Saturday, 31 July 2021

Saturday Variety

 Building Back Better Worse (2)

Exeter's first bus station was on Paul Street, reasonably close to Central station.
But it was cramped and very soon became far too small for the number of buses that wanted to use it.

The second bus station (opened in 1964) was a much bigger affair with plenty of room for buses to load an unload (16 stands) and have a snooze between a bout of activity. BUT it was further from the main shops and not well suited for Central station and well away from St David's station.

It soon gained a grand and very obvious sign ...

... although most people approached from the opposite direction and rarely gimpsed its grandness. Technically the sign and a cantilever roof were on the Coach Station side, little used in recent years. The bus station was "round the back" up a staircase at each end of the building.

But more passengers would arrive and depart via Paris Street and a rather uninspiring walkway.

The problem with the ageing "new" bus station was that it had never been properly looked afer by its owners, Exeter City Council. It was tatty, tired and well past its sell by date. It need not have been so; the fabric of the building was sound and some judicious fettling could have upgraded the whole caboodle.

But Exeter City Council wanted to build a brand new shiny bus station. Well, actually, they wanted to make a stronking profit by selling the site for development and somewhat grudgingly accepted that a new bus station would be necessary - in particular necessary to keep the voters happy.

Then the developers pulled out.

With a cerain amoput of financial jiggery pokery, the Council made itself kingpin of the development.

The new bus station fills a little gap (with the emphasis on "little") between the far end of the "old" bus station and Cheeke Street.

Stagecoach's bus depot (on Cheeke Street itself) ...
... had already been sold and replaced by a block of student flats.
Opposite the flats is where the new bus station is situated.
The site was barracaded off ...
... and work eventually commenced, late, of course, with an opening of the not-quite-finished wonder taking place on Sunday last.

The new bus station is, of course, smaller than it should be and even further from the main shopping centre. Built at the far-end of the recently closed buildings, the new facilitiy is obviously even further away from the main shops. This picture from Stagecoach's social media illustrates the location well.

Zoom in and we can identify the location a little more clearly. The roof of the vacated and now abandoned terminal is seen lower left.
Note the twin towers of Exeter Cathedral and behind the hotch-pitch of 1960s buildings (top right) you would find the John Lewis store.
Turn left at this junction and you are at the end of the High Street.
The main shops are thataway!

So, rather than fbb's words, how does the brand new bus station compare with its immediate predecessor.

We will take a look in tomorrow's blog.

Electric Park & Ride - And Green
A sample of Leicester's new park and ride buses. Green - possibly for Leicester, but maybe not necesssarily for the planet!

Nasty Diesel; But Green?
Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) is a biofuel made by the hydrocracking or hydrogenation of vegetable oil. Hydrocracking breaks big molecules into smaller ones using hydrogen while hydrogenation adds hydrogen to molecules. These methods can be used to create substitutes for gasoline, diesel, propane, kerosene and other chemical feedstock. Diesel fuel produced from these sources is known as green diesel or renewable diesel.

And how "green" is the process that produces the hydrogen?

A Red Bus That's Blue? ...
... or even yellow?
Or maybe a darker blue!
That's the problem with branding - it needs to be consistenly applied to be effective.

The present l;ivery is, indeed the red and yellow.

There was another Red Express - in London!
The X43 started in 1992 and ran for six years. It was meants to be part of a developing network of limited stop services designed to speed up journeys into central London ...
... something of a thankless task with today's traffic conditions!

It was withdrawn and extra journeys were added to the "normal" 43 by way of compensation.

The withdrawal of the "X" journeys was not well received, as reported back in 1998!

More stuff tomorrow.

 Next "Variety" blog : Sunday 1st August 

1 comment:

  1. I remember when I used to visit Exeter from Bournemouth some 50 years ago as part of a works technical quiz team - the road network has vastly changed.

    On arriving in Exeter I recall Exeter Corporations green ( and mainly) double deckers (Guy Arabs?) and their route numbers were in Alpha order. Just refreshed my memory by looking at the site.

    John in Bournemouth