Sunday 4 September 2016

X1 Excels (?), Excites (?) Exudes ...

Not That Much, Really!
Just under a month ago, fbb reporting on the impending introduction of a flash new bus service in Sheffield.

It starts today, TaDa!

See "The Trauma of Tinsley - Part 1" (read again) Part 2 covered the consequences for the folk of Tinsley and some of those will be restated in expurgated form here.

 Yesterday Saturday 3rd Septermber 

And from one of our correspondents dispatched with camera yestarday; the last day of historic service 69. The buses ...
... the timetable ...
... and the notice!

 Today Sunday 4th Septermber 


Starring, from left to right:-
Chris Roberts (Principal Public Transport Manager) SYPTE
Tom Finnegan-Smith (Sheffield Council Transport & Infrastructure)
Denise Lellot (Rotherham Council Jobs & the Economy)
Alan Riggall (First South Yorkshire Head of Commercial),
Sean Marsden (Driver Supervisor First)

Only it is most definitely is NOT welcomed by the people of Tinsley. As listed in "The Trauma of Tinsley Part 2" their bus service becomes little short of a farce from today. Without going into the ramifications of traffic management schemes and poor planning, the simple list of journey times for previous and new services says it all.
Maybe First Bus would find itself unwilling to issue as press release that said "The new X1 has been an expensive waste of money motivated entirely by politics with no reference to the needs of today's passengers", so we get the usual hype:-

New ‘X1 Steel Link’
between Rotherham and Sheffield
launches September 4
with high quality services every ten minutes

Unless you live at Tinsley!

Bus passengers travelling between Rotherham and Sheffield are set to benefit from a new high quality service following completion of the £29.8 million Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) North scheme.

Most of the cost has been building the new (short) link road from Meadowhall Way to Templeborough; for cars, lorries etc., not just for buses.

First Bus today revealed a range of benefits customers can expect from its new X1 Steel Link.

The service will operate up to every ten minutes, providing more buses, linking Maltby, Rotherham, Meadowhall and Sheffield

Actually no change between Maltby and Rotherham

Customers can benefit from great value fares; an introductory promotion is available which could save customers 30% with day tickets from just £4 and weekly tickets £14.

Currently £4 and £14 respectively. Now that looks very similar to the offer. These are the standard Rotherham Bus Partnership fares but extended for a limited period through to Sheffield. A saving, perhaps for folk from Maltby; but no different for anyone else.

Customers can purchase tickets on board, on-line or through the First Bus MTicket app which enables passengers to show drivers their bus tickets via their mobile phones.

Not new. Let's hope your battery doesn't die just as you see the bus approaching. Unlike Oyster, there is no discount for buying on line.

18 new high spec vehicles will operate on the route, all fitted with leather seats, USB charging points and dedicated and eye catching bespoke branding. 

New? They've been running on the X78 (intended to carry Steel Link branding, but we've changed our mind) since November 2015.

Customers will also shortly benefit from the introduction of free on board wi-fi.

Should have been already on the buses for the X78, surely?

The new vehicles are Department for Transport approved ‘low carbon certified’ and fitted with the latest Euro VI engines, which produce 95% less oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions which will help improve air quality across the route.

Whilst such technology is laudable, it is unlikely to be a big thing in attracting passengers to the new route.

The on-line publicity is keen to highlight the "X"ness.

The quick new way to get back and forth from Sheffield has arrived. Get there on time and stress-free as you take the express route.

Old and new timings are shown below.

And on the "launch" bus.

Hmm again!

Reach all of your favourite destinations with our X1 Steel Link Service. Whether you’re after excitement, exploration or excellent leisure facilities, you’ll find it in Sheffield and Rotherham with us.

You are also invited to search for "more". As of 2200 yesterday evening, this "more" did not include a timetable.
Click on X1 and you get:-
Stupid fbb! He should have searched under the "forthcoming" tab.
Stupid First Bus - it's not there either. On the day before launch there is no X1 timetable on the First Bus web site.

