Thursday 9 February 2023

Exceptional Exeter Excitement! (2)

Oh My God!

Sadly, the above three words are blasphemed so readily in general conversation and in the media. Well, fbb's God is far better than casual asperity! 

Of course God used His "forces of nature" and ideas like Uncle Charles' "natural selection" to define this wonderful world in which we are privileged be permitted to exist. And we are all guilty of devaluing and damaging the wonders of His creation, however we think He did it!

Whereas the fbb limo was totally encrusted in frost yesterday morning, the neighbour's car presented the above. fbb is not sue why two vehicles standing side by side in the same icy environment should produce such a difference. But these star bursts of ice crystals are just astoundingly beautiful.

Oh my God!

From The Divine To The Mundanely Beautiful

fbb has written before about the excellence of Devon County's timetable books. The whole series is published once a year around May and the county tries to encourage the operators to restrict their changes to this sort of date. Stagecoach did not comply and joined the lemming leap of so many operators in its reaction to the Covid Crash and the Driverless Decline. 

Cutting services may be commercially necessary but it is definitely NOT the way to recover from the perfect storm of the last few years.

So this booklet appears in response to some fairly drastic "revisions" (i.e. reductions) in the Exeter commercial bus network. At the same time as the cull of city services, many of the longer distance routes have ve been slaughtered.

So this new book contains all the Exeter city services in full, plus many of the out of town routes, especially those that supplement (or even replace) city services.

We have a good alphabetical index ...

... plus a list of all services contained in the book in numerical order.
There is also a list of ALL out of town routes from Exeter with those included in this book shown with an asterisk.
It might have been even more helpful to show which of the County area books you needed to find these lesser in frequency but often greater in delight "other" services".

There is even a very brief summary of all rail services from Exeter.

Although of little practical use, it may well be an eye-opener to many Exonians who have little idea of how many useful and frequent rail services are available. Almost all run every hour and several offer a half hour frequency. Watching the departures from Exeter St David's is impressive!

There is a full city network bud map (just an extract below) ...

... which matches the excellent quality of all of Devon's local maps in their area books. It does NOT show the R and S as serving the Hospital. Surely a note to that effect on the map and on the H timetable would be helpful?

There is another diagram (map is roo strong a word) which gives a much simplified overview of the Exeter network.

It may be helpful for very general guidance, but as it does not include the out of town services that support the city network, it is only of limited help.

And so to the city timetables.

In a first for the Devon County books, each timetable is colour coded to match the map. So here is an extraction from the R in a tasteful mud green.

We note that evening (and Sunday journeys all day) do fill the gaps in the much reduced H to the Hospital.

And the non-Stagecoach lettered services are also there ...
... including some very small bits and pieces.
Stagecoach 4 and 4A (Cranbrook and the Airport) has been promoted to a colour service (RED) .,. 
... appropriate as it replaces the former red Park and Ride. 

fbb doubts whether passengers will appreciate the link! The GREEN Park and Ride remains green.

If fbb were doing it, he would rename the 4 and 4A as "K" (for CranbrooK) and "L" (for Landing - airport, geddit?).

The out-of-town routes appear in reasonable detail, except the 9/9A which only shows as far as Sidmouth. fbb is sure space could have been found to add two "summary" lines for Seaton and Honiton.

Likewise the 5/55 is only shown as far as Cowley Bridge.
There is inconsistency with these routes but fbb applauds the idea of including out-of-town services that help Exeter residents get to some of their destinations within he city.

But, despite these niggles ('tis only the first, hopefully of an annual publication), this is a splendid booklet and surely will encourage the good folk of Exeter to use their bus services more fully.

And, as of yesterday, the new booklet is NOT on line.

East Devon Bus Times

Mid Devon Bus Times

West Devon Bus Times

North Devon and Torridge Bus Times

South Hams Bus Times

Teignbridge Bus Times

And Stagecoach, who has paid some pennies towards it?
Not a mention.

Sadly, timetable secrecy is still the norm!

But, when you can find out about it, the new booklet is super smashing.

Well done all concerned!

You may find copies at the Exeter Bus Station.

Tomorrow, another Devon timetable book - and it is definitely NOT up to date!

 Next Book Review blog : Friday 10th February 

1 comment:

  1. And in Essex: