Monday, 22 February 2021

Accessing Bradwell and Castleton

Or - It's All On Line No 749
Although casual travel is frowned upon in these unprecedented times, we will be somewhat interpretive of the rules and suggest that Arthur Crimp of Sheffield needs to visit his elderly aunt, Connie Crimp, who lives in Bradwell, Derbyshire and is unwell and in need of assistance. So he is obliged to go by bus.

Were he to be very knowledgeable, he might know that the public transport information from Derbyshire is usually far more reliable than that issued by Travel South Yorkshire. There is, for example, an excellent County bus map.

Casting an eye over the section of the map which shows Bradwell and neighbourng Hope and Castleton, he might not be immediately concerned that services ...


... do not exist and have not existed for some time. The H1 and H2 are summer only, so are correctly shown if you read the notes.  En route Arthur might not spot the Marquis of Granby hotel at Bamford ...
... because it was demolished ...
... without replacement, at least two years ago.
Al buses nip up the road from the non-existent Marquis of Granby to serve the Bamford Station stop ...
Derbyshire County will plead cartographic poverty, budget cut backs and staff shortages - but there is no excuse for an out of date map. It is a PDF file which any passing 7 year old could edit with minimal computer skills.

But the map is outsourced and thus expensive?

Fortunately Arthur knows that the bus from Sheffield to Castleton is a 272, and that number also appears on the map. Being a canny Sheffielder, he also knows that the 272 is operated by First Bus, but, prudently, needs to check whether it is running in today's unprecedented circumstances.
The result is less than encouraging.

We are doing our utmost to maintain services for our customers, we do expect to have to make changes to our timetables as the coronavirus situation evolves. For the latest service information please see our Coronavirus Covid19 page ⇒

Unfortunately the search term specified (272) cannot be found in our database. Please amend your search or view all timetable listings for South Yorkshire.

That's because it isn't there!
There is nothing between 218 and 404.

First does, however, have a map!
For Arthur, however, maybe a taxi? Or a train to Hope station and a lengthy walk?

Hang on a sec. If the 272 is on the Derbyshire map, mayhap it is in the Derbyshire timetable Library.?

But, Arthur reasons, if the map is hopelessly out of date, what does that say about Derbyshire's published timetable.
And Derbyshire tell us that this timetable applies from 14th February.  It also shows the previous timetable which it says is "current".
Erm, there is no difference.

The good news is that all the buses run via Bradwell, although Hulleys journeys go to Castleton first and call at Bradwell on the way back - as shown by the time out of order and in brackets ( ). Bradwell is fun!
But Arthur is not in a desperate hurry as long as he gets there.

Arthur is a retired carpenter and remembers the good advice given to him in his apprenticeship, namely, "Measure twice and cut once!".

Being a sensible tyke, he is non-plussed by the Derbyshire information and seeks solace on the Hulleys web site.
Surely as one of the operators of this joint service, with full interavailability of tickets, Bullets might make sense.

Helpful as ever, Hulleys publish the full joint service including all journeys operated by First - all journeys NOT shown on First's web site.
Looks identical with BOTH Derbyshire versions.

By now, Arthur, terrier-like, is eager for corroboration. Normally he would ignore Traveline as being the least reliable source of timetable information in the area, but bravely he seeks.
Same again! Bingo! But what about Hulleys on Traveline?
Only three journeys? Nothing after 1350? Fair enough.

What Arthur does not realise is that the last two journeys of the five that Hulleys operate are 271s and, go a different way in Sheffield and are shown on a separate timetable.

Confusing, yet again.

Well, just for completeness, a final check with Travel South Yorkshire; again TSY have no truck with a joint service and show Hulleys separately.
But whoa there dobbin! Look at the 0850, for example. Derbyshire and Hulleys say that, to get to Bradwell, you must travel via Castleton and arrive at 0959. TSY will get you there at 0934.

TSY announced the change ...
... but has, so far, omitted to show the associated changes to Hulley's timetable. Good work folks!

And what of First?
Yippee - corroboration at last. If Arthur ignores Hulleys journeys which are presented inconsistently, he can get to Bradwell about once every two hours.

Next he needs to get back.
According to TSY, the only buses back from Bradwell are at 1959 and 2229.

Derbyshire (and presumably Hulleys) show us that First Bus journeys during the day require you to travel back via Castleton ...
... whereas Hulleys go "the other way".  This is best shown by putting the "out and back" timetablrs together,
This "cunning plan" ensures that the round trip is just UNDER two hours, which must be good for vehicle utilisation and preserves a reasonable service via Bradwell in both directions. It is a clever and sensible bit of co-operation creating a useful and helpful joint service.

So why is Traveline so unhelpful? Why is Travel South Yorkshire so wrong? And what has happened to First's 272 timetable page.

All parties should show the full joint timetable as per Hulley's and Derbyshire.

So why can't they get it right? Incompetence? Laziness? Or (most likely) blind reliance on technology to the detriment of common sense and consequent confusion for the user who chooses the wrong source of information.

But never mind eh?


Maybe some of fbb's readers will check Traveline's journey planner? fbb was not brave enough.

Interestingly, there was a time when all buses ran via Bradwell in both directions ...
... and managed a two hour round trip! Historically the route was joint with North Western with summer journeys through to Manchester. With the absorbtion of North Western into Greater Manchester PTE, these journeys were operated by Trent.
Pre-PTE renumbering, it was just plain and simple 72, here operatong a summer short working to Fox House.
Public Transport Information is so very, very poor.

Apologies if this blog has flowed less freely than usual. Yesterday fbb was losing his internet connection about every 30 minutes. VERY FRUSTRATING.

Monday Variety blog is postponed and will now be a Tuesday Variety blog!

 Next Variety blog : Tuesday 23rd February 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. This will be corrected as soon as possible. First's timetable will show both operator's journeys.