Wednesday 6 September 2023

Happy Or Horrific At Heathrow Part 2A

First The Good News (If You Can Find It)

It would seem that the very last thing Heathrow wants to do is to give you helpful information about anything. What Heathrow wants to do is to encourage you to travel on a plane to exotic places.

Lima (Peru) was the home of Paddington Bear and still is the home of Aunt Lucy ...
... who has visited London ..
... although the film is a little lacking in details of how she got from Airport to central London.

China is  a bit big to discover all at one go.

Or you could go to Nyetimber.

fbb is not sure whether your flight will take you long-haul to Andover International Airport ...
...  long haul to Bognor Regis International Airport ...
... or short-haul to Pulborough International Airport Terminal 5.
Pardon? Speak Up?

Oh! It's not a flight destination, it's a brand of UK wine ...

... just the sort of thing you would go to a major international airport web site to research!

But what we want is public transport to or from the Airport.

Best check the small print - the very small print.

The  small print heading is "Transport and Directions" and last but one in the small print central section is - tada - "Bus and Coach". A click get us to "local buses" ... 
... but we are not there yet! There is more to follow but those using a great deal of resolve might scroll down ...
... to a clickable list of maps.
Before delving further, fbb must say that, with one undated exception, these seem to be up to date - being labelled August 2023.

So let us being at the top with Local Bus Diagram.
For its size it is a remarkably good effort. The colour coding is helpful ...
... although fbb guesses that its compiler did not know that "Superloop" services are very ordinary London Transport bus routes with a fancy name. N30 and A60 are a mystery to fbb, but he has parked that on his "to do" list for later.

Overall, though, its a good map and it shows the newcomers:- 730 and 731 ...
... with a helpful note explaining the numbering stupidity. It also shows the RA3 to Watford but only as a dotted black line with no nomenclature.
Is that because it is "a coach" and if so, where are the National Express "coach" services? But we will meet these later on.

Heathrow Area Bus Map

This is a cartographic joy and delight, but of limited use to air passengers. But for local travel it is really useful. What it actually shows is every bus stop in the immediate Heathrow area ...
...  and everything that stops thereat. It is gorgraphically accurate and even shows the complexities of the 442 and X442 correctly.
It is still a challenge to understand these Heathrow subsidized services. The map key is simple but gives the important distinction between TfL and non-Tfl routes.
fbb could not resist he temptation to go to Carlone Buses web site to see what they made of their own 442 and X442 services. 

Here the information was some of the best fbb has ever seen. The map is superb, shown below in two bits ...
... with a Blogger enforced gap between Ashford Hospital and Staines-on-Thames.
The timetables for the two routes are shown separately, 442 ...
... and X442.
But what is doubly excellent is that journeys via those wiggles to Stanwell Moor (see top map) are shown separately ...
... thus easy to follow and devoid of a plethora of explanatory notes.

Give Carlone a chocolate peanut, or even two!

fbb wonders where these can be found on the Heathrow web site?

But we digress. There are still three more maps top enjoy- maybe.

Coming Soon
The fbbs are off on a Lochs and Glans coach holiday (again!), this time based in Fort William. Departure is 0545 on Monday 11th.

A propos of this blog and the location of the holiday, fbb has been warned (by Isle of Wight Alan) that when he visited, the internet signal was of very poor quality, Had Alan wanted to communicate with the outside world, he would have been forced to use the telephone ...
... a high tech system with which older readers may be familiar.

Alternatively, Alan could use writing on a post card ...
... affix (technical term) a postage stamp and let Royal Mail deliver it to a remote recipient.

Again, older readers may vaguely remember this antiquated system. Alan did neither, being unfamiliar with historic technicalities.

When fbb was a lad, he was, briefly, part of Weston Favell Scout Troop. It was impressed on him by the Scout Leader (a k a "Skip") that he should always ...
Accordingly, fbb has downloaded a Scouts wall plaque.
The old man intends to pre-publish some brief blogs to cover the eventuality that internet in foreign parts is still unreliable.

Two such are nearly complete.

 Next Heathrow blog : Thursday 7th September 


  1. FBB will be familiar, from his role in Crusader Bible Class camps, of the request for each camper to bring with them a pre-stamped postcard, to be written on arrival and immediately sent back home to say how the journey had gone. With luck the cards might have made an evening postal collection!