Thursday 28 March 2024

By Stagecoach To Unuversity (1)

Half Empty Or Half Full? (A)

fbb has recently received TWO accounts of the take-over by Stagecoach of Uni's former Uno services for the University of Northampton.  One came from Northampton Alan who, frankly did hot think much of Stagecoach when compared with their predecessor Uno.

The other was from Roger French who, although looking at the same situation, seemed altogether more positive.

Who was right? In order to get there we need to make something of a journey.

When fbb lived there, as he did for over 20 years, no one had ever thought of the borough as a budding university town. But because governments wanted everyone to go to university, to reduce unemployment rather than educate the masses, there had to be lots of new universities.

In the case of Nothampton, as with many other burgeoning hotbeds of Academe, the University was simply a rebranded post 18 college. There were two campuses.
One was in St George's Avenue facing the Racecourse which hadn't been a racecourse since 1904! Apparently the corners were too tight and there were many accidents.
The row of houses is East Park Parade ...
... on the Kettering Road. It was here that fbb's family attended their doctor's surgery!

The "Pavilion" still stands, looking much better now ...
... than it did then.
The Avenue Campus ...
... wys developed from Northampton College of Technology and it is now demolished ... 
... for housing.
The second, and newer, campus was on the north eastern edge of the town in a delightful site right next to the Moulton Park Industrial Estate.
The figure of eight buildings are halls of residence and are all that remains of this area.
The whole shebang has been razed to the ground ...
... and has been replaced by housing, of course.
The University removed itself lock, stock and barrel to a brand new campus developed on a "brown field" site to the south of the town. And look at all those car parks!
Basically everything Uno Uni now runs to to the new southern campus except the non-University route 17.

But in the early days (e.g. 2012), there were only two routes. The 19 ran from the town centre via the Avenue Campus ...
... and on to the Park Campus. This was, therefore, a simpler service which everyone could understand. Also serving the Park Campus was the 18.
This served a "branch office" at Moulton (understandable) but also ran to the Weston Favell mega Tesco (less understandable).

By 2017 things are a bit more confusing.
We have a 19 and a 19A both via the original route serving both sites; we have a 21 to Park Campus avoiding the Avenue Campus. The 19 continues on the former 18 route to Moulton  ...
... and south to the Weston Favell Centre, posh name for Tesco!
Other shops are available!
As if that wasn't confusing enough, 19s also ran to the station and Sixfields Park and Ride!
And here is a 19 passing the station on its happy way back into town and far beyond!

By 2020, with buses now running to the new southern campus, we have an 18 and a 19 (RED blob) ...
... and a 20 (BLUE) which, if fbb's memory is correct, was a sort of Town Centre circular which nobody used! fbb cannot be certain about the date. The route via Moulton disappeared.

But certainly by 2020, the main route 19 and 19A had changed.
The 19 ran "direct" and the 19A via Avenue Campus. But Avenue campus was being demolished so had no students. 

Seemples. Withdraw the 19A and make them all 19s.

This was not greeted with enthusiasm by residents alongside the Racecourse ot by those in Kingsley!

So Northampton Council did a deal with Uno to put the 19A back! And this was the situation immediately before the Stagecoach take-over.

So over the Uno years the Northampton University network had hardly been stable. Whether the repeated changes were at the behest of the Uni ot whether they were an attempt by the Uno to squeeze a bit of extra revenue to mitigate a "difficult financial environment" is not clear. Commercial confidentiality can hide a multitude of sins.

So, tomorrow, fbb will try to evaluate Northampton Alan's views of the change and those of Roger French and add his three pennorth to the melange.
Some of the word pictures of the attack and destruction of Jerusalem are grim. The Romans were merciless.
Without any doubt the owner of the vineyard had taken it away from the tenants. They only got Jerusalem back over 900 years later.

But the visions of the end of time are even more telling. It does indeed speak of the end of everything.
Being "gathered", being one of the CHOSEN, seems the best option.
For Jesus and his followers it was going to get a bit hot in there.
  Next Northampton Uni blog : Friday 29th March 

No comments:

Post a Comment