Tuesday, 6 June 2023

L5 L6 Leading to Linslade

Half A Cheer For The NHS?

fbb's latest appointment for Maculae eye-stabbing was yesterday 0945 at Axminster Hospital. The letter arrived at fbb mansions yesterday at 1145! Thank fully Mrs fbb had contacted Axminster Hospital on Friday last who confirmed the unannounced appointment.

Yesterday was also the second of the monthly duplicate Fellowship meetings.

If this blog is inexplicably curtailed, you now have an explicable reason!"

But here goes ...

Linslade Moved!

An 1860 map shows Linslade at the top and the village of Surecot lower left. Just about visible at the crossroads is the name Chelsea and the designation Brick Kilns.

Roll in to 1901 and below is a map of the main area of Linslade between the railway and the canal just south of the main road labelled "Chelsea" (?).
To the west of the railway is very little apart from the village of Surecot, now named Southcott.
By the inter war period, the original Linslade, home of Linslade Manor ...
... had vanished from the map.

Linslade Growed Some More

Rapid expansion happened from the 1960s leading to todays's general plan.
The Manor has reappeared with the name Old Linslade - possibly because it had gained additional (and doubtless expensive) housing!
Southcott has now vanished!

We can now, mentally, superimpose the 1979 minibus routes to Linslade on the present day map.
Look! Southcott re-apoears! Routes 1, 2 and 4 each operated every hour. 

Before the most recent change, the routes in Linslade had been combined into a splurging circular 36A and 36C ...
... but broadly serving the same areas. Knaves Hill (former 4) and Chelsea Green (former 1) still appear on the map but the Bideford Green (former 2) roads have been abandoned and replaced by the wider sweep of Derwent Road. 

On the right thereof there is still open country!
A now-defunct timetable exists on-line showing Grant Palmer as the operator.
The estates have a half hourly service, hourly in each direction (36A and 36C). 
Smart motors!
Note that both routes run "cross town" to serve Billington Park, of which more anon.
Also note that, on Saturdays, only an hourly service 36C  was operated.

And The 'Improved" L5/L6 ?
The route is nearly identical with just a little snip-snip bottom right. But the timetable is reduced to hourly Monday to Friday and the layout of the times is far less informative. Details of the schedule give too much of a summary to guide the bemused possible passenger.

It still runs cross-town, honest.
The more wiggly the route, the more point times are needed to help people understand it.

Contrast and compare with Grant Palmer's offering above! 

And some notes ...
So no Sunday buses cross-town! And ...
...  we have an L6. Why?
Presumably there is a good reason?

Chelsea Green gets a mention in the "outrage" reports in the local press. The co-ordinator of a petition writes:-

"We will also look to get paper petitions to the other areas affected by these cuts, Chelsea Green, Highfield Road, Russell Way. We must fight this. The residents of Leighton Buzzard continue to be overlooked and its time it stopped.”

Highfield Road and Russell Way are on the eastern side if Leighton Buzzard and we will get to them tomorrow, possibly. But Chelsea Green has definitely not lost its service, but it would appear to be halved Mon to Fri.

Another "angry person" writes:-

"All other routes (i.e. the network before the changes) have been slashed or severed completely which leaves the elderly, immobile, sick, and many many more isolated, unable to get out to shop, doctors, medicines etc. The local and Beds council are spouting new and improved. How? This town has nothing to offer any more not even a bus service.”

Certainly services to the two areas examined so far by fbb are neither new nor improved. In fact they are the same but reduced.

Maybe the residents of Linslade, Sandhills and Roman Gate are looking with unparalled envy at better services to the east of the Leighton Linslade. Or maybe not?

More tomorrow.

How Do They Do That?
We all know about buses being "wrapped" in Blue Peter style sticky backed plastic for advertising purposes. But How is it done? It would seem unlikely that bus-sized panels could be manipulated into place.

You would guess that the really clever bit is doing a design on a computer; and that would require detailed plans of the vehicle in question to be imported.

But having got the design done, the process is surprisingly simple. Using "tiling" - splitting the design into manageable chunks - you print out the sections on a special colour printer.
And there are the pieces ...
... which constitute a giant jig-saw puzzle ...
... but without the wiggly edges. Get the bits in the right order and ... tada! ...
... you have a "wrapped" bus. That particular driver is doing an Andy Murray after negotiating a particularly difficult road junction!

It must be tricky getting around the curved bits! On the bus as well as at the road junction!!

Clever stuff!

P.S. "The Eyes Have Made It!"

 Next Leighton Buzzard blog : Wednesday 7th June 


  1. The 36A/C timetable FBB found is very out of date. Grant Palmer ceased running the route in October 2022 (it has passed through two operators since on temporary contracts whilst Central Beds tried to sort their Leighton Buzzard network) and even under Grant Palmer it had already been reduced so that the timetable FBB shows as Saturday (hourly 36C 'off-peak') is what was running on weekdays as well. So compared to the offering since COVID at least the service is improved (earlier & later buses plus Sundays) quite a bit.

  2. Grant Palmer haven't run the 36A/36C for years, it's been hourly for at least three years and been run by Centrebus. At least get your facts right.

  3. The service has not been reduced, the 36C has essentially be renumbered to L5. There hasn't been a 36A for years, despite the massively out of date timetable you refer to. It is a gross cost tender funded by the local authority, always has been and always will be.