Wednesday 10 May 2017

Some Belated Bloggings (1)

fbb forgot to thank his regular Bristol correspondent for the material which led to the Coneygre article, posted yesterday; likewise to the various kind could who have forwarded bits for most of today's blog, some of them unavoidably delayed! 
Sweet Dreams Over The Tamar
Thanks to correspondent Peter

I thought that you might be rather amused by this unexpected howler on Great Western's journey planner.  Mrs and I were planning to head off from Liskeard to Gunnislake (13 miles away by road) and I suggested that the train might be a rather nice option for a change, although it would involve a longer journey, travelling in and out of Devon, changing trains in Plymouth.
I entered the morning departure times and was intrigued to be presented with the option of travelling on the Night Riviera sleeper train from Liskeard to Gunnislake.
The very idea is unthinkable, as the branch closes down with the last train at 2131 from Plymouth, 2221 back from Gunnislake.
Now, we might all guffaw at the impossibility of such an operation, but why on earth does the web page even offer it as an option ?

It's the stuff dreams are made of!

Barnsley Bus Recycling Report
From Sheffield correspondent, Roy.
But it says Hackney Playbus on the side!

The bus was bought (on EBay!) from Hackney for £3,800 by Birkwood Primary School at Cudworth and towed to the school where it is to be used as the school library.
B663 CET was previously with Coachmasters of Rochdale before rolling south to Hackney/
The company is/was best know for its posh coaches ...
... but it withdrew from a clutch of tendered bus services in 2011 (hence the sale of the future playbus?)
The 346 ...
... is now operated by First and Stagecoach.
From the school's web site we see that the Library is luxurious and nicely relaxing.
School libraries weren't like that when fbb was a lad!

Derby Bus Station Disaster?
Also from Roy in Sheffield
The old Derby bus station, visited several times by fbb, always seemed to work quite well. There was parking "round the back" for vehicles having their "layover" and, although it was always busy, it was as pleasant as a bus station can be.

The new bus station is smaller (of course) with reverse-out bays.

So the "Chaos and Gridlock" story appears regularly in the local press.

Derby bus station is 'gridlocked' six times a day, claims one driver who uses the site. He was speaking out after Derby Telegraph photos and a video showed queues of buses waiting to enter the station.
The picture is from a video taken in 2010, so the problem is not new. The entrance is upper left and the exit is out of shot lower right. The "chaos" is provoked when buses cannot get IN because of vehicles reversing off the stands. The junction st the entrance is blocked so buses leaving the bus station (passing the car park sign) cannot get OUT through the junction.


What is needed, of course, is a bigger bus station (about the size of the old one!) with more room to manoeuvre.

Bus companies have admitted congestion is causing delays, for which they have apologised. They say they are working with the city council to solve the problems.

The driver was just one of many readers who commented on our story about the congestion. He said: "At least six times a day this station is gridlocked. I am a driver and can honestly say we as drivers are fed up of the chaos that is Derby bus station. An average of 30 mins just to navigate 100 yards!"

Bluebell Nostalgia
The twit computer has been sending fbb more beautiful pictures of the Bluebell Railway. Comments are superfluous!
Just for those unfamiliar with this sort of "stuff"; the locomotives are in the livery of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway which became part of The Southern Railway in 1923.

More "stuff" tomorrow.

 Next belated bloggings blog : Thursday 11th May 


  1. Detention FBB

    Write out 100099 times

    Roy isn't spelt with a a

    The school library story as been all over local BBC radio and TV recently , however, local bus groups and Barnsley Chronicle reported this 7 months ago

  2. The Olympian was new toYorkshire Traction so it has come 'home'.

    On Derby Bus Stn: it is slightly too small(as shown by the eviction of the X38 to Burton to Victoria street, 200m or so away, for instance) but the faults arise from the overall design. I normally use it around 0900. There are 6 or 7 departures at exactly 0900, which all back off stands at once. As the protocol is that all buses, whether arriving or departing, must give way to those backing off the stands, the potential for chaos is great. But the real problem is the narrow exit and some awful traffic light phasing there; followed by another set of lights on the Cock Pitt Roundabout 50m further on. Result; it is often quicker to walk to the rail station (10 mins) than to get the bus for that distance. The problem has been there since the Bus Stn opened in 2009(?) and the City Council have not addresed it.

  3. Puzzled that TfGM only advertises 'easy access on some buses'

  4. The ongoing problems with Derby Bus Station, mentioned by Dennis Drat were highlighted over the Easter holidays for two reasons:
    Competition between Your Bus and Arriva means that there are 20 more departures per hour than this time last year;
    In the morning peak during school holidays buses arrive early and have nowhere to go.

    The bus station was redeveloped on the old site - the loss of some land to other uses meant no cost to the public purse, but a permanent shortage of layover space.

    1. Exeter will be next with exactly the same issues as Derby. Although they are also likely to be on strike anyway given the RMT seem he'll bent on striking over anything down here. Not helped by the union rep being the local councillor whow voted for the useless bus station redevelopment.

  5. I've got it! The reason it was suggesting travelling on the Night Riviera was because you could take the Sleeper at 23:25 and arrive Plymouth 23:50 (in the seated area) to change for the first Gunnislake train at 5:05!