Thursday 29 August 2019

Back to Brackley : Bus and Builders (4)

first - an apology
No 3 son and fbb spent some time yesterday reviewing data for GoTimetable Sheffield and correcting those little niggles in the timetables that lead to odd results on screen. It is very detailed but tedious work, thankfully aided by a bit of software wot the boy wrote. At 2000hrs both brains became a gibbering heap of stale blancmange and work stopped for the night.

Then fbb started on this blog. Please excuse and deleterious consequences.
The 500 bus from Brackley to Banbury could easily be used to connect with trains northbound to Brum and southbound to London. But the bus does not stop at the station.

Here is a big difference between UK transport non-policy and that of most European countries. In France, Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany inter alia you would expect buses to call at a major station. In the UK, sadly, it is the exception; and the mantra of commercial viability makes any moves to improve interchange opportunities extremely unlikely.
Two options exist in Banbury. Arriving via the Middleton Road there are stops a short step before the station bridge (depending upon your definition of "short" and "step"!)
Walk on past the lights and you can turn left ...
... and enter the station via the shiny multi-storey car park.
And have no fear, this is a proper entrance complete with a staffed ticket window ...
... not just a "back door" for season ticket holders only.

After Middleton Road, the next stop is the town centre itself. As you approach the road junction you will see lots of lovely Stagecoach single deckers (mostly) grazing peacefully in front of you.
This is Stratford Bridge Street where all the town services congregate.
As you can see, various route merges and withdrawals have left service B3 to B6 inclusive plus B9.

B5 and B6 run every 12 minutes; B9 every 15, B3 every 30 and B4 every hour - not bad for a small town network.

But your 500 will eschew this accumulation of services and turn right to a bus station ...
... in Debenham's back yard. fbb  has never been to Banbury bus station so cannot comment on its facilities, but there appear to be toilets if nothing else.
But fbb can find no sign of any enquiry facility either at the bus station (top left in the aerial view below) ...
... or at the small depot (above, bottom left.
Of course IT IS ALL ON LINE.

There is a little back entrance to the bus station, however, if you know it is there ...
... and a quick nip across the road and into Bridge Street and on to the the front entrance of the station.

We could, no doubt, feel an affinity for the ancient nursery rhyme!

500 bus to Banbury Cross,
Catching a train, they don't give a toss;
Finding leaflet or someone who knows,
You might have to guess which way the bus goes.

During the period of the Reformation Banbury had three crosses. The High Cross, otherwise known as the Market Cross, was situated in Cornhill, just off the Market Place.

The Bread Cross was situated at the corner of High Street and Butchers Row. It was a large, covered cross, made of stone with a slate roof so that the butchers and bakers who had their market stalls there could keep dry in wet weather.

The White Cross lay on the western boundary line of the old town borough, at what is now the corner of West Bar Street and Beargarden Road, but little is known about it. 

The "modern" Cross  is Victorian.
In fact, the 500 doesn't go near any of them!

How much easier it would be if the buses all left from the station forecourt.
There is oodles of room.

Maybe a few extra folk would use the bus to get the train if they did!

But that would never do.

Tomorrow, hopefully we go to a Forest.

 Next Danubia blog : Friday 30th August 


  1. Banbury Bus Station is but a step from the Town Centre and the terminal stops for the town routes. The Bus Station has shelters and toilets (plus a relief room for drivers). It is one of the better bus stations around.

    In re the Rail Station . . . . this is the age-old conundrum of whether a route should be scheduled to divert to serve a traffic objective which would probably not be used greatly, thereby inconveniencing the majority of passengers who want to go to the town centre. There are occasional traffic problems exiting Banbury Station (plus the age-old difficulties of ensuring that the bus turning area is always clear of kiss-and-ride cars). Let's assume that an extra 3-4 minutes would be required for each journey so diverted (remembering that we must always adhere to the -2+5 minute rule for timeliness operation).
    The timetable for Route 500 looks to be based on reasonable recovery times to ensure that incoming (potentially-delayed) journeys can depart outbound on time.
    So . . . . . would there be oodles (or even just a few) of extra passengers (given that the walking time is around 5 minutes to/from the bus stops on the main road)? One doubts it!!

    Commuters via train will prefer to use the car, as they feel that they have control over at least one leg of their journey. If the train from London (or from Birmingham) is delayed, how long should the bus wait? If 5 minutes, and the train is 6 minutes late, the connection fails (and the bus would delay Bus Station passengers for no reason). If the connection is gold-plated, the commuters would wait for maybe 10 minutes before the bus arrives and departs . . . . commuters can't tolerate a 30 second delay before complaining!!

    All in all - - - I'd say that Route 500 is good as it is, and shouldn't be adjusted.

  2. I agree. Middleton Road and Bridge Street can often get jammed up, so a double run to and from the station would be unpopular for the majority, especially when the town centre is just coming into view. A pragmatic solution may be better stops on the road bridge and a good footpath to the station.
    Sadly the Bus Station enquiry office closed a few years ago. The TIC at Banbury Museum normally / sometimes (?) has leaflets.