Wednesday 11 December 2019

Happy Christmas from Sheffield (1)

It's great news again! 

On Boxing Day special bus services funded by Buses for Sheffield and on New Year’s Day special bus services funded by Sheffield City Council will run in Sheffield.

These services will be operated by First, Stagecoach and TM Travel on Boxing Day and by First on New Year’s Day. Normal fares, concessions and any relevant restrictions apply on both days. 

The PTE (Travel South Yorkshire) goes on to explain:-

Please note that if a bus route is provided by a different operator to normal, weekly and monthly tickets only of the normal operator already purchased will be valid for travel. Otherwise for multi operator use a Citywide ticket is needed for travel, and also to use Supertram. 

So, for example, on the usually joint (First plus Stagecoach) route between Woodhouse, Crookes and Hillsborough ...
... only First will be running. So if you are holding a season ticket for Stagecoach, tough bananas - you will have to pay again.

For the 120 (Halfway to Fulwood) the opposite is true. Only Stagecoach is running so ...

... First Bus ticket holder must pay again.

On New Year's Day, First is the only operator on the road and will be running some normally exclusive Stagecoach services, e.g to Stocksbridge.
Same rip-off policy applies.

Sheffield Bus Partnership - what partnership?

Buses for Sheffield bringing you a co-ordinated service? Snort!

Obviously, from the above screenshots, regular blog readers will gather that it is all on line (Groan!) published by the PTE but not available in hard copy.
As this post was being penned by a weary fbb (*of which more in a note on tomorrow's blog) First Bus was offering no information for seasonal happenings in Sheffield ...

... but it is good to be told that Christmas and New Year Services Rotherham only apply to Rotherham! Equally fulfilling is to grasp that Christmas and New Year Services Doncaster will be available in Doncaster.

Stagecoach Bus is not yet ready to reveal all:-

A special timetable will be running for buses in Sheffield on Boxing day - details will be uploaded as soon as possible

But Stagecoach Supertram is effusive in its seasonal goodwill:-

Wishing our customers all the best for 2020!

Whether you are heading to the work Christmas party, shopping or visiting family, there is a ticket for everyone! A day of tram travel starts from just £4.20, and our Family tram only dayrider is just £9 (a day's tram travel for up to 2 adults and 3 children).

Over the festive period, some of our services will change. Please refer to the timetable below before you travel.

All trams will continue to have a helpful conductor on board to sell tickets and give travel advice.

From 26 December 2019 - 01 January 2020, Senior Citizen Pass (ENCTS) holders may travel all day until the end of normal service.

Take advantage of FREE PARKING at Sheffield Park & Ride sites on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day! Just pay for the cost of travel on the tram. 

For live updates and information over the festive period, make sure you are following us on Twitter.

Festive Timetable 2019/2020

The link above (in italics) takes you to full information for the festive season in what looks suspiciously like the PDF file for a printed leaflet.
Printed publicity? Surely not? It's all on line!

From this PDF we learn that the Blue and Yellow trams will operate on boxing Day ...
... every 20 minutes on each. No purple trams (understandably depriving the two little-used stops at Herdings of their customary empty trams) and no Tram Train. Well you can't have the "Train" bit as there are  no such creatures operating in the north on Boxing Day.

But on New Year's Day ...
.. you have less Blue and Yellow trams but the privilege of two Tram Trains every hour (well you have proper trains on New Year's Day, see!)

The leaflet also give full details of the last trams on the two "early finish" days.

Unlike the bus operators, Supertram shows the curtailments as a proper timetable, not just and text list.
So Supertram gets the Mavis Thrucklebackit Award for good seasonal publicity.

Now here's a question! Are Stagecoach Supertram and Stagecoach Sheffield really part of the same company?

But, as ever, the devil is in the detail for these two days of "Special Services", detail which fbb will examine further in tomorrow's blog.

