Sunday 24 June 2018

You May Have Missed ...

More 230s Ordered
When Adrian Shooter ...
... came up with the idea of turning withdrawn London Underground D units into "real" trains, some industry commentators feared for the big man's sanity. When one of the test units caught fire, everyone held their breath!
A trial on the line between Coventry and Nuneaton collapsed and some nodded sagely and thought, "told you so."

But three 230s are being painted right now ...
... for use on the Bedford to Bletchley line.

Announced a few days ago was order No 2. KeolisAmey, franchisee have ordered five for use in North Wales.
Artists' impressions of the interiors ...
... looks bright and cheery.

Adrian Shooter spouts the usual positive sound bite.
Certainly the trains will be streets ahead of their spartan originals.

Big Bus Station Beautified
It's very much like Marmite (fbb's spread of choice - always!), you either love Preston Bus Station or you hate it. It opened in 1969 replacing several town centre departure points, including this ...
... for Ribble services! It was, at one time, due to be demolished (shame!!!) and then given a Preservaion Order and thus saved. But saved for what?

Preston Corporation sold it to Lancashire Council for £1 and the latter has undertaken a substantial refurbishment and restoration plan.

Buses are removed from the "corporation" side ...
... and replaced by a large Piazza, meaning that access need no longer be via a gloomy pedestrian tunnel.
All buses now leave from the "other operators" side.
A Youth Zone is to be built on part of the closed section ...
... although, in the latest version of the plans, this no longer seeps through into the bus station itself.
Looks like excellent Marmite to fbb!

Another Minibus App
Is the Oxford Bus Company (GoAhead group) wise to compete with itself?
Or is the Company clever to challenge the Uber philosophy? It is App based, inevitably, with actual App availability being held back.
It appeared on Wednesday just as fbb settled in to his B&B at Chilsworhy. No time to explore its electronic depths, but fbb welcomes input from any blog readers who try out the service.
It all starts on Monday 25th June and the service operates seven days a week.

Hapless In Hatherleigh
Prior to their return eastwards today, the fbb's had a gentle toddle round border country where Devon meets Cornwall. At Hatherleigh ...
... fbb had a few moments to explore and seek out the town's bus service. The narrow streets of the town are now by-passed by the A386. The now-quiet streets are quaint ...
... and just across from the square near the Church ...
... is a delightful Tourist Information "shop".
It is staffed by volunteers, but, amazingly was open on Saturday early afternoon. fbb was able to obtain a couple more of the ubiquitous Devon timetable books.
Hatherliegh's main bus service is the Stagecoach 75A ...
... and fbb was in time to find the 1400 to Bideford. Also fortunately, the fbb limo was parked in the Market Car Park, time point for the buses.

There was a splendid people shelter ...
... with a pretty "murial" on one side ...
... and a lovely blank wall on the other.
This would be an ideal place to display a timetable and map for route 75. But there wasn't even a bus stop "flag".

Did the service 75A really stop here or had it been banished to the by-pass road? Happily (?) as 2pm struck on the Church clock ...
... the bus pulled in and collected one passenger (far right) ...
... from the utterly anonymous bus stop and time point. Obviously regulars would get to know the secret, but, yet again,  it is no surprise that passenger numbers in rural areas are in decline.

But fbb did find a timetable!
It was up a flag-less pole at the end of the road leading to the "Market" stop.

"Up the pole" is an appropriate phrase!! Would the bus have stopped had fbb been waiting there?

 Next Bodmin blog : Monday 25th June 


  1. Preston's bus station gained pedestrian crossings over the bus concourse some years ago, as seen here:
    I have a vague recollection that the subway that led directly into the shopping centre no longer does so, and indeed may be closed altogether.

  2. Sounds like the buses now depart from the side furthest from the town centre. Perhaps the easier option but, yet again, it sends out a message about the place of the bus and its passengers