Wednesday 30 June 2021

Aberdeen Anguish (2)

 The Benefits Of Strategy!

NESTRANS, possibly North East Scotland Transport (except that it isn't all of north-east Scotland) has a web site (of course) which tells us what this acronym means.

About Nestrans

Nestrans is the Transport Partnership for Aberdeen City and Shire.

Our purpose is to develop and deliver a long-term regional transport strategy and take forward strategic transport improvements that support and improve the economy, environment and quality of life across Aberdeen City and Shire.

We all love a strategy, particularly if its is long term and will deliver improvements. NESTRANS continues on-web:-

Constituted as the North East of Scotland Transport Partnership under the Transport (Scotland) Act 2005, Nestrans began work as a statutory Transport Partnership on 1 April 2006. It is one of seven Transport Partnerships set up across Scotland to provide a co-ordinated approach to transport planning and delivery between different local authority areas. Nestrans’ area covers both the City of Aberdeen and the wider Aberdeenshire area. 

Told you so - not ALL of North East Scotland, then?

Its Board is made up of Councillors from Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils, as well as non-councillor members appointed by the Minister for Transport.

The new Partnership builds on five years of voluntary partnership working between Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils, Scottish Enterprise Grampian and Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce. These bodies came together to form the ‘original’ Nestrans in 2001 as a means of working together to tackle the transport challenges in the north east and develop the Modern Transport System strategy.

With the possibility that one of NESTRANS' strategy objectives might be to provide good public transport information for passengers, fbb decided to search for information about buses from Bucksburn. The detailed reason for the old man's search will become evident in due course.

For the time being, fbb will search. 

Guess what?

Aberdeen Bus Travel Times, Routes & Prices
Stagecoach north-scotland
With your Aberdeen zone 1 ticket, you can travel anywhere in Aberdeen city centre and as far as the AECC, Dyce, Aberdeen Airport, Bucksburn, Kingswells and ...

First Bus Aberdeen
Bus Tickets, Timetables & Journey Planner
We are First Bus Aberdeen. On our website you can plan a journey, view timetables and ticket prices, buy tickets and see when your next bus is due. Click here ...
‎Timetables · ‎Next Bus · ‎Journey planner

Public Transport Guides
Due to COVID-19 our Public Transport Guides are currently not being updated.

Aberdeen City
Aberdeen Bus Travel Times, Routes & Prices
With your Aberdeen zone 1 ticket, you can travel anywhere in Aberdeen city centre and as far as the AECC, Dyce, Aberdeen Airport, Bucksburn, Kingswells and ...

It's a mess!

fbb never thought he would write this but, thank goodness for Traveline ...
... although, as we shall see, that source of information is far from trouble free.

But fbb makes a start by going to a bus stop near the former village centre in Bucksburn. This particular stop lies between Oldmeldrum Road and the new roundabout at the junction of the A947 ...
... which is on a bridge (more a culvert) on top of the Bucks Burn from which the former village takes its name.
Google Streetview calls it Bucksburn Howes Road and below we see it for real.
Streetview also provides us with a list of routes which call there.
Note, in passing, that the above list includes Stagecoach service 10, a number which does not appear in the Traveline list! Although it does appear in the detailed Traveline timetable.
Service 10 is the premier route from Inverness to Aberdeen which currently offers and hourly through servicer, enhanced to half hourly at each end.
Note again that there are no times shown for Bucksburn which may well be because it is too close to Aberdeen. Not also that the service from Inverurie has a total of four time points in the Aberdeen direction ...
... but only one given outbound. 
This is not our concern at Bucksbirn, but fbb presumes there is a loop at Inverurie. Does the Stagecoach map help?
Nope. The map runs out before Inverurie. But you usually get a posh motor!

Stagecoach 37 also runs in from Inverurie ...
... with, presumably, a similar loop at its outer terminus AND times at Kintore but none at Bucksburn. So what is the difference between service 10 from Inverurie to Aberdeen and service 37 following, apparently, the same route?
It has ordinary buses and has, at some stage in its history been branded "Inverurie Connect".

Stagecoach 35 is another long distance run ...
... from Elgin, along the coast to Banff and then inland to OldMeldrum and Aberdeen via Bucksburn (see awful Stagecoach map above).
Some buses remind us that it is a really good ride on the top deck.
"Fae" the top deck or "Frae" the top deck. Maybe the former as the accent in Aberdeen is very different from that in Glasgow!

Which leaves the Stagecoach Jet 727.

