Tuesday 8 March 2016

No Longer Poor in Poringland [2]

Now; And Very Soon.
Nowadays Poringland is entirely in the hands of GoAhead's Anglian Bus, The company web site is not helpful, offering only a complex summary table of everything to and via Poringland.
Whilst the 88s have their own table, getting a clear view of the 87s is tricky. (click to enlarge the table below)
The web site also proclaims that it has individual route maps for each service. The diagram that arrives is correct, but nowhere near as good as the geographical map.
The 88 information does not match on the two maps. 

Traveline is more helpful. The 87 (formerly 587) is now half hourly ...
... with a few "portmanteau"! journeys to provide the evening frequency on the 88.
The map reminds us the the 87 is the less direct route via Stoke Holy Cross and Caistor St Edmund. The 88 is the "fast" route via the Trowse by-pass A146.
That is today.

But coming up ...
... is something new, that, in a sense, is not new at all.

First Bus are back in Poringland from 4th April. The new "Charcoal Line" runs fast like the 88 giving a "better" service to the hinterland of Poringland.
First's press release explains:-

The new service, numbered 40, will bring the villages of Poringland & Framingham Earl into the wider Norwich network, with a frequent 30 minute service running throughout the day from Monday to Saturday.

Every 30 minutes, frequent?

Two dedicated buses, both with leather seats and free wifi, will be used on the route which will be incorporated into the well-established colour-coded city network as the "Charcoal Line". The service will provide a direct link from the housing areas on the eastern side of the Bungay Road within the village, and then travel direct via the main road and Trowse bypass, terminating on St Stephens Street where passengers will be able to make easy connections to other buses to areas of the city.

The introduction of this exciting new service ...

exciting? really?

... will provide an important link from these areas (at present not served by First Eastern Counties buses) to popular destinations such as the University of East Anglia,

Of course, being excited by a bus named after chunks of cooked wood, fbb is even more excited to see the exciting timetable. Off to First in Norwich:-
Not a smear of the amorphous carbon variant, let alone a bus branded with atomic number 6! What about Traveline. Please note that the query was dispatched to Traveline East Anglia. In amongst buses to Woking, High Wycombe, Stevenage, Brighton, Birmingham, Nottingham and Reading (all well know towns in East Anglia?) we are excited to find ...
... no mention of a bus to Poringland. Very Por indeed

fbb has requested timetables via the First Norwich web site. Reply? Possibly in 14 days, says the web. fbb also tried emailing the spokesman quoted in the press release by guessing his address. The email did set off into the ether, but with no reply either.

First Bus are really poor at getting their timetables out into the hands of the public. Bearing in mind the service was registered around St Valentine's Day it is unsatisfactory that we are still waiting four weeks later. With a modest 26 days to go before excitement overwhelms the People of Poringland, their exciting timetable remains tantalisingly (excitingly?) secret.

 Next exciting bus blog : Wednesday 9th March 


  1. There is a fine line between sufficient notice and too much notice.
    Many moons ago, we determined that a Saturday service on a certain route would be a good idea. Off went the registration and, because my boss was keen, we posted the new timetable on the website (with various caveats as to commencement date).
    Sure enough, on the first Saturday after the new timetable was announced (but 6 weeks before the start date), we get a call in the office asking where the bus was, as this chap had been waiting for over 30 minutes (for an hourly service).
    We told him the next bus would be in 6 weeks (less 35 minutes) and he was not best pleased!!
    I've always reckoned that (with limited exceptions) releasing detained times should be around two weeks prior to operation. That's a good balance between excessive notice and sufficient notice.

  2. Ain't that the truth. It's a fine line in over communication and too little (and yes FBB, you can over-communicate as the commenter above describes).

    To be honest, I am struggling to see the point of this particular entry; it appears it is really carping about very little. The indignity that a new bus timetable is not available 4 weeks before starting - how is that a problem?

    They've done a teaser on the website, and as long as the timetable appears in the next week or so, what's the beef? If it were that an established service were changing and there was no alternative, that might be a valid point but in this case, it seems that the old chap is again simply looking for a target.

  3. Clicking on the 'banner' advertising the service on the First Norfolk home page takes me to the charcoal line page, which has a timetable (of sorts), a map (better) and some other bits.

  4. To anonymous at 1936. It didn't when I wrote the blog. There was no clickability on that banner.

    To anonymous at 1845. There is a trend (unfathomable) to register a service and then think about, possibly, maybe, publicising the service. As we have seen in Sheffield, the consequence is late or badly designed information.

    But I am still waiting fro my reply from "First" and that is my main beef.

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