Tuesday 1 February 2022

Familiarity Breeds Erm Excellence (1)

The rubric ("rubric" because instructions on exam papers at posh Universities used to br printed in red) for the world famous Public Transport Experience blog (which you may have heard of!) has remained unchanged for most of the blog's 12 year existence.

Successes are rare and one success tends to pass fbb by because it is close at home.

That is the excellent job that Devon County Council do with their public transport information on-line and, importantly, in print. The "in print" has been a bit spasmodic during the pandemic and may well become so again when the double whammy of revised funding and a return to "normal" registrations bring the expected torrent of servicer "revision" a k a reductions.

But, for the time being Devon's booklets dated in December 2021 remain a beacon of excellence, despite the attempts of the rail industry to undermine the train tables.
The six area booklets were printed in June 2021 and on-line versions are generally kept up to date. All of Devon is included except Plymouth City, Exeter City and Torbay. Their local routes do not appear.

The on-line East Devon book (fbb's local area) is dated December 2021 ...
... and is available as an on-screen book on the Travel Devon web site.
fbb will return to the book in due course, but there is another method of finding your bus route, a method which is user friendly and very straightforward. You go via the County's "interactive map".
This is based in what was once a printed map. The on-line version can be enlarged ..,
... and a click on the route number brings up a list of time points ...
... from which a second click reveals the timetable, a PDF file extracted from the timetable book.
As well as the timetable, you can highlight the whole route on the map.
Sadly, the system does not cover the route and timetable excitement at Hemyock!
But you can't have everything.
It's more fun on the bus than it looks in the timetable!

Incidentally, route 20 was a Devon General service which passed to Stagecoach when Uncle Brian bought out Harry Blundred. It then went to Cooks Coaches on tender ...

... then back to Stagecoach when Uncle Brian bought Cooks. 
Stagecoach then removed itself from most of Cooks routes and the service is currently with Dartline.
It is a very pleasant rural ride and well worth a trip.

So, in contrast to many web sites full of clutter, Devon tells you what you need to know without clogging the on-line pages and the user's brain with unnecessary garbage.

Well done Devon.

Of course, the lack of the "unitaries" is annoying. Because Stagecoach are keeping all their timetables secret as far as printed copies are concerned, Exeter remains an empty hole bus wise.

Of course it is "all on line" c/o Stagecoach but guided by the worst bus map in the UK.
But Exeter City route K ....
... appears in the East Devon book.

Tomorrow we will look in more detail at that East Devon Book.

It is lovely!

Can't Be Bothered - Nuffin to Do With Us
Stockport Station had engineering work at the weekend so Transpennine services via Sheffield were not calling there.
And, of course, First Rail were ready and anxious to help passengers who wished to travel to Stockport.
First explains, helpfully (NOT)

You could try using an "alternative train operating company" ...
... But we are not telling you which!
You might go via Manchester Piccadilly
You should check your journey carefully ...
... But we are not telling you how or where.
In simple terms we just can't be bothered!
We simply can't be bothered to tell you how to get to Stockport.
So don't bother to go there!

Appalling customer service from First.

A Propos Of Nothing Much ..
These assorted notices nee no comment, but they are fun - and possibly genuine!.

 Next East Devon book blog : Wednesday 2nd February 


  1. I think the 20 was a (First) Southern National service rather than a Devon General one. I'm not sure Stagecoach got its hands on it until it acquired Cooks.

  2. Indeed First to Cooks. Meanwhile Stagecoach services in chaos around Torrington landslide blocking road since last week but no advice on website to the public - I too thought it's all online but it appears to be just a lie. Agree the Stagecoach maps are awful, what were they thinking? Not seen a good word about them, Roger French agrees.