And A Grateful P.S.
Northampton correspondent Alan confirms what fbb suspected but could not immediately verify, namely that the Avanti West Coast timetables and maps are indeed the Virgin west Coast timetables ...
... and maps ...
... with no noticeable change. Avanti have even copied the Virgin inconsistencies!

 More Seasonal Sheffield stuff : Thursday 12th December 

Now, at the back of fbb's mind, there is something else, something important, happening on Thursday; now what is it?

Of course!

The fbbs are off for a long weekend on the Isle of Wight!
The fbb Advent Calendar
The fbb Alphabetical Advent Calendar

The Nativity narrative is littered with Kings of all sorts and sizes.

King David whose ancestral line leads to Jesus
King Herod whose curiosity and then anger led to the slaughter of children
Kings (Three) who simply never existed
King Jesus, revealed sometime later

"King Jesus"? The people were expecting a Messiah, prophesied throughout the Old Testament. In the minds of most, this Messiah would be either a political "saviour" or a military "saviour" or even, hopefully, both. What was needed was to kick out the Romans, to replace their puppet "kings" from the Herodian dynasty and re-establish something like David's Kingdom from 1000 years previously.
David was an unlikely choice for King, being only the kid who looked after the sheep. His brothers were bigger older and strong fighting men but, as the Bible tells us, "David's eyes sparkled".

Similarly, Jesus' Kingdom turned out to be very different.

After about three years of preaching and teaching, the hoped-for Messiah King would be sentenced to death by a Kangaroo court and nailed to a cross.

We shall have to look elsewhere for the Kingdom of God!


  1. Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but isn't it saying that your usual operators weekly and monthly tickets ARE valid? So if you normally catch a Stagecoach and on New Year's Day a First bus comes along then your Stagecoach season is valid (but not a First one)? Am I missing something?

  2. That's how I read it, too.

  3. I read it that way too, although the "only" in the second line confused me. Does it mean that all weekly and monthly tickets ARE valid, irrespective of operator, but other tickets such as Day Tickets or tickets for longer than a month (if there are such things in Sheffield) are NOT. And if not, why not?

    1. I think the weekly and monthly only statement is to stop people buying and using a day ticket for a different operator whilst allowing the regulars to use a season that would have been valid had the original operator won the tender.

  4. My interpretation is also the same as the previous comments. And given that Sheffield City Council is paying for these routes, it would hardly be a rip off if the non-operators' period tickets weren't to be accepted. The alternative would seem to be no service at all...

  5. I think we're all agreed then - but the wording could have been much clearer!

    Back to this "it's all on the web" gripe. I certainly agree with putting up information notices on bus stops, but recognise that the practicalities of so doing may well make it impossible.I also think that printing leaflets which are prominently displayed on the buses themselves is a good idea - for the people using the altered services are likely to be folk who are already using buses.

    But producing timetable booklets etc. to pick up elsewhere? Very few people are going to go into a city centre enquiry office (a "help-desk" at a shopping centre would be better); it is going to take a lot of person-power to deliver them to libraries, surgeries, community centres etc. - and even there they are unlikely to be taken by many. Tourist information centres are an obvious place to put them, but I suspect that most visitors will use taxis or get carted around by their friends. So: hard copy is good - but only if it can be well distributed, and that may well be impossible.

    We're not dealing with trains where each operator can easily make sure it displays their information at a finite and obvious number of stations that, by their very nature, are easy to service.

    As a general point, it surprises me how many people ask for bus (and other) information via our neighbourhood Facebook page even though it is readily available via a few clicks on Google.

  6. It's certainly not too clear and doesn't live up to Buses for Sheffield's simple claim of 'One City. One Service.'

    The PTE/TSY statement that 'Otherwise for multi operator use a Citywide ticket is needed for travel, and also to use Supertram' confuses the position still further. A Citywide day ticket costs £5.00 but on-bus single tickets will be available and two of these will be cheaper than a Citywide ticket for many journeys. Although a Citywide ticket will be an option it is quite wrong to say that it will be 'needed'.