Wednesday 31 March 2021

Tinkering Via Tinkers Bridge (3) ... Or

 Much More Than Tinkering

From tomorrow (appropriately 1st April, but it is no joke!) there is a major upheaval in bus services in Milton Keynes. Once renowned for excellent publicity, including a superb printed timetable book, the official web site now refers users to Traveline and the operators on-line offerings. But the above notice presages the total withdrawal of a raft of tendered services and their replacement by "Demand Responsive" operations.

In parallel with this, Arriva are making some significant changes to their network, so fbb will start there. It would become mind crushingly tedious to list every little revision (but utterly fascinating for fbb, saddo that he is!) but a general overview will suffice to show what horrors the Milton Keynsian residents will face from this coming weekend onwards.

We will start with what were once Bletchley local routes, then circle round the city in a clockwise direction. Services continuing across Central Milton Keynes (CMK) will be dealt with as two separate sections.

Lakes Estate
Today : services 1, 4 and 5
Service 1 (MID BLUE) is withdrawn completely. Newton Leys is a new development filling in one of the few undeveloped gaps, mostly within the city boundary. It will be served by a diversion of rural routes F70 and F77 (LILAC) plus a rerouting of service 5 (ORANGE) out of Windermere Drive (the loop around the "Lakes Estate" label) and running instead to the recently opened ASDA.
Fortunately Arriva has graciously given us a map of their new network, so we can see the whole picture.
But it is not quite as simple as that. Whilst 5 and 6 are largely unchanged south of CMK, the whole of this section of route 1 is withdrawn. That removes "proper" buses completely from Coffee Hall (Jonathans, remember?) ...
... and Oldbrook.
More than just a tinker!

West Bletchley
Service 4 (RED) is largely unchanged but Arriva's route 7 (GREEN) disappears in a puff of exhaust smoke. Readers will doubtless remember that route 7 was the future of public transport in the new city, being operated by induction charged electric buses.
With suitable funding all bus routes would be so served. Wonder what happened to them? Hey ho, it seemed a good idea at the time.

Observant readers will also have noticed that tendered routes 24 and 25 (GREY) are also withdrawn. That represents a rather large gap in bus service and, potentially a lot of Demand to be Responsive to!
But, never mind eh, Furzton has oodles of car parking space!

Services 8/8A (PURPLE) are being "simplified", which is a delightful euphemism for "being withdrawn from Tattenhoe Park and Oxley Park", and we already know that 24 and 25 (GREY) are withdrawn as well. But Hoo jolly Ray, 68 (GREY) remains serving the innards of Westcroft.
Perhaps not quite so  Hoo jolly Ray ...
... as 'tis but a shopping trip from Winslow to the District Centre ...
... where there is, surprise surprise (NOT) plenty of free car parking; but a nice ride round the estate for Winslow folk and locals who don't want to walk to the shops - if they can find out when it runs!
The simplified 8 is joined by a brand new route 3 (PALE GREEN).
The 3 runs every 20 minutes and its main "sitz im leben" is to serve employment areas at Snelshall West and East where be a batch of the inevitable warehouse distribution mega-sheds.
Does fbb get a whiff of bags of shiny pennies from XPO Logistics and the like this supporting a 20 minute frequency?

Grange Farm and Whitehouse
We already know that the 31 (BROWN) is withdrawn; but this time it has a replacement at a better frequency on service 1 (BLUE) which, until the end of today, serves Lakes Estate and Newton Leys. (Ah, you remembered!).

Service 2 (LIGHT BLUE) is unchanged.

Service 14 (MAROON) has become service 4 (RED) by dint of being linked to our good friend between Bletchley, West Bletchley and CMK.
But the new service 4 has been withdrawn from Hodge Lea estate ...

... thus depriving another residential area of an easily accessible bus service.
Hodge |Lea was one of the early developments but fbb will refrain from mentioning the ample car parking!
For those of our readers who have not yet lost the will to live, the good news is that the rest of the changes are less momentous as we complete as circuit of the city; that is less momentous if you don't mind losing your evening services, your tendered in-fill routes and a bus close to your front door.

Neve mind again, because Demand Responsive minibuses are at your service.

Deep joy all round!!

Or not, as the case may be!

 Next Tinkering blog : Thursday 1st April 

Weird and Worrying
There is some weird stuff in the Bible, even more weirderer than Game of Thrones.

It was evening, just a day or so before his "purpose" would be fulfilled, that Jesus was on the Mount of Olives looking back over the Kidron Valley towards the Temple. You can see the same view today in amongst Jerusalem's urban sprawl but with the Temple much changed from Jesus day.

Jesus warned, “You see these great buildings? Not a single stone here will be left in its place; every one of them will be thrown down.”
And it was. The Temple, Jerusalem and the Jewish nation ceased to exist at the hands of the Romans about 35 years after Jesus died. It was cruel ethnic cleansing at its worst and Jesus saw it coming and warned his followers.

But then he went on to envision an eternal future. Jesus continued:-

“In the days after that time of trouble the sun will grow dark, the moon will no longer shine, the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers in space will be driven from their courses. Then the Son of Man will appear, coming in the clouds with great power and glory. He will send the angels out to the four corners of the earth to gather God's chosen people from one end of the world to the other."

Weird, or what?

There is no doubt that, scientifically, the Universe we are part of will end in some way, either (poetically speaking) in Fire or Ice. Even the clever cosmologists are not sure which!  Maybe human activity will hasten that end?

But the victorious King of Palm Sunday is not offering a military or political victory - he is offering an eternal victory of Peace and Joy in God's presence.

Of course we don't have a clue what Heaven might be like - it is super-human, beyond our grasp - but it sounds a lot better than the alternative! Maybe sometime over the coming weekend you will hear or sing these words ...
... from "When I survey the wondrous cross".

That's Easter!

The Bible quotes are from Mark's Gospel Chapter 13


1 comment:

  1. You need to check your hymnbook. The quoted verses are from "There is a green hill far away", as sung at Sunday School long ago.