Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Better, Bit By Bit (2)

A Good Look at a Good Book
fbb was delighted to find a box of First's area timetable book on his open-top 501 on Saturday, and he eagerly collected a couple, one for "filing" (in a heap in the loft!) and one to take on a planned return to the town later in the Summer season.
There was no sign of any of these booklets at the railway station; there is no enquiry office as such, just two ticket windows ...
... and there is a shop.
This is small and serves as newsagent and snack bar. Maybe when First take over the Southwest Trains franchise the buses management and the trains management will talk to one another (shock horror!!) and provide onward bus travel information and literature.

The only display is a repeater screen for departures from central stops ...
... with a map added since the Streetview camera did its clever thing. But it needs a BIG sign and, ideally, a more prominent position. It is good that it exists, but it is easy to miss.

If space and/or complex legislation make better information "all too difficult", then there is First's bolted and barred shop in the town. Oh, yes, it is opposite the station!
Welcome to Weymouth - but don't expect to be able to talk to a real person!

First's bus timetable book does contain some helpful rail information, showing connections with SouthWest Trains at Weymouth ...
... and Axminster.
But there is no mention of the direct rail service from Bristol etc.
Now which group operates those trains to Weymouth?

If you can find one, the timetable booklet is a superb example of a production that can attract passengers, holiday makers, day visitors, local residents and overweight elderly bloggers to make (extra) bus journeys for the pure fun of it.

So what thrills (?) does the book offer?

Network maps of Weymouth and Dorchester urban areas are excellent as this extract shows,
Each service has its own line of route map, again excellent ...
... although there might be an argument for annotating, say, the route 4 map with just the existence of other services in the area.

There is a welcome page which highlights changes and new services p...
... plus a frequency list.
fbb is not sure what the point of this list is if you have got the timetables; but how about saving some space and combining it with the index in service number order. Only service 8 and service 15 (the latter schooldays only and disappearing from 20th May) ...
... have a different schedule on Saturdays compared with Monday to Fridays, so it is easy to save a column.

The timetables are, well, just timetables; but they are clear and tidy and consistently coloured to match the maps. This does help a visitor have confidence that he is in the right place.
Now, wouldn't it be jolly good to see these timetable printed out double size and posted in frames at the Kings Statue terminal? Correspondent Ken Traveline Dorset says that more information will appear there after the changes due later in May.

fbb bets a stick of Weymouth Rock ...
... that it will be in the form of computer generated departure lists and not the more useful full timetables and line of route maps.

Note also that the producers of Weymouth Rock are somewhat backward in their publicity!

But that's enough drooling for today over EXCELLENT publicity. Tomorrow we look at what is new for 2017 in the area and, in true "Top Gear" manner, have a poke at a ghastly howler. Where might that be, you ask.

Perhaps Simon Newport (Weymouth boss) should send a copy of this booklet to First South Yorkshire?
Pretty Picture from Twitter
fbb is not a Twitterer, but some deep throat confuser somewhere keeps sending the old man odd extracts from peoples' Twits. This one caught the old fellah's eye for sheer picturesque quality.
Talyllyn Railway; and all together, say "Aaah!"
 Next Weymouth blog : Wednesday 26th April 


  1. Especial congratulations to First for marking all the timing points clearly on that map of route 4. All too often the logical check of ensuring that any point mentioned in the timetable should also be on the accompanying map is omitted.

  2. First are really frustrating. They can produce excellent material like this, and the Kernow book I had in Cornwall a couple of years ago.
    Yet in Stirling last year, where the high-profile Royal Route runs with smart Streetlites there wasn't so much as a timetable leaflet on display.

  3. Or you could go to Sheffield where timetable publicity in printed form is almost non existent! As for anything like route branding or promotion of specific services - no chance.