Thursday 30 December 2021

Seasonal Snippets 30/12

Adieu Amazing X57 : Welcome Amazing 257 (2)

Sheffield Transport route 44 has a fascinating and complex history, far too involved to cover in a seasonally abbreviated blog. It was always known as "The Bakewell Bamford". It ran due west from the City to the Ladybower dam, then turned left to reach Bamford.
It then took a wiggle via Hathersage ...
... where a tight bridge near the station meant single decks were always rostered.
The route continued south to Bakewell through pleasant countryside with very little housing. Indeed the route was rarely busy which is why it had the accolade of providing Sheffield Transport's first ever one man bus trip - a lunchtime departure which carried more STD staff than passengers.
It became the 244 with the PTE renumbering, and occasionally provided its meagre load of passengers with a ride on a coach! (Technically a DP! - they were never "luxury".)
By year 2000 reorganisation meant the buses turned right at Bamford Station and proceeded to Castleton.
In this guise it was renumbered 273 and 274 and by now was operated by Stagecoach. The run from Hathersage to Bakewell was a 175 operated by Hulleys.
Umpteen reorganisations later it became 273, 274 and 275, operated by Hulleys with T M Travel running the Sunday service.

Its most recently manifestation has been as shown in the map below.
Bamford to Castleton has gone and the route is more-or-less back to the old 244. Whilst the 244 was one bus scheduled when necessary and nothing much else, the 257 (renumbered from 275) has made a noble attempt at being a useful service.
Thew journey labelled "Brad" runs via Hope Valley College and Bradwell and sensibly maintains this route on Saturdays and non schooldays.

Until Saturday, the 257 provides a remarkable hourly frequency with the X57 between Sheffield and Ladybower.

With the demise of the X57 after service on Saturday 8th prox, you would think that a bus every two hours (more frequent than the old STD 44!!!) was more than adequate for this far from populous route.

But Hulley's "courageous" management are at it again!

From Monday 9th January the 257 becomes HOURLY all the way between Sheffield, Bamford and Bakewell.
The above is the Saturday timetable; on Monday to Friday there are a few oddities to cope with school requirements. (click on the timetable for an enlargement).

It is two hourly on Sunday's increasing to hourly for the summer season.

The question for Alf, boss of Hulleys, is the samer asked when he started the X57 across the Snake.

"Where are your extra passengers coming from?"

Courageous - or what?

Isn't Technology Wonderful?
Foxglove 18 is operated by UNO for the University of Northampton, but is available to the public. It calls at Northampton Rail Station where there is a big electronic display.
You must wonder why each journey is duplicated.

You might also wonder where the other Northampton might be, the one not in Nhants.

But, most of all you maybe confused as the display was pictured by Alan on 27th December.

Despite full timetable's being shown on the web site, reference to the "small print" shows that this Monday to Friday only route 18 DOES NOT OPERATE despite the display. It is suspended until the eager denizens of Academe return to their studies in January 2022.

Monday 20 - Friday 24 December
Saturday times on routes 19/19A and 21
    (early finish on Christmas Eve)
No service on route 18 
Monday to Friday times on routes 17, 59 and 60

Christmas Day & Boxing Day - no buses

Monday 27 & Tuesday 28 December
Sunday times on routes 19/19A and 21
No service on route 18 

Wednesday 29 - Friday 31 December
Saturday times on routes 19/19A and 21 
      (early finish on New Year's Eve)
No service on route 18 
Monday to Friday times on routes 17, 59 and 60

New Year's Day - no buses

Sunday 2 & Monday 3 January 2022
Sunday times on routes 19/19A and 21
No service on route 18 

From Tuesday 4 January, a normal service resumes on all routes. 

Well done UNO, and a happy and utterly confused new year!

 Next book review blog : Friday 31st December 


  1. I do think an hourly 257 all the way is rather ambitious. If you wanted an hourly from Sheffield I would have diverted it every two hours to Castleton and then continued it to Bakewell via the exisiting 173 route - providing a through bus from Sheffield to Monsal Dale for example. The 173/257 could be numbered 273 and the existing 257 renumbered 274, thus keeping consistent numbers for the Hope Valley corridor.

  2. Don't blame Uno, the only operator in Northampton still producing printed leaflets. This display of total rubbish is from West Northants Council, one of of the least public transport supporting local authorities in England.

    Fortunately the screens at the bus stops adjacent to the railway station were showing correct departure information for Stagecoach services 8. 9B, 15A and D2/3 operating a Sunday timetable.