Tuesday 2 August 2016

We Don't Explain Things Very Well (1)

Too Right You Don't ...
... and you might have guessed - it's Sheffield. Why is fbb not surprised about this. What is nore interesting is that this is nothing to do with printed publicity, lack of publicity or just plain wrong publicity because as the middle of last week there hasn't been any.

And the controversial change? Since the atrocious mishandle bus cut-back of November 2015, publicised as an improvement (!!), ANY bus change is controversial. The public, althopugh making the best of as bad job and coping (because they have to) have lost all confidence in the bus operators, the City Council and the Passenger Trabnsport Executive akak Travel South Yorkshire.

Above all, the good Sheffield folk are profoundly suspicious of anything that comes in the name of the Sheffield Bus Partnership.
This beloved organisation consists of three bus operators ...
... TSY ...
... and Sheffield City Council.
There was a rumour that T M Travel, which has a big presence in the City as an operator of mainly tendered services, had joined the club. But if they have it is a state secret!

So what has caused the headline in the local paper?
Which is?

Well, now; this is what has been announced map-wise. Note the pretty purple stops and route in Central Sheffield.
And this is what is happening from 4th September.
It looks a bit different. The little blobs are the stops and they are quite different from the proposals.

Travelling further north we have another divergence.
As expected buses will start using a new bit of road ...
The new link under construction.

... which bypasses the cloggage at Junction 34, where the M1 disgorges and devours traffic at the southern end of the Tinsley Viaduct.
Google Streetview must have rolled by very early on Sunday morning! So the neatly named Bus Rapid Transit North takes this new bit of road to speed itself swiftly (OK swifter that the old route) between Sheffield and Rotherham

That was (maybe still is) the plan. But a look at the change from September shows a very different map of the diversion.
The new route runs via Meadowhall and then uses the new link. 

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) North is a high quality and efficient public transport service that has been developed to help people travel into and between the centres of Rotherham and Sheffield. It will provide access to existing leisure, commercial and manufacturing facilities as well as facilitating economic growth by providing links to existing and proposed employment sites in the Lower Don Valley. 

BRT North will improve the customer experience by raising the quality of the bus offer, as well as improving capacity, reliability and quality on the bus network. It will provide essential congestion relief for local traffic at junction 34 south of the M1, through the creation of a new highway link under the motorway at Tinsley. 

Maybe the change in September isn't BRT North at all; maybe it is a sort of BRT "Lite". Or maybe BRT has faded from the minds of the politicians and this is a cheaper version. We are not told.

But this dilution of a grand and impressive scheme is, surprisingly, not what has provoked the "controversial" label.

Let us read on from the headline.
So something's up in Tinsley ...
... and the Partnership isn't!

The boss of Stagecoach told the councillors ...
... which is a bit odd as Stagecoach is not responsible for ANY of the "controversial" changes.
fbb has studied all the proposed changes for the autumn and so will try to unravel the concerns. Your cheery chubby chappie reckons that when the whole truth of the Tinsley Trauma is revealed, councillors and the electors will be even more incensed.

So tomorrow we will take a trip to Tinsley and see what the fuss is all about.

We will need to go right back to the days when most Sheffielders travelled by tram.

And just a reminder. All of this fuss is about poor communication between the bus people and one of their own partners, Sheffield City Council. Nothing that was said in the newspaper article even begins to address the poor communication between the companies and their passengers. Since November 2015 information has been atrocious and remains so.

 Next Tinsley blog : Wednesday 3rd August 


  1. As usual very little insight, just lots of daily mail style outrage that is very hard to cut through.

  2. This blog is sadly becoming less informed opinion and, as you say, DM style shouting at how things aren't the 1950s any more.

    Take yesterday's X6 blog. "Why not leave it as a ten minute frequency X6 all the way from Leeds to Huddersfield via Bradford as it ever was? Why make it difficult for cross-Bradford passengers? Change for change's sake? Not willing to buy enough new buses?"

    We had the usual moral indignation and how it was all First's fault, being mean and tight and how the hordes of people were going to be disadvantaged. That, and then others piling in citing that it was some ENCTS wheeze.

    Absolute piffle. It is well known that the service suffers dreadfully from having to traverse Bradford and it is having a noticeable effect on the reliability of the service (and may catch the eye of the TC). Was this ventured as a consideration, let alone a sensible thing to do? No

    I used to look forward to FBB's blogs. I may not have agreed but they were at least rounded (like the man himself) and well thought out. Now we seem to have a continual slew of First bashing (personal agenda?) and targeting of Traveline and any other online journey planner (often compared unfavourably with another that FBB has developed).

    I mean, come on. I used to look forward to this and the (much missed) Omnibuses blog. I'm not advocating a return to the 1950s but 2012 would be a start.

  3. With the X1 surely the originally proposed route was a farce - that you have a high frequency 'rapid' service between Rotherham and Sheffield skilfully omitting one of the best trip attractors in South Yorkshire. Makes perfect sense to go into Meadowhell (not that I'd ever want to but that is by the bay)

  4. To anonymous at the top.
    What would be the point in writing a blog that said "everything is lovely"? When it isn't. My X6 blog was a comment on effusive press releases which are becomingly repetitive.

    It questioned the wisdom of splitting an established service and the confusion and inconvenience that MIGHT ensue.

    Long routes are out of favour for many reasons, few of them to do with service to the public.

    Stick with the X1 blogs and you will see the consequences of changing things for the operator's convenience are detrimental to passengers and could easily reduce loadings.

    The X1 always was daft and remains so. Every ten minutes? Ludicrous!

    Thank you both for your comments. All reasonaed opinions are welcome!

  5. As an occasional user of the X6 from Huddersfield to Leeds the number of pax making journeys across Bradford has always seemed to be few in number. So perhaps the new arrangements will not be a major inconvenience to many?

    Anon 1250 - yes indeed the much missed Omnibuses blog? Why did he stop, where did he go, does anyone know?


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