Tuesday, 14 February 2017

The Fate Of The Late 28 (2)

It's All About Cycles.
But not these. On a recent visit to Ansterdam, No 1 son and family were repeatedly made aware of the biggest traffic hazard, namely a near-lethal onslaught of high speed bicycles whizzing along their own lanes, and, scarily, having their own green lights at busy junctions.

But the cycles referred to in the above sub-head are an important part of bus operation. Joe Public opines that such and such a bus should divert via an extra bit of the estate without giving a thought to cycles!

If a bus company is to stand any chance of making a small and crinkly crust, it must use its resources (buses and drivers) as efficiently as possible. Look at this table for the current 26, 27 and 28 via Groby.
Note that the 27 (Ratby) takes 55 minutes for the round trip; yippee, it cycles! In passing, note the dashes on he outward journey at Markfield Road. Careful perusal of the timetable reveals that only a couple of journeys will take you there.

Actually they all do! It's a loop, innit - and we know how useless bus companies are at showing loops in their timetables. Nevertheless, the 27 cycles.

Likewise (and equally loopy) the 28 cycles.

But, doom and gloom, horror and depression all round! The 26 arrives in Coalville at 56 minutes past the hour, enters an intergalactic time-warp and leaves 5 minutes earlier and from a different place at 51 minutes past each hour.
Cycle it doth not!

The two termini are some distance apart and sprinting between the two can be a challenge, even for those more fit and less f than your creaky author.
Marlborough Square is at the bottom of the map by the "Monkey Walk" (Wetherspoons, who else?) ...
... and Memorial Square is at he top, by the Memorial!
In both pictures you can see Arriva buses lurking at their very well spaced termini.

fbb thinks he has an explanation for the 26 oddity. look at the current 29X.
It arrives at Marlborough Square at 45 minutes past and leaves from Memorial Square at 05 minutes past. 20 minutes "layover" is a bit luxurious but the 29X does cycle. But fbb thinks there might be a "cunning plan" at work here.

The 26 arrives at Memorial Square at 57, tuns, effortlessly, into a 29X and leaves at 05. The 29X arrives at Marlborough Square at 45 and leaves as a 26 at 51. Hooray! As a pair of omnibological Siamese twins, the 26 and 29X cycle. Eureka!
Note also that turnround times at St Margarets Bus Station are quite "tight" so traffic cloggage can mess everything up completely - and does.

But whatever might eventually happen at Groby it will need to cycle.

Now for the big secret. In recent times, the 29 has operated from Leicester to Coalville and (wait for it) on to Burton on Trent as a 9 or 9A. Arriva's PDF timetables (as above) maintain the secret, as do the posh tables on the interwebnet.
Likewise the web (pathetic excuse for a) map is equally silent on journeys to Burton.
But fbb has seen through their even more cunning plan to discourage passengers.
At Coalville the 29A used to run through (and was advertised as such) as a 9 or a 9A but no longer does - possibly. Or does it? We may never know.

Which is why today's 29As terminate at Memorial Square rather than the expected Memorial Square which is shown as a line of dashes in both PDF and on-line timetables.
Currently on Traveline and Arriva-web there is still a 9/9A from Coalville to Burton ...
... which could run through. But on Traveline there is also a 29 ...
... which could run through as it leaves at the same time as the 9 and, astoundingly, calls at exactly the same places and at the same times on the way.

Is Arriva competing head to head with, erm, Arriva?

If you want to have a look, you can find the 9s by asking for "Coalville" but, as you expect with an electronic information service, service 9 appears after service 16.
The 9s don't appear at first; you have to click on "view more". Note also that Arriva's web designers, poor deluded technologists that they are, think that our friends the 27 and 28 serve Coalville! Another service (route 30) comes up on the list ...

Somebody should help Arrive here. Potential bus passengers like an alphabetical index of places served; regular passengers like  list in numerical order. In an outbreak of consummate incompetence, Arriva cannot manage either.

Never mind, eh? It all changes on Saturday.

But it's fbb's coffee time; and after a little therapy ...
... he will continue on tomorrow's blog.

 Next Arriva Groby blog : Wednesday 15th February 


  1. But, if you start your journey from Derbyshire and use their timetable information, then the proper timetable is revealed! www.derbysbus.info/times/timetables/009A-161001.pdf

  2. I fear fbb is being a bit hard on Arrive Midlands. The website carries a Service Update which links to "proper" timetables: and both these and the summary make it clear that the 9 group are renumbered to 29 etc, and continue to run through between Burton and Leicester. Also there were to be roadshow events last week in Leicester and Coalville to explain the changes; did any blog readers attend? (And if so how does this effort compare with the practices in Sheffield often lamented by fbb?)

  3. Indeed anon (at 0928) BUT. Why should a user have to scan the web site and click click to find out? Updates should be clearly linked to the existing timetables, not poked away in an Update section.

    If I were a visitor to Leicester, how would I KNOW that updates were available for this group of services?

    Do I have to go to "updates" every time I want to travel with Arriva, just in case?

    At least TSY add the new timetables to the old listing so both are obvious.

    Much better than Arriva!