Sunday, 18 March 2018

Weekend Mixture (Part 2)

Another Stagecoach Trim ...
... but not quite as large as Fort William! Stagecoach route 7 from Aldershot to Reading was once run by Countywide as part of their Fleet Buzz network, It was then numbered 72.
Stagecoach took over but retained the route number for a while.
It is now their route 7.
Aldershot is off the map, lower right and the 7 continues northwards to Hartley Wintney and Reading, but un-mapped by Uncle Brian.
The route runs hourly Monday to Saturday with a collection of variants at school times.
Reading Buses web site tells us that they will soon be taking over the section from Hartley Wintney to their home town, but offering connections and through ticketing with Stagecoach. The Reading service will continue direct to Fleet Station for rail connections.

Reading already runs its own morsel of route 7, tendered by Wokingham Council.
The three evening buses also run on Saturday.

Where next for the Stagecoach chop? Where next for the expansionist Reading Buses?

A Morecambe Muddle
Held over to avoid making Friday's blog unbearably long is a niggling little problem in Morecambe. Here is the map far service 6 to Westgate as supplied by Lancashire Council's web site.
It ends in a loop. But the inbound timetable is short ...
... just showing the two "time points" shown on the map above. But the outbound table shown many more stops ...
... before "terminating" at Bartholomew Road (adj). And then there's the frequency, just like Island line trains, two buses an hour at 20 and 40 minutes past!

Should there be a bus at 00 past the hour.

Eventually fbb found it. It is a route 6A all the way through to Lancaster ...
... running on the hour from 1000 onwards - BUT with radically different point times. Does the map help? Possibly at Westgate (or is it West Gate)?
So it DOES serve Bartholomew Road (the small loop)? Or does it?

But then after the Westgate estate is appears to go two ways at once between there and Lancaster.
And what, pray, happens at Salt Ayre?


This is why you need a good map or a "site visit" to experience what actually happens. One thing is absolutely certain; fbb's first attempt at the West Gate area was, to put it mildly, utter trash!
It looks pretty; it looks pretty simple, with 6As ignoring the estate in the outward direction, but following a "normal" 6 via Bartholomew Road on its return to Morecambe.

Hooray for Stagecoach. Their map is right.
It is nearly impossible to read, but it is right. 

The 6A does PART of the loop at Westgate but in both directions, NOT a one way loop.

On Sundays the 6A does the whole Westgate loop via "Bartholomew Road" a thoroughfare which isn't shown on the Stagecoach map.

On Sundays and Monday to Saturday evenings the 6A doesn't go via Northgate and but runs via Morecambe Road. But does it still go via ASDA?

What happens at Scale Farm Road (bottom right), which Lancashire County calls Salt Ayre, is jolly near unfathomable. 

But here is the Stagecoach timetable from Morecambe, Monday to Saturday daytimes  ...
... and Monday to Saturday evenings ...
... (note the brown shading to SOME evening journeys but not all) and Sundays!
Got it? Good.
Now all fbb has to do is to match Stagecoach's "point times" to those provided my Lancashire and those included on the County computer generated maps and he can proceed with his version of the route diagram.

Pass the tranquilisers - AGAIN!

Tomorrow we go to the comparative sanity of Kent. Well, the routes are almost sane, the service provided isn't!

Stagecoach Northampton Illiteracy ...
Write out 100 times




No doubt a picky "anonymous" will be able to point out several hundred of fbb's tripeing mistooks. Defensively, fbb claims there is a world of difference between a Public Notice (which should be double checked) and a transitory blog often written in haste.

But, yes, he is the kett calling the pottle black.

Melton Constable Bus Information
After fbb visited Melton Constable (Norfolk), lured there by consideration of First Bus' new X29 service replacing part of the Stagecoach (formerly Norfolk Green) route, a correspondent sent this picture, both heartening and depressing.

Norfolk Council, which used to be to the forefront of  new technology now says this about bus timetables etc.
It goes on to decline any responsibility at all for information at bus stops except in "busy places".
Which explains this timetable frame display at Melton Constable.
What a sad comment on bus operators, the County Council and the local Parish Council.

 Next Sevenoaks blog : Monday 19th March 


  1. Sanders' bus stop displays are generally to a very good standard with clear, legible information - in fact, rather better than their timetables, which are little more than Excel spreadsheets in a variety of fonts, sizes and colours (the website PDFs are not the same as those in their timetable book).

  2. Since there is no FBB update on-line today (proving we can't rely on on-line sources?) maybe he could point to anywhere where his Blog is available in paper format? There is nothing on the buses, nothing posted at the roadside; what are we to do! This is disgraceful.

  3. His part of Devon was hit very hard yesterday with the snow. I hope that he is well and it is google we have to blame for the non show.