Thursday 2 March 2023

Red Rose (A Lovely Girl - But Helpful)

The "New" Service 25

A reminder that the old 25/25A served the areas covered by the "new" 24 and 25. The 25/25A was replaced with an hourly 250 and this is now obliterated and we have a new 24 similar to the old 250 but much less frequent, and a new 25. The new 25 follows the old 25A (pay attention at the back) but only as far as Heyford Park (formerly RAF Heyford) and Lower Heyford village..

Traveline tells us it is run by Red Rose whose HQ is in Aylesbury, but their services roam far and wide.  But the web site is of s much better standard than Grayline of 24 fame.
And there is the 25 sandwiched between services for Milton Keynes and High Wycombe. 

The company has a lot of work in the Watford area, mainly stuff tendered for Hertfordshire Council. Like the mystifying 346/346A to Carpenders Park.
Many of the Watford routes were once in the hands oif London Transport's green ("country") bus district, later transferred from London Transport to the National Bus Company.
Red Rose has computer generated maps ...
... which are about as much help as a chocolate teapot. Of course, if you know where the bus goes, the map is helpful indeed! 

The company also runs the 501, a Sunday variant replacing Arriva's Monday to Saturday 500.
Both the 500 and its Sunday variant call at "Cow Roast" although Rose doesn't use quite the same name,
The mind boggles. It sounds like a pub, which it is ...
... looking very un-cow and very un-roast when Streetview last passed by. But it is also the name of a "community" (but not much of one).
Historically the 500/501 were also London "green" bus routes.
Be that as it may, Red Rose are working very remotely between Bicester and Heyford Park BUT they do show a timetable and a map of sorts.
Now another area of disagreement arises between operator and Roger French. Roger tells is that route 256 perform as loop at the Heyford end, and duly provides his self-drawn map to explain.
But Rose's outwards and return maps are identical.
My bet would be on Roger rather than Rose.

We are told that the 25 is running temporarily just every hour, but an improved frequency will materialise later in the year.

For the time being, Heyford Park, now bereft of noisy jets with after burner firey take off ...
... is what you would expect. 
There is a selection of fairly closely packed houses on an estate to the south of Camp Road, camp as in military camp.
The current site map, shown here in two chunks, east ...
... and west.
Facilities include two schools (RED) ...
... a pub (DARK BLUE) disguised as an office block cun nuclear bunker ...
... and a shopping centre (LIGHT BLUE).
Well, at least there is a Sainsburys Local but not much else!

The bus zooms straight down Camp Road making no attempt to penetrate the estate, surely an encouragement for car usage? Indeed, a cursory glance via Streetview suggests that the estate roads are pretty much unsuitable for buses. Well done Mr Architect!
There is, of course, plenty of parking for cars.

But Rose's buses are bright and distinctive ...
... but fbb does wonder whether anyone has posted leaflets door to door.

No. he didn't think so.

Presumably the route is heavily subsidised by somebody's money? So what happens when that subsidy runs out? Will Heyford Park generate enough fares revenue to make the route commercially viable.

Unlikely - ever!

 Next blog Book Review : Friday 3rd March 

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