Tuesday 12 February 2019

Bother In Bedford (2)

Yesterday we saw how difficult it is to get printed bus information in Bedford. Whilst a timetable booklet for Bedford town services has been printed by Stagecoach, it is not freely available and, in particular, not available at the one place where you might look for it, namely the bus station.

This is completely potty.
How can you possibly inhabit a bus station and not provide full information on what buses run and where to?
Of course it is not FULL information; the cover makes it clear that this only shows town services 1 to 10. This is OK up to a point but some areas of the town, albeit sometimes outside the traditional urban boundary are not show. 

You would think that Bromham and Biddenham would class as town services.
But because the bus route that doddles around these former villages is the service between Bedford and Northampton (and thus NOT a town service) ...
... it is (perhaps wrongly?) excluded. On Sundays, the "through" 41 also diverts via Stagsden ...
... making it an even less attractive service for through passengers between the two main towns and a far cry ...
... from its ancestor.

Ignoring this arbitrary editorial policy, the booklet does what it says on the tin cover. There is a network map (click on the graphic to enlarge it) ...
... which shows the out of town routes. But are they correct? The above map shows the 41 as omitting Biddenham ...
... corrected in the on-line version.
A small point but one of some importance.

The X5 (shown on both maps) runs non-stop between Bedford and Milton Keynes - surely that means it should not appear on the map?

Apart from these minor irritants, the maps are generally helpful.

Routes 10 (GREEN) and 4 (DARK BLUE) interwork at Goldington Tesco ...
... although this is not shown on the timetables. 
Maybe an opportunity missed to make a bit of extra cash?

Service 5 (LIGHT BLUE) serves Waitrose ...
... then bumbles a little further along Goldington Road to do a U-turn at the "Tesco" roundabout to find its way back to the town centre.
There is, however, no stop for Tesco - but it's not far to walk. Unfortunately the timetable invites you to travel TO Waitrose ...
... but fails to include the store on the return working.
Bus companies are often really really bad at explaining loops - in this case creating daft options in the journey planner.
The service 5 runs from stop to stop, the 14 minute walk is quite unnecessary.

The review of this generally excellent little book will conclude tomorrow with reference to fbb's favourite Bedford bus destination of times gone by. In the meantime ...

Hull History
The joys of luxurious (but slow?) rail travel in 1935.
The departure from Hull at 1110 is, of course, a connecting train. Today Hull trains offers a through journey time of approx 1 hour LESS.
Compare the 1033 timings with the Hull Pullman of 1935.

But in 2019 you don't get liveried flunkies and silver service at your seat!

First Class - more affordable than you think

We work hard to make First Class rail travel an affordable pleasure by offering excellent great service with best-value, attractive fares, making Hull Trains the perfect choice for travelling to and from London.

Whatever your reasons for travel, a business trip, a day at the sales or a weekend break, make the most of your journey with wide reclining leather seats, complimentary food and drink, and the services of a dedicated on board host.

Hull Trains First Class offer includes:

A First Class Host

From the moment you step inside the First Class carriage until you arrive at your destination, a dedicated Hull Trains colleague is on hand to ensure you are fully rested, refreshed and relaxed.

Free WiFi

With our free Wi-Fi access, you can use your time effectively on board by working, checking your e-mails and keeping up to speed via the Internet.

Complimentary newspapers

On weekday services, we provide a selection of newspapers for you to catch up on current affairs and while away the journey.

Luxurious seating

Your First Class reclining seat is fully leather upholstered, wider than our standard class and has more leg room. All First Class seats have a table (either full size or a pull-out tray table). Seats can be reserved up to the day of travel, subject to availability.

Why not treat yourself next time?

No, it's not the same!

 Next Bedford blog : Wednesday 13th February 


  1. I think Hull enjoyed a through portion of the Yorkshire Pullman, being connected/detached at Doncaster, rather than a connecting train.

  2. Thanks Stuart - I think you are right. I could not find confirmation of that on-line.

  3. Some nice pictures here - https://www.steve-banks.org/leeds-west-riding/314-yorkshire-pullman - scroll down for pre-war.

    'The leading 6 cars are for Harrogate, the next two for Halifax, and the two to be detached off the rear at Doncaster are for Hull.'

  4. Look at this: go to page 11: http://www.semgonline.com/coach/coupe/coupe046.pdf

  5. Do the buses in Bedford have the timetable books on board? My local subsidiary is very good at keeping leaflets in the racks on the buses. It could be that the header photo has 5 leaflet outlets visible, even without a dedicated outlet within the bus station building.

    I'd have thought it better that the buses carry the information far and wide where it might be useful rather than having it concentrated in one place.

    But as an "anon" FBB will no doubt declare me "potty"....

    1. No they don't... or at least they didn't on Saturday or Monday.

  6. Surely you want publicity in the hands of people who'd are NOT riding on buses rather than those who have already bought the product!

    1. But why make people go to a single outlet - the bus station - when they could flag down a bus at one of hundreds of bus stops and ask the driver for a timetable? It works round here!

  7. Well, it would be good to have timetables for the services you're not travelling on (and might not know about). However I can't imagine buses carrying timetables for other operators' services.