Thursday, 3 May 2018

Maltby Mix-up Mutterings (2)

Just a Reminder - Daytime Service
X1 (ORANGE) leaves Rotherham via Wickersley Road
10 (BROWN) leaves Rotherham via the Hospital
X1 runs via the A631 Bawtry Road at Wickersley
10 runs via Flanderwell
X1 via Dale Hill Road to different locations in Maltby
10 via Rotherham Road, Grange Lane and on to Doncaster
Now the fun starts!

Evenings and Sundays Until April 28th
Service 10
According to the Travel South Yorkshire (TSY) non-leaflet, First runs between Maltby and Doncaster whilst T M Travel runs between Rotherham and Maltby.
BUT ... buses do not connect, depriving "cross-Matlby" passengers of any realistic service.
Service X1
Buses run every 20 minutes to Maltby with one journey in three showing Note A ...
... explained as "buses continue via service 10 to Doncaster"; e.g. 2041 arrival at Maltby, 2044 forward to Donny. So "cross-Maltby" passengers from, say Rotherham to Edlington, can travel through, but because of the different routes, travelling through from the Hospital or Flanderwell is not possible.

But such brave souls need to consult two timetable non-leaflets.

All clear so far - no prizes for readers who understand it.

Evenings and Sundays from April 29th
Service 10
Ooh look! The T M Travel journeys from Rotherham to Malby have disappeared ...
... with absolutely no meaningful explanation from TSY. The front of the non-leaflet explains thus:-

Service 10 - Service to start from Corporation Street due to the redevelopment of Rotherham Interchange. Journeys operated by TM Travel will now be operated by First.

But journeys operated by T M Travel no longer exist!

Service 10a - New service replacing some buses on service 10. Buses will run through Stainton instead of Braithwell, in response to request by residents of Stainton village. In Rotherham buses will run to and from Corporation Street due to the redevelopment of Rotherham Interchange.

This change affects journeys between Maltby and Doncaster ...
... with an hourly service (Monday to Saturday daytimes) via Stainton.
This must be an improvement verging on the miraculous for this little cluster of properties. Does an influential councillor live there; or perhaps a First Bus manager?

But the full picture is revealed (or it isn't?) when we look at the other routes.

Service X1
The rubric on the front of this non-leaflet sort of explains something, but not all.

Service X1 - Revised route in Rotherham to serve Forge Island Bus Station due to the redevelopment of Rotherham Interchange.

Service X10 - New evening and all day Sunday service. Between Sheffield and Wickersley buses will run along the same route as service X1; between Wickersley and Maltby service will operate the same route as service 10 via Flanderwell.

It is NOT a new service; it is the previous one journey in three diverted to run via Flanderwell to replace those missing T M Travel trips; but in doing so withdrawing a third of the buses via Dale Hill Road.

But there is nothing on the "front cover" about through buses to Doncaster. These just show the same "Note A" ...
... explained, as before, as a continuation via service 10.

Unhelpfully service 10 leaves from Corporation Street in Rotherham, whereas the X10 uses the Forge Island temporary bus station; more confusion for the struggling passenger.

Incidentally, neither the previous nor the new timetable had any note on X1/X10 journeys that have come FROM Doncaster. These have to be worked out from a note "C" on the appropriate service 10 non-leaflet.

fbb has not seen any First Bus leaflets for the revised services (have any been printed?), but the on-line PDF timetables merely replicate the TSY versions.

Surely there ought to be one leaflet which shows the whole service between Rotherham, Maltby and Doncaster? 

That would help the passengers and might ensure that First sold a few more tickets. Apparently folk don't use buses if the company doesn't tell them where and when they run!

But as First announced a couple of years ago ...

We’re delighted to announce that from Sunday 15th May 2016 you will have another bus service linking you to more places more often.

The new Service 10 will be perfect for direct easy journeys between Rotherham, Maltby, Wickersley, Bramley and Doncaster. Perfect for commuting or days out this new service, together with your South Yorkshire bus network, can fit perfectly into your plans with buses all day, 7 days a week.
Yeah? Right?

And another thing. When did First Bus tell its South Yorkshire passengers that it was no longer running any buses on Fridays?
And the X1 ditto.
Presumably this is part of the business plan to counter the take-over bid from Apollo Global Management?

This technological travesty was pointed out to First Bus at 1700 yesterday so might well be corrected soon!

Thanks to correspondent Roy we have pictures of the first ever X10 standing at the Eyre Street terminus in Sheffield on Sunday morning.
Funny looking "0"; a mistake, or is it trying to convince the passenger that the bus is really an X1 in a feeble disguise?
But don't try looking for the X10 on the bus stop flags!
If you are lucky enough to be at a stop with an electronic display, and doubly lucky to be there when an X10 is shown, then you might just be able to confirm that you are at the correct stop.
fbb understands that much of the material in this blog is being added to an on-line manual that forms the basis for a developing national programme teaching new management trainees how to reduce passenger numbers and turn profits into losses. The course is entitled "The four Cs - Confusion Course for Cutting Cash."

It should be an excellent course!

A few more Maltby bits will manifest themselves tomorrow together with at least one more strange Buses for Sheffield marketing decision.
A Pleasing P.S.
At about fbb's bedtime last evening the "pageviews all time" counter on this blog clicked past the two million!
at 2200 yesterday
Google's statistics are decidedly unreliable in detail with, for example, an unlikely 641 pageviews from the Ukraine one day last week, but they do show general trends. After eight years, the number of good folk clicking on this stuff remains pretty steady. Some of them actually read it!

The notable statistic spurs fbb to offer his thanks to ALL his readers and ALL those who add comments. A particular thanks, however, goes to those who supply the old bloke with information, pictures and ideas.

This is the 2707th published blog and there is little doubt that the industry will continue to stimulate, infuriate and entertain for a few more.
 Next Maltby (plus) blog : Friday 4th May 


  1. Does Roy have a job/family etc?

  2. Congratulations on your 2700 blogs and 1,000 viewers a day!! I expect I speak for many... I may not always know the areas concerned (like maltby) but I always look forward to a look at your comments and when I've missed a day or two there's that little buzz of excitement that I've got a few to read to "catch up"...
    though there's always one or two who like to have a pop, the silent majority appreciate the time you take to prepare something for our entertainment day in day out, and it's clear that there's "high rollers" out there keeping an eye on what is said even if they don't always do or have the power to do anything to put some of the gaffs right!

    1. 'silent majority'

      What method did you use to come to that conclusion?

      Show your workings.

  3. I fully endorse Mackay's comments. Well done FBB! Something that should be easy enough to prove statistically is that most of the knockers and critics are anonymous - as with today's two - but it's easier still to ignore them.

  4. I agree with the comments above. The sad part is that, try as you do, the industry (with a few honourable exceptions) doesn't seem to 'get it'. And the horrors continue, with poor publicity, no publicity, out of date info and, on occasions, shocking mistakes.

    And still managers fil to grasp why passenger numbers are where they are - in the doldrums, or worse!