Wednesday 7 December 2016

Is This Really The Best We Can Do?

Obtainable or Unobtainable?
fbb does not normally respond to Anonymi within the blog. Some comment writers wish to hide their identity because they are reasonably senior bus people and do not wish to risk peremptory expulsion from the good job (?).

The point about obtaining times of last buses on the early shut-down of Christmas and New Years Eves is not that such detail is totally unobtainable; indeed the chubby one did suspect that bus operators might reveal their bit of the state secret. The point is the the co-ordinating body in South Yorkshire should have brought this together and hasn't bothered to do so.

The first items to appear on line were from Sheffield Supertram and T M Travel as reported in this blog. A few days later the TSY non-leaflet appeared ...
... followed by Stagecoach

Secrecy is the order of the day at First Bus. For the record, then, here is how to obtain important timetable information in Sheffield.

The Stagecoach situation is particularly silly as you need to know which bit of Stagecoach operates your bus route in Sheffield in order to find out when these last buses rum. There is no single source of info for Sheffield.

The Barnsley service (**) is one of the three Sheffield area service 72s; this one running from Manvers to Chapeltown. It does not appear on the Barnsley list. Perhaps they forgot they operated it?
The "Manvers" 72 only runs during the daytime and so, again presumably, does not warrant an entry because it doesn't finish early. It would be nice to have this confirmed, however.

So, to answer anonymous, fbb has been trawling through web sites for four days to glean this important detail; an effort that is unlikely to be made by the average Sheffield bus passenger.

The times are in the journey planner bit of Traveline Yorkshire but not available as a list or as Christmas Timetables.

But even this is a bit dodgy.. Asking for a later evening journey on 24th December (via the Traveline App) ...
... leaps to early morning on the next day ...
... when there a no buses. Whoops! The "additional information", by the way, tells us that the 25th December is ...
... just an "OtherPublicHoliday".

Obtainable Here:-
Another Anonymous doesn't like fbb pushing GoTimetable Sheffield. What is wrong with that, pray? It is not "fbb's" App.

The small but dedicated team that has done the clever stuff deserves recognition and, at some stage, a few bags of pennies. fbb is an OAP and has no immediate need of extra dosh, so his is a labour of love.

fbb refers to App and web site when it offers superior information to other services. The process of updating with "last bus" times has proven very vexatious and will not be completed until tomorrow afternoon - later than intended.

But, as they say, we are getting there!
Nearly all the information is now in place on line and in the Android App ...
... and it is THE ONLY PLACE where everything is available together!

fbb is really grateful to First Bus Sheffield for providing him will full timetables for Christmas and New Years Eves.

And, as promised some time ago, fbb will take a more detailed look at Sheffield's Boxing Day and New Years Day services.

Tomorrow - promise!
Advent Calendar
The answer in those early years of history was an object with a strange but old fashioned name.
The term "covenant" is of Latin origin (con venire), meaning a coming together. It presupposes two or more parties who come together to make a contract, agreeing on promises, stipulations, privileges, and responsibilities. THE covenant is a coming together:-
For a non believer that idea is just plain weird. For a believer it is a very powerful and solemn idea. How can a puny human "come together" with an omnipotent God?

The most famous "covenant" was when Moses was given the ten commandments. And forget an old man staggering down a mountain with a couple of gravestones. 
In fact the "ten words" would fit quite neatly on a couple of shards of stone about the size of playing cards.
These form the basis of the "come together" Divine covenant. Despite what modern man (and many preachers) suggest they are not "rules", not even "commandments" in the modern sense.

The sense goes like this

IF you have just one God
IF you do not make idols for yourself
IF you do not misuse Gods name
IF you remember the Sabbath
IF you honour you parents

You WILL NOT murder
You WILL NOT commit adultery
You WILL NOT steal
You WILL NOT lie
You WILL NOT be jealous

That's a covenant. But what happens if one party breaks the deal ...
 Next Christmas services blog : Thursday 8th December 


  1. "

    ... and it is THE ONLY PLACE where everything is available together!"

    You'll have to be wary of something called the 'Trades Descriptions Act' if you ever try advertising this thing beyond this blog.

    You can't just make any old claim that is demonstrably untrue


    Gonna need a new irony meter as mine is broken now.

  3. First of all, it is worth pointing out that some of us (like me!) use "Anonymous" because we don't have an account with any of the various options listed, or can't be bothered to log in to it. If I could type a name of my choosing I would. As I can't, just plain old Anon has to suffice.

    Question: How many people will actually need to know what every company operating in the TSY area is doing? Surely most people only use a couple of services, will know the operator, and just look up that specific service? I certainly have little interest in finding out what my local company is doing at the other end of its operating area.

    PowellsBus Info is on their own website. This also explains, in much better fashion, the hamfisted last bus between 14:00 and 16:00 lark. As an hourly service, the last bus into the city is at 14:00, the last bus back at 16:00.

    Greenline727 pointed out fewer passengers travelling on NYD than Boxing Day. This matches my previous experience in retail - one year we were open for nearly 2 hours before we had a customer, and this in a usually busy shopping centre in the centre of town!

  4. BUT Anonymous above. Their local operator is STAGECOACH. Unless they are very observant as the bus passes, they will not have a clue which bit of Stagecoach runs the 53A, for example. The point is not that they might want to find all the "last bus times", but they might want to fond one- and have three (even four) web sites to look.


    How would a resident of Barnsley know wher their service 265 was hidden. It's not on the Barnsley list.

    1. That does seem to be moving the goalposts a bit, seeing as your comments *seemed* to be about all operators, but granted, that does seem very unhelpful.

      Since the new website, some companies seem to put notices "blanket" across all the towns and cities relevant for their operation, whilst others are very locally orientated... rather like their printed publicity, it seems.

  5. The whole point of a bus partnership is to make bus travel more coordinated and appealing and the lack of information from the partnership is neither coordinated nor helpful and certainly makes bus travel less appealing. Yes the operators could also do better but the partnership is just a joke and a complete waste of money and further partnerships should be stopped now before things get worse.

  6. Karl
    Just because one partnership isn't much cop should not lead to outright dismissal of the concept.
    We've worked with our local Traveline team so that correct timetables are available across the Christmas and New Year period. That is actually better than what is available on our website, where only the journey planner shows changes - the PDF timetables it generates are still the normal ones.
    We've no formal partnership, but we work closely with our local transport authorities, usually to mutual satisfaction.

    1. I have no issue with coordination like that but it's the formalising of it I have issues with as that creates jobsworths not people trying to help. The whole Shefield model is flawed and failin, yet people champion it.