But ...

Wait for it ...


These were spotted in Rotherham last Wesdnesday and in Sheffield on Friday but may well have been available longer. And how is First Bus publicising this superior new service.

Answer : with a very small leaflet - A7 size, about this size:-.
It unfolds to something much bigger and, of course, there is the timetable ...
... and details of fares. Hooray! The extract below is just a tiny part of a complete fare table.
The timetable leaflet also includes related services 1 and X3. Happily, nay joyously, there is an accurate route map of which only part can be reproduced here.
Apart from its diminutive size, which simply doesn't do justice to the advertised importance of this new route (well, honestly, mostly old route(s) with a new brand), the leaflet is excelklent at telling people when and where the buses go, something of a novelty in recent Sheffield changes.

Timetable scans supplied by Sheffield correspondent John.

We know that the buses are "quality", (X78 quality!) and will eventually have wifi; but what about the promised quality stop "equipment". The press release shows a shelter.
Is it high quality?
Has it got seats?
Is there a real time display?
Does it provide adequate shelter?

Hmm. Out in the sticks, however, things are not quite so ready.

fbb's correspondent was unable to send photographs of bus stop signs, timetables or bus stop publicity - there wasn't any.

Our correspondent David's report; "Not worth 29.8 million ponds - no way!"

Another Sheffield contrbutor, Roy, sent these at 2030 last night. So some stops are "finished". These shots were taken at Castle Street in Sheffield City centre.

Old bus route - new stop: The last (every?) 69 departing

New (?) bus - old route

new branding - old route numbers

Frankly, it is wrong to berate First Bus for the deficiencies of this service. "The Lads" at Rotherham HQ have no doubt done the best job they could with a poor product, poorly conceived.
And Now The Really Good News

GoTimetable Sheffield
For information go to

 Next GoTimetable blog : Monday 5th September 


  1. I find it interesting that, adding to the issues over X1, to read the 'Service Changes' section of the Travel South Yorkshire website (SYPTE) you come away with the wrong understanding of what is happening.

    The list of services includes only those which are either cancelled or changed. Services 1 and 2 to Maltby are not listed, clearly giving the reader the understanding that they continue unchanged.

    Looking at the entry for new service X1, it says that this brand new service partially replaces 1, 2 and 69 which raises the question "which part?" especially as the 1 and 2 are to continue unchanged according to the same list; or are they?

    Not the best set of information!

  2. Is there a discount for buying Oyster on line? Is it not just cheaper than paying cash for the same fare (where paying in that way remains possible) - whereas contactless cards also have weekly capping which is apparently not possible on Oyster Pay As You Go?

  3. Another change supposedly introduced yesterday was to the 81/82 which now go the opposite way round the loop in Millhouses. I attempted to catch the first 82 going up Springfield Rd, with time confirmed by timtable at the stop and by 'live departures'. Nothing arrived and I leter discovered they were still using the old route 'due to a cock-up by the PTE'. Not sure what that could have been, given all their publicity confirmed the change was on Sunday, to the extent that stops which we still in use had the old timetable removed and the 'message no buses use this stop any longer' as long ago as the previous Wednesday - when they were still in use of course! Simon Reading


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    شركة المنزل هى شركة نقل اثاث بالطائف لدينا العمالة المدربة التى تقوم بخدمات نقل الاثاث عن طريق السيارات المجهزة كما ان لدينا الاوناش والروافع التى تسهل على عمالتنا خدمة نقل الاثاث وعمالتنا تقوم بتغليف الاثاث وتفكيكه حتى لا يتعرض للخدش او الكسر اثناء مرحلة النقل كما ان لدينا خدمات تخزين الاثاث بكبرى المستودعات المجهزة والخالية من الحشرات والقوارض ونحن نقدم جميع خدماتنا بأرخص الاسعار .

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