Monday 18 July 2022

Arriva Is Awful! (1)

Looking On Line For Route 29

Like so much of the internet, it is easy if you already know what you are looking for and where to look. Click on the text above and up pops ...
... which is a fat lot of good. Try again and you get a list ...
... and the obvious next step is to "Download Timetables".


It will take you a list of every bus that Arriva operates anywhere in the UK from route 1 ...

... in the North East to the ever popular ....
... route Z in Luton.
Route Z?

It uses just the first little bit of the busway before doing a tour of Leagrave and dropping back south the Dunstable.
Back to our search. Because there are seven long, long pages of these timetables ...
... you will have no idea which page to go to for the 29.

Those "in the know" will go to "find a service!
Ignore "plan my journey" - always a wise thing to do - and click on "find my bus", then enter "29".
Fortuitously, at the top of the list is the route we need.
It's a real faff to get there, but it wouldn't do to make things simple, would it? People might travel on the bus!

When you get to 29/29A/29B/X29 ...
... you have to scroll down quite a bit to find what you really want.
But a full PDF timetable (of sorts) does manifest itself.

Whilst fbb's chum, David, who could not unravel the illogicality of Arriva's web site design, is well aware of where his local buses go, it helps, surely, to have a map on hand when checking or even investigating a timetable.

Yet again, Arrive doesn't come to the rescue 

We have a Arriva Leicester route map, which doesn't seem  to be accessible from the present web site ...
... and an area map which is utterly useless..
The "Greater Leicester" map (council produced) shows all operators, but you would suspect that both of the maps are not up to date as there is no mention of the 29B. (fbb WILL mention the 29B in due course).
Leicestershire only seem to be able to offer a crude and generally unhelpful county route diagram which is incomplete in many locations.
It certainly is not a map!

And it is definitely not up to date.

fbb did discover, by mistake, that if you click on one of the coloured route numbers ...
... it brings up a map of that route only, in this case 29B
Sadly, there appeared to be no means of zooming out to see the whole route.

Again pretty much useless.

But; never mind, eh? We have a timetable to explore.

Question : Are there really four buses an hour running in pairs of two buses together, with different terminal points in Leicester?

Gravel Street is round the back of the now rebuilt St Margaret's bus station.
So clever and ever helpful Arriva has included times for when the bus station is closed for rebuilding (Gravel Street) and fot when the bus station is reopened (which it now is). Very useful, NOT.

The fact that both times are very obviously AT the bus station makes the presentation doubly daft.

And, it appears, you need to change buses at Coalville to continue to the joys and delights of Swadlincote.

Or do you? This is a previous pre-Covid timetable.
They look like through journeys, surely?

Readers may amuse themselves by listing the changes; but, of note is the reduction of frequency between Leicester and Coalville and the curtailment of the routes at Swadlincote, no longer serving Burton upon Trent.

For the record, Midland Classic now operates between Swadlicote and Burton, also showing service 9; but only one of the half hourly Arriva journeys stands a chance of making a reasonable connection.
Check it out.

But, warts and all, David can now find his timetable, despite it's faulty assembly.

But when we look further, things become less and less sensible.

More tomorrow.

Disappointing News
Because of the hot weather, the beach at Leicester will be closed today and tomorrow.

It is possible that many of our loyal readers will know that Leicester is not renowned for its seaside facilities. Indeed, the nearest practical beach visit would probably be Hunstanton, about 90 miles away!

But here is the beach in Leicester ...
It is on Humberstone Gate (pedestrianised) just outside Superdrug ...
... and just round the corner from Haymarket bus station!

But, sadly, there is no sea to see, see.

More from Leicester tomorrow.

 Next Dodgy Timetable blog : Tuesday 19th July 


  1. I really don't get why FBB cannot understand that the average bus passenger does not think like a bus timetable planning specialist. If a normal passenger wants to find the times for buses on a route that he does not already know, he/she will search for buses between the specific locations. Why on earth would they search by route number? They probably have no idea what the route number is. Even if the route number has some significance, e.g. geographical, that is almost certainly irrelevant for the average guy who just wants to get from A to B.

    For your information, I searched for "arriva bus timetable leicester swadlincote", and the first non-advert result was the relevant timetable. Arriva also deserve an extra brownie point - the timetable not only has a start date, but it also has an end date (Thursday October 23, 2022) - that is genuinely useful information that is rarely provided.

    One could also observe that Arriva's parent company is also good at producing timetables. The operation of the services is not always quite so consistently good!

  2. Incidentally, that Arriva timetable also has a list of stopping places and a scrollable route map. The user can also simply click on the route numbers 29 or 29A or 29B or X29 to see the route variations on the map. The stop locations are also shown on the map, if the user zooms to large scale. If you scroll over the map, the instruction for zooming will be displayed.
    Sorry FBB, but your criticism is not only unfair, it is quite simply wrong. The information is all there, and it is easy to find.

  3. As another trial, rather than searching for buses between the two points, I assumed I was an occasional traveller who knew it was the 29, operated by Arriva, but wanted to check the latest timetable.

    So searching for "Arriva 29 bus timetable" (my search engine even suggested "timetable" as soon as I typed "bus", and second entry is the one in question. Simples!

    As a further example, I was recently helping members of my Explorer Scout Unit (14-17 year olds) plan a day hike. Having looked at the map they decided on a possible route, and started wondering if they could lift share to their chosen starting point and walk home.

    Knowing the local bus routes I suggested it would be a better day out if they could catch a bus one way and walk back. Out come their phones, and within seconds they had the bus timetable (Stagecoach, as it happens), and within a minute had worked out that the bus stops just along from the Scout Hall.

    None of them is a bus user, but almost instantly they had the info they needed, in fact it took them longer to agree how early they wanted to set out than it did to find the correct bus timetable.