Friday 12 April 2024

Croyfun in Croydon (3)

We Will Have A London-Style System

The noise emanating from the Mega Metro Mayoral Minstrels is almost deafening. What the public needs is a transport system just like London's; under Local Control with the Authority setting timetables and fares and the nasty commercial operators, in it for the profit, just turning up and running the buses. (P.S. and the trams and the trains!)

Actually, the operators will still be making a profit, possibly a bigger profit than they did under the "commercial" regime.

Leaving aside the fact that Steve (left) and Tracy (right) haven't  started yet and the embarrassing fact that Andy (centre) has had some pretty disappointing experiences with his hugely successful (Ha Ha) take-over, fbb does wonder whether they know what London is like.

So fbb would really aim to take all three to Haywards Heath to share No 3 son's recent experience of the astoundingly wonderful Transport for London. Regular readers of this blog might note just a smidgen of cynicism lying in the background here.

Surely not?

Just over a week ago, the lad was invited to a wedding. The register office happening was on Wednesday morning followed by a celebratory lunch.

No 3 son would travel from Haywards Heath to Beckenham ...
... after work on Tuesday. 

Initial cartographic investigation suggested an option would be to go by train to Croydon and thence onwards by tram with a path every 10 minutes, no less.
Even northerners like Steve, Andy and Tracy ought to be able to manage that.


But No 3 son is make of wiser stuff. His papa has trained him to treat any on-line public transport information with polite suspicion - nay, even with impolite suspicion.

So, wisely, off he went to the TfL website ...
... where he was advised of a part closure of the tram.
And he obediently clicked on the bright green bit which told him that there was ...
... a part closure of the tram. Presumably the average user of TfL's web site is so thick they have to be told everything twice.
There then followed this paragraph ...
A second paragraph gave details of the alternatives of which fbb has selected the bits that apply to Beckenham.
There was a map which told you that ...
the part closure of the tram was in fact a 75% closure, and thus a very big part.
Counter-intuitively the attached map showed visually the closed part as open and the open part as closed.
Good, innit?

How would Steve, Andy and Tracy be coping at this stage?

Don't forget that TfL does not provide timetables for any of its "owned" services and that includes the Croydon trams. 

The Elizabeth Line line and the Overground are national rail lines operated on their behalf by TfL so timetables are available oin-line.

For the record, the New Addington tram runs evey 7/8 minutes ...
... the Elmers End route runs every 10 minutes ...
and the Beckenham Junction service.  every 10 minutes.
This gives a tram every 5 minutes from Arena to Wimbledon. Times, as usual, courtesy of the wonderful Robert Munster.

At this point, having grasped the thrice given warning, No 3 son telephoned his dear papa. After some discission about alternative routes by rail via London ...
... and some debate about the multiplicity of stations in the Beckenham area, the lad decided to risk the replacement bus.

Neither TfL nor Robert Muster has the  replacement bus timetables, but there is always the TfL journey planner ...
... which, unlike Traveline, did know about replacement buses; but failed offer any timetables. 

fbb was really impressed with one TfL option, namely all the way by bus
Needless to say, No 3 son spent a few happy micro seconds considering this latter option of a ride of over three hours!

Good, innit!

As previously revealed, No 3 was aiming for Beckenham Road tram stop ...
... but which he now knew would have to be Beckenham Road tram stop bus stop.
Fortunately this really is the same place!
But neither he, nor we, knew that at this stage.

So tomorrow we will see how the trip panned out and (spoiler alert) Steve, Andy and Tracy would not stand a chance.

Weekend Variety will follow on Sunday and, possibly. Monday.

 Next Croyfun blog : Saturday 13th April

1 comment:

  1. The aspirations of the northern mayors are to have the same powers over buses as does TfL, not necessarily to exercise them in the same way.