Friday, 6 May 2022
Bourne Again - Again
The Delaine "network" centres on four market towns plus the City of Peterborough. From a map enthusiast's point of view their network cartography is, to say the least, basic!
The hourly extension north to Morton turns off the A15 ...
... and trundles along the attractive High Street to turn outside the equally attractive church where an ideal turning triangle makes the manoeuvre easy!In addition to the route map, there are more detailed town plans which are, again, excellent. (remember them?) at their bus strops. Streetview's view is out of date ...
... but the policy is very clear.
Obviously these are maintained by the company that has no desire to hide behind the less-than-enthusiastic information provided by many local authorities.
The 201 takes the "long way round" via Stamford between Bourne and Peterborough and offers an hourly service Monday to Saturday but nothing on Sundays.
The maps are superb, as usual; and the local extract for Stamford clearly shows that the 202 variant omits the little tour round the town.
401, 402, 403 and 404 are basically school services, mainly to get the kiddies to and from Bourne Academy.
A round trip via Rippingale Church ...
... would be a real delight.
Also a delight is the former Rippingale Station on the long-closed line from Essendine and Bourne to Sleaford. Amazingly, the station is still intact and sits proudly with a few bits of track.
But back to "The Delaine":-
So it was that Alan travelled from Northampton to Bourne in a superbly preserved Stagecoach bus.
Alan's conclusions are apposite as we all watch the bus industry teetering on the edge of collapse!
A Saturday excursion takes us to Bourne in Lincolnshire where they run the buses in a slightly different manner to the fashions favoured by bigger companies. Newly delivered Enviro 200 MMC number 170 (AD 22 DBL) ...
As a bus is a rectangular box the livery is applied in straight lines, no swoops, no diagonals, no motorway service vehicle yellow and nothing stuck over windows. Route branding is applied instead of an advert for the local car dealer.
Buses in Bourne are managed in Bourne, not in Chelmsford, Berlin or somewhere else fifty miles away. Bus stops have proper timetables. You might describe this as old fashioned as you plan yet another re-structuring which will have fewer managers covering an even bigger area - but observations, admittedly on only one Saturday, suggest it is a way of running a bus company which encourages passenger use.
Big is not always beautiful.
Maybe some of the big groups should look to Delaine and see whether they need to review their business philosophy.
Maybe they really do need to be Born (Bourne) again?
Next Variety blog : Saturday 7th May