Friday, 29 January 2021

It's All On-Line In Manchester (2)

 Bank House Chapel Lane to MRI

You might guess that Chapel Lane is in Middleton (just along from the Congregational Church); but you would be wrong. In fact you are looking for Chapel Lane Manchester ...
... but you would struggle to find ANY mention of Bank House apart from on Go North West's timetable.
Fortunately the company network map gives us a clue.
What does the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) journey planner tell us ...
... as travel is made easier by the PTE?
Travel is made easier by looking up live departure times, stop by stop; by checking on updates ...
... and by knowing how wonderful TfGM is in every possible way!
... but no timetables, maps or journey planner. The things you might want to make your travel better are simply not there, up front and obvious.

But what is this at the top of the web page?
"Ways to travel" looks promising?
Timetables - goody, and ...
... some other boxes to tick. Still no maps and no journey planner.

Undaunted (actually already overcome with substantial amounts of daunt!), we go to timetables ...
... which looks a bit like a departure list. But, lo and behold, Bank House appears.
And it is a departure list.
But if you click on a particular journey, you get times at every stop down the line. Scroll 45 stops and you will find what time you are due at Manchester Royal Infirmary. Of course, if that schedule doesn't suit, you have to go back and, tediously, call up another journey.

Furthermore, you can find your departure stop on a map.
But still no timetables or maps.

With daunt growing all the time, fbb tried "bus routes". Surprisingly, this is a list of bus routes in numerical order.
Clicking on 41 ...
... we get much the same as under "timetables", i.e. NOT timetables - but there is hope, a beacon of shining optimism.
A click on the PDF button reveals, tada (and again tada!!) ...
... the Manchester timetable leaflet that we all know and love. Encouragingly, it has the same times as the operator gives us on their web site.
Every leaflet has a simplified map of the route (click on the map for an enlargement) ...
... continuing on to central Manchester and MRI ...
... and on, again, to Sale.
These maps are a bit crude, but still very helpful for working out where the buses go, especially if your destinations is a notable one, like MRI or Northern Moor. These maps

They also shown rail and tram stops. The detail in the central area is very helpful indeed.
But is there a network map? Or has that perished?

And is there a journey planner? Many regional planner sites have been closed, so maybe that facility has been summarily withdrawn?

There has been no sign of either on the bits of the TfGM web site that we have unearthed so far.
Hmmm ... ???

Maybe fbb has missed something.

A Bit More Aberdeen
Extracts from the Press Release:-

The world's first fleet of double decker hydrogen buses officially launched into service yesterday (Thursday, 28th January) in Aberdeen.

The single deck Hydrogen buses for Aberdeen ...
... were not a success, despite bein g hailed as "the future"!!

Run by First Bus in a project led by Aberdeen City Council, the hydrogen buses represent a major step forward in reducing climate change, as cities across the world witness how far innovation in the transport industry has come.

The zero-emission fleet emits nothing more than water from its exhausts as the fuel is made from just wind and water. Furthermore, plans are in place for Aberdeen to make its own hydrogen to power the buses, making it an even greener energy source for the local community.

But, surely, there is a cost, financial AND environmental in making all this lovely hydrogen?

While prototype hydrogen buses have been designed and used previously, as the transport industry explores how it can make use of universe’s most abundant element, these double deckers are the first of their kind to go into operation and welcome customers on board.

How do the costs work out set against a conventional evil diesel?

Andrew Jarvis, Managing Director at First Bus, said: "Today marks a significant milestone in our industry and the way that people choose to travel. Scotland will be home to COP26 later this year and it is fantastic to know that we'll be setting a stellar example of just what can be achieved with new technology as we welcome leaders from around the world."

And how much of the project is really political?

Most authorities are of the view that hydrogen power will not be a cost-effective way of keeping the buses running, so somebody will need to pay a subsidy.

This is how the first single deck Hydrogen buses were introduced:-
Is the jury out?

 Next Manchester On-Line blog : Saturday 30th January 


  1. I tried an internet search for Manchester journey planner and came up with this:
    That page claims to be the TFGM Plan a Journey page - but actually contains a series of links to 3rd party software. Traveline of course; Google Maps; Apple Maps, plue 2 apps I've never seen before - Citymapper and Transit. Citymapper appears to work for "Manchester,Liverpool and Yorkshire" and various other regions in the UK. Transit covers London and Manchester, but is only available as a smart phone app by looks of it. So it looks like TFGM has given up on providing its own journey planner.

  2. I've now realised that the Plan a Journey page is available from the main menu page, but only if you hover over 'More', which doesn't seem an obvious way to make such a fundamental choice available. 'More' rather suggests less important functions, when a travel planner is quite possibly the most popular reason for accessing the tfgm website.

  3. On TFGM home page click on more and public transport maps and they're all there.