Thursday, 11 November 2021

SO Much Better With A Map

Happy Happenings in Halifax - Resolved

Stuart commented as above - which is encouraging to your aged blogger - although fbb does wonder how well a less determined explorer might fare. Colin also commented on the joyous nature of the route(s) which may become obvious as this blog lumbers inexorably towards a 561/562 conclusion.

Yesterday, fbb left his avid readers with a list of unresolved concerns.

Is it Norland or Norland Town? Is it Soyland or Soyland Town? Does the 562 do the same but in reverse - if so why is the Metro version of the timetable laid out differently? Why is there a little squiggle at Copley? How does it actually work at the hospital - it looks a bit odd?

fbb will take each one in turn.

Norland or Norland Town
The routes pass Norland School and in sight of Norland Church ...
... leaving Norland town off piste a tad to the north west and not actually served by bus.

Soyland or Soyland Town
Soyland Town appears to be the larger settlement with town-less Soyland being to the north and, again, not actually visited by Team Pennine's services. The presence of a phone box  (in both villages)  would be an indication of the primacy of the locality!

Maps don't always seem to be in agreement!

This is all fairly academic as none of these villages has anything in the way of a signboard at their entrance or exit, so you have to guess. Ditto at Krumlin (spot the phone box!) ...
... where the views are gorgeous including the delights of  Ringstone Edge Reservoir.
Sadly, nothing does BOTH the Norland and the Krumlin loops, so you will need to plan a complete tour carefully; maybe with a glass of lemonade in the Fleece at Barkisland?
Looks a bit pricey for a Luncheon "Lite Bite"?

Does the 562 do the same as the 561 but in reverse
Yes, it does; it's just the timetable that is badly laid out with everything from Ripponden to Halifax unnecessarily repeated. Several bad house points for Metro West Yorkshire!

Why is there a little squiggle at Copley?
The school lives in a posh new building on the main Wakefield Road, but the village of Copley is a cul-de-sac off the said main drag. The 561/2 first crosses the Calder and Hebble Canal ...
... run alongside the navigation for a few hundred yards and then plunges under the Calder Valley railway line.
Just beyond is a delightful little turning circle ...
... set amongst an equai delightful mixture of older stone properties built back-to-back and tastefully engineered new builds.
These new properties are on the site of Akroyds Mill ...
..,. demolished in 1978, but clearly the raison-d'etre for the community. It had a post office and general store (very general, have a shave and some stamps!) ...
... and a substantial station.
This closed in 1932 ...
... and was on the cut-off line taking trains from the west round towards Halifax. Alas nothing at all remains to show that there ever was a station here.

How does it actually work at the hospital - it looks a bit odd?
561 TO Halifax and 562 FROM stop on Huddersfield Road, right outside the hospital complex ...
... although the entrance is round the corner on Dudwell Lane. 561 FROM Halifax and 562 TO are a block or so away to the west at Skircoat Green.
It's not too far to toddle to the hospital if you are reasonably active!
Putting all this together allows fbb to create a much better map although lettering is larger than might be used on a printed version to aid legibility in the blog.
It offers a significant improvement on Team Pennine's poor offering ...
... and is easier to follow than Metro's comprehensive Halifax map. One of fbb's oft repeated mantras (yawn) is that you can either be comprehensive OR comprehensible but rarely both. Q E D.

We are left with just one route where new Mercedes minibuses are promised in the Team Pennine's Purple People Carrier project.

 Next Halifax (and more) blog : Friday 12th November 


  1. FBB comments on his map that "It offers a significant improvement on Team Pennine's poor offering".

    I'd say that as a schematic summary it offers some improvement over Team Pennine's offering. Such a schematic summary map is useful in some circumstances (such as if your illustrating a blog), but the Team Pennine map offers much more on a digital platform than FBB's ever can. For example you can zoom in and see detail of all the adjoining streets and businesses along the route, you can search the map and see live tracking of vehicle locations - all useful in the real world. So, if I fancied visiting the Old Bridge Inn at Ripponden (rather than the Fleece at Barkisland) I can easily see where the nearest bus stop is on Team Pennine's map, but not FBB's. Similarly if I wanted to collect a Facebook Marketplace purchase from a house on Haigh Street, Greetland it is easy to see from the Team Pennine map that I'd need to alight at the Rochdale Road (School Street) stop.

    It would be good if Team Pennine included a schematic overview map online (although I note their timetable leaflets often include good quality and attractive drawn mapping), but such a schematic map should be in addition to the scalable digital map already available. Indeed I'd like to see the PDF's of the timetable leaflets available on the Team Pennine website in addition to the digital platform.

    FBB's map is certainly not better, but is for a different purpose and functionally is much more limited. It is an analogue map in a digital age. Nothing wrong with simple analogue maps, but not a "significant improvement", just an alternative map with an alternative use.

    1. Great to see some analysis of the great 561/562 bus route. I was instrumental in developing the timetable back in 2015, when WYPTE put several local services out to tender. As a local Krumlin user (and bus enthusiast) I was appalled to see the draft proposals completely removed buses from Krumlin. I therefore scheduled a revised option ( as a numerate amateur, not a professional) which did not involve any more journey time or vehicles. WYPTE were impressed and I worked with them on the finished version - and it is to save the Krumlin services that the 'alternate' pattern of working through Norland or Krumlin was created. There were, in the 2015 timetable, a couple of evening short workings between Halifax and Ripponden which served both Norland and Krumlin, and notably the last 562 from Halifax to Ripponden departed at 2255, seven days a week. I also produced a full timetable booklet for all the local Ripponden timetables, sponsored by the Parish Council, which was widely distributed (for free). And it had a schematic map! Since then the timetable has been reduced and suffered further trimming f later journeys during Covid which have not been replaced.

      In terms of what publicity works best, I always like to take the view of the local user - none of whom would evr dream of completing the whole circle in either direction. And whenever timetable changes are imminent, it is amazing how the traditional forms of rural communication outpace t'interweb!