Monday 18 September 2017

Linda Lives in Luton ...

... And Is Hoping To Move ...
... from 28 Sunningdale, a pleasant semi on a quiet suburban road with a well appointed interior.
The fbbs have visited, some time ago now, for Linda's 30th Birthday. She is the daughter of good friends and Sheffield colleagues; in particular Mrs fbb and Linda's late mother shared in the upbringing of their joint six children.

If you are interested in the property, go to Right Move!

One thing that is rarely quoted in Estate Agents' honest and unexaggerated (?) descriptions of a property is the ease of access by public transport.

fbb can help here. The easiest route to the front door from, say, Luton Station is Arriva Service 14, as advertised in a recent leaflet.
Arriving at Luton Station, you need to find your way out to Station Road. It is a bit confusing as the ticket office is on a footbridge which forms an "open" route across the station. 
The National Rail station plan doesn't help things by showing the "East" car park on the west side of the station. But the exit we need IS on the east, but decidedly unimposing.
The poky entrance/exit itself is hidden behind the streetmap, but National Rail provides a picture of the luxury.
Turn left along Station Road and you will come to an equally unimposing bus stop with, unless it has improved since Google Streetview drove past, has absolutely no information whatsoever.
It doesn't even have a route number on the flag.
On the aforementioned bus leaflet, there is a helpful map. (click on the map and it should enlarge; it shows Sunningdale on the large terminal loop of service 14 in YELLOW)
There are full timetables for all three services to East Luton and we immediately see that 14 is a real oddity. 12 runs every ten minutes and is BLUE on the map.
The service on Saturdays increases to every 15 minutes later in the day. The 13 RED runs every hour. 
But the 14 - weird?
Every hour on Monday to Friday but every 20 minutes on Saturday; very unusual.

It is a mistake, innit? Arriva's web site timetable confirms the mistake; Saturday's frequency is hourly, the same as Monday to Friday.

But there is another mistake in terms of giving potential passengers the best possible information. Traveline journey planner gives a series different answers.
Most answers take you via service 101 ...
... not shown on the "East Luton" leaflet map. Why not? It, too, serves "East Luton".
You are guided out of the west side of the station, to the "interchange" ...
... and on to Service 101 which runs along the main road (in  WHITE , running north/south on the Arriva colour map above) and drops you at the end of Birchen Grove near the other end of Sunningdale.
On Mondays to Fridays the half-hourly 101 ...
... alternates with the 100 via Luton Airport rejoining the 101 after a suitable stop for Sunningdale.
The 101 is a better service that the 14, so might be the route of choice, with journeys from early morning to late in the evening, even running hourly on Sundays when the 14 stays tightly snuggled in the depot..

But the Saturday times are really horrid. The 100 and 101 each run every 40 minutes ...
.... so hard to remember whether the 1415 is a 101, or is it the 1515? Not good at all!

But, once you unravel Arriva's overly complex presentation, and once you dismiss the erroneous 20 minute Saturday frequency on the 14, Sunningdale is a pleasant place to live ...
... and surprisingly easy to get to by public transport.

Will it be Stagecoach Leaflets tomorrow? If the fbb's postal order packet of goodies arrives today, yes; if not, we are off to Derby.
The blog advertised for today (Stagecoach Bus leaflets for recent Sheffield changes) has been postponed, awaiting a further mailing from a correspondent in Sheffield. Package posted Saturday morning.
 Next uncertain blog : Tuesday 19th September 


  1. Luton is not alone in not showing route numbers on bus stop flags. To the end of last year Bournemouth's Yellow Buses did have route numbers although some had faded. They were replaced with a basic flag in advance of the January 2017 network changes.

    Morebus still show route numbers on their flags.

  2. To be honest, having route numbers on flags is a double edged sword. In Bristol, cuts to council services have seen them seemingly stop changing these so that whilst the timetables at stops have changed, the flags themselves have numbers for services that were withdrawn many months ago.

  3. Anonymous at 0959's Bristol experience can sadly be experienced in many parts of the country.
    But if every bus that passes stops there, is there a real need to put the number on the flag? I would much rather the investment was in a timetable/departure list at the stop.
    And there is also a practical reason for that, from my time managing roadside infrastructure. Timetable displays can be changed by almost anyone with minimal equipment; changing flags requires a ladder, a whole host of risk assessments and in some cases local authority permission.
    Even where numbers are kept up to date, it is often a mess of vinyl patches which generally look tatty - another reason why I would never entertain them in the first place.

  4. Adding to Shieldsman's comment, the Teesside councils showed All Services on the flags unless this was not the case, where numbers were used.

  5. Numbers do have their uses where there are several adjacent stops on one street - quicker to identify the right one.

  6. Adding to Shieldsman's comment, the Teesside councils showed All Services on the flags unless this was not the case, where numbers were used.
    Luton taxi
    Luton minicab
    luton Airport Transfer