's cap peak to corporate Souterism.

Because the network is complex, it would be good to have a well-drawn map. But there is none on the leaflet, and a quick glance at the web site reveals ...
... nothing of use.


Perhaps Axe Valley Mini Travel (fbb's local operator) will be considering a similar investment?
Perhaps not.

Three Rousing Cheers for Joe!

The forgotten hero of Christmas. Matthew tells us:-

This was how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. His mother Mary was engaged to Joseph ...

She was "betrothed" to Joseph; effectively a period of pre-marriage (almost a trial marriage) when all was signed and sealed but "physical contact" was not permitted.

... but before they were married, she found out that she was going to have a baby by the Holy Spirit.

Joseph was a man who always did what was right, but he did not want to disgrace Mary publicly; so he made plans to break the engagement privately.

Unlike in today's so-called "permissive" society, there would have been huge shame on Mary and Joseph. The mores of the day would mean Mary would, effectively, become an outcast.
While he was thinking about this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary to be your wife. For it is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived. She will have a son, and you will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

And good old Joseph did.

Emmanuel again.
    Next bus blog : Thursday 24th December 


  1. On Sheffield; at least two major sets of roadworks, on Glossop Road (unplanned?) and Shalesmoor, wrecked reliability during November. These are now done but bunching, turning buses short or running them out of service to restore timings are alls till common events. Major double-deck corridors are seeing much single deck operation, leading to overcrowding at some times of day.(to be fair, with less traffic this week things have improved). The Council Cabinet Member responsible was claiming in November that 30 extra d/ds were being introduced, but these were the vehicles displaced form the X78 by new stock and their arrival had always been planned. Now he is talking in the local press of 30 more d/ds - but no-one has yet revealed where these are coming from.
    The saddest thing is that a success story (c6% pa growth under the Partnership)has been turned into a network that many Sheffielders see as a complex and unreliable disaster zone.

    On the positive side, the changes to 75/76 at least do include xtra runnign time and (unless my maths is wrong) an extra bus or buses in the schedules to allow this.

  2. Scoot!
    Seems to be murkier than ever.
    1. There is the papers saying that they were told that support had been withdrawn, and a Company Voluntary Arrangement was being sought.
    No charges are recorded at Companies House, so who may the supporter be?
    2. The news then tells that the term "company voluntary arrangement" had been use wrongly.The company was seeking Creditors Voluntary Liquidation.
    Seems odd to me that a company, presumably by its official officer, should promulgate such a howler.
    Let's see what the IP's findings and statement of affairs brings forth.

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  4. Devon, Cornwall and Somerset have some step floorbOlympians Sheffield could have - good for another 12 months!