Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Mayhem in Manchester (2)

Yesterday fbb explored (somewhat unsuccessfully) the "Plan a journey" heading on the home page looking for a simple timetable for (Rotala) Diamond North West's service 2.
Would "Ways to travel" be more forthcoming for a simple timetable?
Goody! "Bus" is there so one click creates another collection of options ...
... which included "Timetables". Progress at last! A simple search ...
... and in amongst the 2 list were headers for both Diamond and First Bus services from Bolton.
Why? Is one the old table pre-take over?

But, oh dear! These are NOT the PDF (leaflet-style) timetables fbb was hoping for but an all stops all journeys table of immense proportions.
But the table was NOT all operator. The First Bus bit covers evening journeys still operated by First on tender to Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM). Here is the First Bus version of the evening service.
It is quite hard to understand who might be wanting to use this format, and even if the crowds of Mancunians do flock eagerly to this part pf TfGM's site, surely they would expect to have the WHOLE service on one table?

So no "leaflet" PDF?

In desperation, fbb types in "Manchester Timetable Library" which is what it used to be called before the "new web site" arrived to tempt us all to the buses and trams.

Before we proceed, please remember that no matter where and how you look, you are not allowed a tram timetable ANYWHERE!

And Yippee - it is still there, albeit well hidden.

fbb's joy knows no bounds.

On the other hand his joy may well have quite a lot of bounds.

The whole "Library" has not been updated but is still available for regular users to find, to use, and to be sent on multiple omnibological fools errands.


It almost makes Travel South Yorkshire look bearable.

But readers will know that fbb tries to be thorough in his investigations (often fails!) and, in this case, after a great deal of angst and button pressing he did find a PDF of the current service 2! 
And fbb was wrong to despair; all things come to he who spends hours of wasted time on-line.

Start again at the home page ...
... with an interesting use of the word "easier".

Enter the route number in the Live departure times box ...
... then choose the 2 you want.
There, mysteriously, non-intuitively and eventually, is a Link which, once clicked ever so tentatively in case it takes you somewhere in another parallel universe ...

... is, Tada - the correct and up-to-date PDF of the timetable which fbb was hoping to find.
It shows journeys by both operators ...
... and even shows the same evening times as First Bus.
Amazingly, after all that taradiddle, it agrees with First's times - exactly.

A word of advice to Andy Burnham, Manchester's mayor.
Get someone to design a web site for you that is easy to use!

GoTimetable Manchester?

fbb had, by now, completely forgotten why he wanted to find the ";leaflet" timetable. Maybe it will filter up through the coal measures of the old boy's brain in time for tomorrow's blog?

P.S. Just before packing up last night, fbb went to the long list of "green" headings and tried "Bus routes", being unsure what that meant.  It takes you to a huge three column list of ALL the bus routes in and to Greater Manchester.

If you click on "2 Bolton to intu Trafford Centre" you get to the same place as above.
Remember. Easy for service 2 but a greater challenge for a local service from Leigh, for example.

Perhaps that click process is Making travel easier.

 More (perhaps) from Cottonopolis : Wedneasday 11th September 


  1. An alternative word to Andy Burnham and many other public authorities: let Google do it!
    In effect, it is what the open data provisions of the Bus Services Act will enable, but I wouldn't hold out hope for a mass explosion of timetable PDFs.

  2. The TfGM website is indeed rubbish. The pre-2016 version was far more user friendly.