Can you possibly guess where that route goes?
It runs every 10 minutes Monday to Friday daytimes and every 20 evenings, Saturdays and Sundays. The time point is Bucksburn Police Station 
which is situated sort-of opposite our Howes Road stop ...
... so Stagecoach uses a different name from Traveline and google - no surprise there. And ...

Bucksburn features on the graphic on the side of the bus.
All these Stagecoach buses terminate at Union Square in Aberdeen.

But the other operator is First Bus which developed from the buy-out of Aberdeen Corporation Transport and a subsequent merger with Traveline.

First's routes via Bucksburn are a delight and a joy for tomorrow's blog.

  Next Bucksburn blog : Thursday 1st July 

Tuesday 29 June 2021

Aberdeen Anguish (1)

due to major technological difficulties
this blog appeared later than usual and
may be more disjointed!
the original vanished from fbb's screen last
evening, possibly due to a lack of
concentration during the Andy Murray match
at Wimbledon - OR as a result of electrical
storms which switched the telly off at the same time!
Apologies for any loss of quality!

No, that's Aberdeen Anguish NOT Aberdeen Angus!

For this blog, fbb is taking his readers to the suburb of Bucksburn, to the north west of Aberdeen. the name comes from the Bucks Burn, a small tributary of the River Don which, together with the Dee disgorges its waters into the seas off Aberdeen.

The former village was clustered around the junction of the road to Oldmeldrum and Banff (A947) and the A96 to Huntley, Elgin and on to Inverness.
Aberdeen International Airport once took its name from Dyce, a village on ther A947, but its main entrance is now on the A96. The Airport and its splurge of industrial units, sits in the "V" between the two main roads.
Because of its link to the Airport and routes north, the A96 has been widened and dualled which has led to significant demolition in the village of Bucksburn. This shop and the buildings behind it ...
... have been razed to the ground ...
... to make way for the onslaught of the motor vehicle on this former village. Only the building next to the ornate street lamp (old picture) and new street lamp (new picture) remains to give us a clue to the matching location.

Just around the corner from the above snaps was a branch of the Aberdeen Co-op.
The building remains largely unchanged, but is now home to separate businesses.
On the other side of the junction from the Co-op was the entrance to the Argosy Cinema and dance hall.
The entrance was via a gap between two shops ...
... a gap which is still there ...
... but the hall/auditorium behind ...
... no longer exists; no more flicks and no more boogie-ing. 

Bucksburn Fountain once stood at this important village junction ...
... but the lamp post and the old garage behind have succumbed to modernity.
If we take a look back towards the junction we will see an Edinburgh Corporation tram that had just turned into Oldmeldrum Road.
The tram-less location  is much the same today with the distinctive gable of the co-op (left) enforces the location.
The tram was on the green route ...
... which ran beyond Bucksburn to Piries Paper mill at Stoneywooed.
Clearly this was a big employer, hence the trams.
The Paper Mill is still there under the ownership of Arjo Wiggins, but there is no sign of anything tram-related in the area. From the width of the junction with Stoneywood Terrace ...
... fbb suspects trams pulled in here - and workers were obliged to walk to the factory!
Elsewhere at Bucksburn, Oldmeldrum Road is no longer a through route ...
...with the A 947 departing at a super roundabout further west.
What of the railway?

Our reader may have notices on an old map shown above that there was a string of three railway stations close together.
Nothing much remains of any of these. When the line was singled some while ago, the platfroms at Bucksburn remained ...
... but with the more recent re-doubling, even this remnant of the past has gone. Work was in progress on adding back the second track when Google Earth's satellite whizzed overhead ...
The A96 cuts the bottom left hand corner of the aerial view; the platforms are where the work is in progress and the goods yard is not filled with blocks of flats.
Trains continue to run through to Inverness, of course, with a stop a little further north at the fairly "basic" Dyce station, offering a bus link to the airport ...
... and on to Inverness.
Local trains half hourly (approx!) run from Inverurie via the new station at Kintore,  then Dyce and Aberdeen, with Inverness trains pottering through every so often spoiling the pattern!

So why, you may ask, is fbb interested in Bucksburn?

A tweet popped into the old man's in box a few days ago which included a reference to NESTRANS, which might mean North Eastern Scotland Transport.

fbb wondered whether there might therefore be an outbreak of co-ordinated trabnsport infromation in the Aberdeen area?

What do you think?

More tomorrow

 Next Bucksburn blog : Wednesday 30th June