Wednesday 26 October 2016
The Great 38 Debate 
How to Confuse Passengers in One Easy Lesson
As of yesterday, 25th October, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) was quite happy to show route 38 as running to Farnworth.
From 4th September the route had been curtailed to Little Hulton.
It follows the previous route via Captain Fold Lane (a k a Greenheys) then does a terminal loop via Amblecote Drive West and Amblecote Drive East; TfGM's map is not accurately orientated hence "east" and "west" look odd. Google shows laybys on both sides of the road ...
... but Streetview indicates that the stop used by the 38 has been obliterated. A slight mystery.
But a more taxing mystery is an attempt to identify the other end of the route. The map on the TfGM leaflet is unhelpfully very unspecific ...
... but the associated timetable offers Manchester Royal Infirmary Oxford Road. But is it?
The Stagecoach on-line timetable differs markedly.
Is St Mary's a church? No. It used to be a separate part of the hospital complex, housed in a splendid red stone confection which is a joy to behold.
But it is not any more. The building is labelled accordingly.
The new St Mary's is elsewhere in the vast complex ...
... but it certainly isn't on Oxford Road. To add to the difficulty for a potential bus passenger, the TfGM map labels the terminus of the 38 differently again.
There you have it; Oxford Road Whitworth Park, a pleasant oasis in the city, somewhat tarnished by bus priority and "improvement" work.
But the stop isn't even at the "old St Mary's" building. It is 100 yards or so further south outside Lidl.
If you want the front door of the new St Mary's as illustrated above, best use First service 18 which uses hospital roads closed to the public ...
... to get to "The Boulevard". And here is one doing it!
And here is an extract from the timetable, also explaining the stop location.
Service 38 destination screens add yet another variety with "MRI Hospitals" ...
... but the best is yet to come. The heading on the Stagecoach on-lone timetale simply says.
fbb can understand the desire to feature the Hospitals complex in the "name bank" of the timetable but, as the "complex" is very complex ...
... with these two sections being placed side to side in reality, surely the stressed passenger needs better and consistent information?
The only Oxford Road bus stops (and the best for Manchester Royal Infirmary!) shown are at the end of the "Buses Only" bit of road ...
Google Maps calls in another variant ...
... but the main parts of the Hospital are "round the back" on "The Boulevard".
Well goody goody! Now we have got that clear and concisely implanted in our grey matter, we can move on to unravel the rest of the Great 38.
There's more fun tomorrow!
P.S. fbb is grateful to correspondent Steve whose email prompted this excursion into Cottonopolis. His email "subject" was "Grrrr" ...
... and the drift of his message was thus:-
I've just had a rant, like you!
Can't think why, Steve.
Next Great 38 blog : Thursday 27th October