Tuesday, 19 July 2016

The Pale Pond and the Expensive Stop Flop (2)

Did They Get it Wrong?
Here is the stop for Falmer Village as revealed in yesterday's blog ...
,,, and here is the refurbished stop from a slightly different angle.
You can see the new fencing and the resurfaced pathways. There us now a raised kerb just before the unrefurbished shelter. The run-in to the layby is OK, but, apparently, from a standing start with the bus adjacent to the raised kerb, there is insufficient space to escape into fast moving traffic. It is possible that there are required standards for these dimensions which have not been applied in this case. But the new set-up does not look radically different from the old.


To understand the next stage of the story we need to know what stops (or doesn't stop!) at the "dangerous" layby. Here is a Brighton and Hove bus map extract
The LIGHT GREEN routes (23 and 25) provide the main servuice to the University of Sussex (much of it off map to the north), The Amex and Brighton University. The YELLOW routes (50/50U) are similar but run via the Hollingdean estate and serve less of the Univeristy of Sussex.

Finally the DARK GREEN service (28, 29 etc.) runs to Lewes and beyond; not serving any University stuff as such. This is the ONLY service that calls (or doesn't) at the Falmer Village stops (map, centre right). Buses are attractively branded "The Regency Line".
So, the key question now is how do the Falmerians get to their buses if the stop is closed.
If you are to belive the Brighton paper, you are informed that you must walk to the Falmer Station bus stop, the next stop along the road towards Brighton.
Here is a bendibus trying to pull out into speeding traffic - apparently perfectly safe here. But fbb would not recommend trying to walk along the A27 ...
... as there is no footpath, not even a muddy track.

If you really wanted to take the walk you would walk up the ramp and come out here.
You then walk down Park Street past the Fallow Mere pond ...
... turn sharp right, cross the B2123 and walk along Village Way. You will pass the Amex Stadium stop ...
... then on past Brighton University. You can then trek round the back of shiny office blocks and eventually get to the station. And the best of luck!
Thankfully, the fine folk of GoAhead's Brighton and Hove bus company have come up with a sensible and cunning plan. They have installed a temporary stop in the B5123 between Park Street and the roundabout.
For most Falmer folk it is no further than the closed stop on the A27 and allows access to the 23, 25 and 50; all services which call at the station.
Passengers wishing to travel eastbound, towards Lewes, are not affected. Their stop is situated on the slip road and accessed from the footbridge.
And it is nicely protected by its own chevron-marked "virtual" layby.
The shelter is just about visible beyond the two cars.

What of the future? No-one seems to have any idea what to do about it. Brighton and Hove Buses are profusely apologetic but offer no permanent solution.

From Tuesday 5 July, Falmer Village bus stop will remain closed due to unforeseen circumstances. During this time a temporary stop will be located on the Falmer Road (B2123). Passengers from Falmer Village should use this stop to travel into Brighton on a Service 25 or 50U. Passengers are also advised that if they wish to, they may transfer at Falmer Station to the catch their normal Service 28/29/29B. We are allowing free travel between these two stops.


Tomorrow : The answer's a lemon!

 Next lemon blog : Wednesday 20th July 


  1. Not "Impasse" at all, but a "make the best of a bad job" solution.

    I'd just make the point (from the view of a bus driver) that car drivers' behaviour has deteriorated so much over the past 10 years or so that bus laybys may be great for picking passengers up away from the flow of traffic, but they are the stuff of nightmares for bus drivers.

    The Highway Code "requests" drivers to allow buses to pull out from laybys, but it is not mandatory to do so. In practice, car (and lorry) drivers will not let a slow moving vehicle pull out. Many modern buses have no acceleration available to speed away from trouble (Euro 6 engines aren't built to do that), so the bus will wait for minutes and minutes until there is a gap in traffic so they can pull out safely.

    Looking at the images above, I'd say that the geometry of the layby has been subtly adjusted to allow a smoother ingress to the stop so that the bus may position perfectly alongside the kerb, but at the expense of the exit profile.

    There are several instances around the country where bus stops have been closed for just the same reason.

    Given an acceleration lane, there would be more chance of merging with fast-moving traffic safely, but as things stand . . . .

  2. Has anyone told B&H that their bendybuses have been 'withdrawn'? They will be surprised!

  3. There were plenty of them on the 25 and 25X last week.

  4. Sorry about the bendibus bludner. I was jumping to conclusions based on the dates on Google Streetview. I have corrected the blog.

  5. Shades of Ecclesall/Eccleshall. The ever useful http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/index.php?title=B5123 reveals that the B5123 road number has been used twice, both times in North Wales, but never in East Sussex. Brighton & Mold, anyone?

    1. Need we be so critical? As a fellow oldies, I know how easy it is to make fbb's sort of mistake

    2. Not at all - when you devote a blog to pedantry you must be whiter than white (if you pardon the pun)

  6. Similar sort of thing exists at Cooper Dean, Bournemouth. A slip was installed from A3060 to A338 to reduce congestion.It seems likely that no one thought to ask, so buses needing to turn right coming from the other direction on said A3060 cannot saely reach the layby on the A338.

  7. The southbound stop on the A3 at RHS Wisley Gardens is similarly 'a bit lively', requiring Abellio's 515s towards Guildford to pull out of a layby onto the 70mph(+!) road from a standing start: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.311385,-0.4668992,3a,48.6y,223.98h,85.92t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1stlYhw8drzt98RFHqst91oQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
    It's still in use though.

  8. I believe there has been a review of bus stop safety throughout West Sussex (and presumably B&H too), with a number of stops suspended for similar reasons. Is it not advice that if you stop on the hard shoulder you should build up speed before pulling onto the carriageway? Yet buses, much heavier and slower on the uptake, are expected to dart (no pun intended) out from a standing start with little more than luck on their side.

    In regard to being critical of FBB, considering the blog has a heavy line in highlighting the errors of others, often really quite bluntly, there really should be more effort to make sure his own text is correct. There are numerous spelling errors in most blogs.

  9. In agree entirely with the last Anonymous' strictures on accuracy of speling etc.. Were I (a) a professional public transport worker, and (b) if I didn't have a few other things to fill my day and (c) if I were being PAID; then I might have more time to proof reed.

    To keep the blog "fresh" I often need to compose at the last minute. It is not easy.

    But, honest, I will keep trying

    1. Quite right that a professional should pay more attention than a blog writer. But when the criticism is at its most strident, there are times when you feel like telling the medical practitioner to self-prescribe...