Sunday, 10 October 2021

Sunday Variety

UNO Who Competes In Northampton P.S.

fbb reported that UNO in Northampton would be re-introducing a service in competition with Stagecoach in the southern development area and the eastern development area. The latter began when fbb was nobbut a lad and is well developed with housing surrounding the village in which he was brought up. UNO's 17 competes with part of Stagecoach 16 which now provides a ten minute service to where the old man used to live.
The fbb-to-be occup[ied two residences in the village, on Valley Crescent (GREEN BLOB) which was post war council housing; and later on Orchard Hill (RED BLOB) in a property subsequently extended by new owners but originally designed by Uncle Edgar. Orchard Hill and properties round the "village green" were pretty much all there was apart from some older cottages near the church.
Modern development has swallowed the fbb training ground completely.

Stagecoach runs via Billing Brook Road (aerial view left) and along the bottom of the Google Earth view and on to Ecton Brook. UNO performs a loop along Fishponds Road (right by the trees where be the fish ponds) and so back to town via Billing Brook Road.

UNO 17 starts tomorrow! And a timetable has been published.

Or has it?
If you ignore the contradictory information, you can download the timetable. Here is an extract.
Note that on the bottom panel buses are timed at Fishponds Road (ponds in the trees on the right) ...
... then further round the loop at Billing Brook Road turning circle.
The turning circle is indeed splendid, but nothing turns there. The houses on the left (known in fbb towers as "the cardboard houses" were the first sign of the eastern development to be seen from the bedroom window. fbb's mum was definitely NOT impressed!

But now look at the bottom panel of the timetable above. After the three early "short workings" you can get TO Fishponds road (e.g. at 0958) but there are no buses FROM Fishponds Road on the top panel for the rest of the day. UNO buses must drop into some black hole and re-appear later at Billing Brook Road non-Turning Circle.

Of course the 0958 in the bottom panel should appear before the 1005 from Billing Brook Road in the top panel.

It's a loop innit! And there is an almost unbreakable rule in the bus industry that you MUST show loops badly to confuse your potential passengers.

Well done UNO.

Buses Before Houses PS
Those with a good and incisive memory will note that fbb extolled the virtues of Sheffield Transport in running buses to the Norfolk Park estate as it was being built and as the residents moved in. There was a bus service there ready for them unlike Transport for London's 497 which was nearly ten years in its snail-like gestation.

Serendipitously, your aged author received yet another book from a generous chum. He will review it in due course, but therein  was a picture of this embryo bus route to Nortfolk Park, service 122.
Note that it stands on Platform A of Pond Street bus station and it is packed with happy passengers returning up the hill to their new and shiny tower blocks.
The bus blind showed 122 Arbourthorne ...
... although it did not run to Arbourthorne - or not to the Arbourthorne that other Sheffield bus routes served! The 122 reversed into Arbourthorne Road ...
... where is now a tram stop.
Fifty years later (fbb does feel old!) only trams grace the steep inclines of Norfolk Park.
 There are no buses and no tower blocks.
fbb and pal John rode on the first Saturday lunchtime workers 122 and, some while later, the very last 122, also a Saturday lunchtime trip. It was the same driver and conductor and they remembered fbb and chum!

Blaydon Races P.S.
fbb was due to finish his series of blogs on Monday last; but due to Covid, supply chain problems, Putin and his gas, the Conservative Party Conference, the petrol shortages, fears about a lack of turkeys for Christmas and the overriding exigencies of the unprecedented international situation ...

... OK, he forgot!
This typical old man brain failure will be corrected tomorrow!

Also Forgetfulness In Operation!
fbb asked what was missing from this map of Wellingborough's buses. In a real sense nothing is missing - it is a map of Stagecoach routes in and through the town and that is most of them. But not all. The out-of-date County map is a little more helpful ...
... and unlike Stagecoach, it does show the railway station complete with a service of West Coast pendolinos (pendolini?)!

Now the planners of the new Stanton Cross housing (labelled far right on the county map) had a jackpot idea. So they have built a new access road across the Midland Main Line ...
... and added some lovely new bus stops outside the station.
And very smart they are ...
... on both sides of the new access road!

What buses serve these useful Intermodal stops?


What buses are planned to serve these stops?


Three rousing cheers for the "commercial model" that runs the UK's bus services.

Maybe that is why Stagecoach left the station off the Wellingborough map!

A Tease From First Kernow!
It looks a bit like the Day Tripper paint job, but it isn't.
In the dark brown (?) rear section you can just read ...
... "the campus connection".

So which campuses (camnpi?) are to be commencted - or are already connected?

A rebrand of the U1 to U4 group at Falmouth?

And A Stunner From Scotland

 Next Blaydon Races Racers Blog : Monday 11th October 


  1. Yes all U routes will have an individual new brand so hardly coordinated anymore & as usual buses will stray so even more confusion!! What a mess!! Four separate First livery for the U1, U2, U3 & U4, someone seems to like painting buses!! I noticed green buses on there as well for good measure.

    1. Kernow has to be quite the worst operator anywhere for keeping branded buses to the correct routes and this is going to make the situation even worse.

      The above rather nasty livery is for the U3. The U2 is to have a livery based on the red "Tinner" and the U1/U1A will remain blue with new vinyls.

      The U4 uses an updated version of Lizard livery, but of course the buses stray everywhere.