Tuesday 26 June 2018

Sheeran Suffers ; Sheffield Suffers

When You Gotta Go ...
fbb knows the problem!

fbb understands that Mr Sheeran is a popular music entertainer with a distinctive exuberant style,

But correspondent Dave is less than happy with one aspect of the Cardiff concerts. He writes (actually "wrote" late last week) under the heading:-

Thinking Out Loud?

Ed Sheeran plays at Cardiff's principality stadium for a record breaking 4 nights in a row this week ...  

Now El Chubbo may not be that familiar with the work of this famous ginger strummer, but there are plenty who are, as up to 60,000 will be attending the concerts EACH NIGHT!!! 

So how is public transport helping the huge numbers that'll be coming from far and wide...? How would you feel?

Well, it's not going to be perfect ... there's engineering work, (albeit of an emergency nature) but that does mean no trains at all to/from Bristol or the London direction, and with the likes of GWR etc only running a normal service, you won't be feeling good getting home to west wales, Portsmouth and Birmingham etc as last trains to these places all leave BEFORE the end of the concert. Hardly the A-team is it ...

On Sunday night you'll be no happier ... there won't be any trains to ANY Cardiff valleys destinations like Barry, Caerphilly, Pontypridd, Ebbw Vale, Treherbert or Carmarthen either, as although they've known about it for a year, Arriva trains wales couldn't be bothered to lay on ANY extra trains at all beyond the normal measly Sunday service early finish ... As their spokesman said, hearts don't break around here.

Arriva's attitude:- you need me, I don't need you! Maybe the new man in charge of the hew franchise will do better.

It makes me proud to work for the railway, it really does ... but then what do I know?

fbb does know that Mr Sheeran sings a song called "Lego House" and someone has made a video of  the "Lego House" video - IN LEGO.
Almost as clever as Dave's article, slightly amended by fbb.

Map Makes The Headlines
On Saturday the Sheffield "Star" carried an article about the ludicrously incorrect "underground-style" map.
The "headline" implied that the PTE had defended its ridiculous wrongness.
fbb wonders where Robert Cumber got his ideas from. Whoever it was is ...
And the Star hack's source has more to say!
And who might that be?

But the PTE has "defended" the crazy confusing cartography ...
... by saying that it has been "very well received" (by whom is NOT revealed, but you would guess by the PTE.) The other defence is the fatuous remark that millions of people use the underground map in London.

So what!

An extract from "an alternative map" accompanies the article.
So far nobody has pointed out that Sheffield buses do not serve MOOshine Lane (lower left) but do trundle along MOONshine Lane.

Whoops! No matter; the PTE would never know that it was wrong!

First's Foolish Fares Farce
There was, you may remember, a First Bus fares "revision" in Sheffield on 27th May. This was carefully timed a few days after the launch (again) of the meaningless Buses for Sheffield brand. 
Cleverly, it also coincided with frequency reductions on many main routes "for the summer" - i.e. for a quarter of the year.

But, less that a month later:-
Another comment ...
... and another!
This is a company that is anxious to reverse the trend of declining passenger numbers.

And First's answer.
Price promise?
So we can "translate" First's twit comment.

from Sunday, Stagecoach increased their fares, so we can increase ours AGAIN without breaking our Price Promise. Yah boo; sucks to you.

Partnership, what partnership?

Competition, what competition?

Buses for Sheffield?  Improving Services? Exceptional value?

Beyond belief!

Deepest sympathies for those who have lost loved ones, been injured or deeply troubled by the tragic bus/lorry crash in Cambridgeshire.

 Next Cumbria blog : Wednesday 27th June 


  1. I bet these people who moan about bus fares have no issues paying 4 quid for a coffee at Starbucks or a pint in a trendy (not) cafe/bistro. Also where is the blog on price of butter in Aldi? 89p last year now over £1.40!!!! But I'm sure the big profits in dairy cows will be to blame.

  2. I’ve never paid more than £2.50 for a coffee and drink a lot less beer since it went up to £3 (not £4) a pint. If my bus fare went up by 50p overnight I’m sure I’d use the bus less often too.

  3. So that's why all the pubs are closing....people drinking less....why not let government subsidise it so a pint is a £1? Somebody has to pay be it a customer or another sauce. It is also worth noting that mTicket off bus app offers a 10 trip ticket for £18 allowing the user to use the bus for any 10 journeys. It has a 3 months validity so targeting the occasional user. Nothing different to what TFL bit when wanting users to switch to cashless methods.

    1. I wouldn't expect the government to subsidise the price of beer, but it would help keep pubs open if it stopped taxing it at one of the highest rates in Europe.

  4. Partly becuase they are used as a base for reimbursing the flawed ENCTS scheme, single fares have been ramped up and up and up, way ahead of general inflation.The tendency to bang on 10p or 20p at each fare increase has meant that shorter journeys have been hit even harder. £3 for a 15 minute journey from (e.g.) Nether Edge to City means that for two people a taxi will probably be cheaper.It also sends the message to casual passengers that their custom isn't really sought. We seem to be moving closer towards a European-style flat fare model- with the exception that European networks enjoy a subsidy which keeps their fares affordable for environmental and social cohesion reasons (which don't apply for other purchases, re anon at 0659.)

  5. These analogies are all very well, but they fail to recognise that bus services are a completely different 'product'. £2.00 or £3.00 may seem expensive for a one-off purchase, but show me the pub/coffee shop/supermarket that offers unlimited consumption of any of its products for £14.00 for a whole week, as First do in Sheffield. The conundrum is how to offer attractively priced travel to both occasional and regular travellers while keeping things relatively simple and thus quick to operate. Recent changes to charging have placed much more emphasis (and with noticeable success) on speed of boarding - a belated realisation perhaps that the cost of operating a service depends not just on the distance it travels but on the time taken. Having said that First can surely not afford to price its occasional passengers out of the market (as they are doing in many instances - £3.00 for under 2 miles to Nether Edge) - they must still represent an appreciable proportion of their business. Reputation is also a crucial issue - how often do you hear 'do you know how extortionate the fare to town is?' and how rarely 'do you know what amazing value an all-week bus ticket is?'.

    It's a complex issue - far more so than pricing a coffee, a beer or a loaf of bread.

  6. Nobody has picked up on your error because nobody uses your map.

    Also your article in the star seems to be a whole load of 'what you reckon' masquerading as fact.

    Same old same old from a man with an axe to grind.