Wednesday 29 June 2022

Exciting Exeter Expedition (3)

 An Apology To Exeter Bus Station

There were some maps at the new too-small bus station; but you would struggle to read anything useful from them. They were small and posted below the leaflet rack for the Falcon service (Plymouth to Bristol NOT calling at Exeter bus station). As well as being too small to use, the map on the left (for Exeter) is the absolutely awful network map that has, thankfully, now been displaced on line but, as we see, not replaced in the information cupboard. 

These maps were so obvious that fbb did not consider the option of photographing them. Just to remind our readers, below is an extract from the awful Exeter cartographic nonsense.
There were also timetbles - again too small. They are those that appear at bus stops and were in a frame "round the corner" at the more remote end of the passenger concourse.

Design Flaw Spotted
This is stand 8, the place from where fbb's bus back to Newton Poppleford should depart. But the bus parked right in your face is, obviously (?), on stand 9. The get to the 9/9A you need to exit via the automatic doors and turn sharp left when you will be facing the entry to the 9/9A. You cannot turn right to get to the 5B bus on stand 9.

Confusing, eh?

Chaos Unlimited!

But as the old bloke arrived (20 min late, you remember) he was surprised to hear his driver tell an enquiring passenger, "Don't take any notice of what the signs say, just look out for 9A on the front of the bus!"

Whilst waiting for his return journey, fbb discovered why.

The 55 loading on Stand 7 ...
... should be on stand 10. The Axminster bus on stand 8 should have been loading on stand 7.

fbb's 9A, seen here loading on stand 6 ...
... should have been leaving from stand 8.

fbb was on "obs" for just under 30 minutes and only one bus left from its advertised stand in that time,

The system seemed to be that passengers lurked hesitantly roughy near where they thought their bus might appear. 
The driver would then nip smartly on to the concourse and announce where the bus could actually be found.

Once, and only once, during fbb's thirty minute obs session was there a loudspeaker announcement of a change of stand. fbb suspects that there was simply nobody in charge - it was a Saturday, after all.


But credit where credit is due, the drivers were doing their best to make it work and serve the passengers - so thanks to Stagecoach lads and lasses for mitigating a simply awful bus bus station design and an apparent lack of effective supervision.

Helpful Electronics - Not!

Even if it were working smoothly, the information systems were far from helpful. Remember there are no timetables displayed at any of the stands.

The electronic departure lists are clear and easy to read, although they did not show anything like real time information.
Look closely at the display on stand 7.
It appears to show an hourly service to Cranbrook. Actually all buses go to Cranbrook running every 20 minutes! There is nothing to tell you that - you just have to know.

Actually, things are much better than that (ha, jolly ha!). If you look at the screen above the stand doors (which shows the next three departures) ...
... you will see clearly (?) that the first on the list includes a full route description.

No, really it does, especially if you are carrying your portable step ladder with you; or you have a pair of antique opera glasses to hand.
From a normal viewing position and distance this important and helpful information is totally illegible.

And there aren't enough seats!

Apart from a couple of posters stuck on the glass, fbb could find no stand list in an obvious place and certainly no stand list on line.

For the record, there is one non-Stagecoach service that leaves from the bus station.
It is run by F*rst B*s - but don't tell the Stagecoach senior management; it's possible they simply don't know. But fbb saw the 1300 departure as he set off for his final destination last Saturday.

Fellowship Leaflet Quiz, Page 3 of 3

Page 4 of the leaflet examines the narrative of the rich young ruler whose wealth stood in the way of his inheriting eternal life.

 Next Exeter bus blog : Thursday 30th June 


  1. Dog's dinner comes to mind at Exeter.

  2. Stand 9 shows a timetable in your photograph....

  3. First Dartmoor bus often cancelled!!

    1. And the Exeter tour as well!