Friday 21 January 2022

Catch-up in Cornwall (4)

Comprehensive Or Comprehensible?

Probably the best thing to happen bus-wise in Cornwall has been the issue by Transport for Cornwall of three bus timetabler books that now include First Kernow services. The previous "one network for Cornwall" tag, which meant two networks that NEVER worked together, might be beginning to happen. The inter-available fares is another important step, but timetable books that are actually useful is a joy.

Of course, when more-or-less everything was run by Western National, the standard National Bus Company timetable was comprehensive and, if the company was obeying HQ edicts, it would haver included ALL operators' services.

As the industry fragmented post-deregulation, it fell to Cornwall Council to produce a comprehensive timetable book ...
... which was excellent and included trains and ferries. 

The new booklets do not include trains or ferries and, notably, omit the plethora of dedicated college servicers reviewed yesterday. This means those possibly useful middle of the day journeys run on college days only by First Bus don't get a mention - which is a pity.

As with all "area" books there is much duplication, but that is to be expected - a one volume work would be unmanageable.

Services spread from from Plymouth locals to Saltash ...

... long distance routes all the way to Exeter ...
... all the way to Penzance, including the fascinating back way occasional service to Lands End.
There is a lot of county to cover, and, thanks to loadsamoney from the Council to subsidise GoCornwall a k a Transport for Cornwall (TfC), services run to a frequency unheard of in the annals of Cornish transport history.

But Lands End does present a bit of a niggle as far as "comprehensive" is concerned. The main service is from First bus and is part of a Summer mega-circular from Penzance to Lands End, St Ives and back to Penzance. In the winter there are only two journeys that offer the complete circular tour, but the frequency from Penzance to Lands End is OK.

First calls it "LAND" ...

... but the comprehensive TfC book does not.

It is "LEC" (PALE GREEN). But note that there is also an A1 (MAROON). 
Basically, these are journeys were originally tendered by First Bus when the route number was A1. The link has been lost, so the A1 and LAND are not not presented together.


The Lands End route used to be branded "Atlantic Coaster" but the brand was changed to "Lands End Coaster" i.e. LAND or LEC.

Does it matter? Probably not, but it would be better if everyone was working together.

But fbb IS irritated by the poor quality of TfC's timetable presentation. Here is an extract fom servicer 12 from Bodmin to Plymouth.

Note that there are two identical journeys leaving Bodmin at 0653, two near identical journeys leaving at 0718 and three (yep, THREE) identical journeys at 0938. And here are the explantions for the colours

That's the two 0653 journeys and one of the 0938s

The two 0718 journeys. One note saying "on schooldays tuns via Cornwall College (0814) and Saltash school (0818) then 5 minutes later to Plymouth" would tidy things up significantly.

Another of the 0938s, and ...

... another of the 0938s.

That's 17 of the 28 journeys on this table with some sort of note! Potty! 

Service 72 Polperro to Plymouth has a table with 9 out of 12 journeys with notes ...
... but the winner is 236 Launceston to Liskeard ...
... with a massive 8 out of 9 columns with notes.

GoAhead this is NOT the way to encourage passengers ...

Go Cornwall this is NOT the way to encourage passengers ...

Transport for Cornwall this is NOT the way to encourage passengers ...

Cornwall Council this is NOT the way to encourage passengers.

Remember the mantra. You can either be comprehensive or comprehensible, never both at the same time.

 Next Variety blog : Saturday 23td January 

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