Wednesday 17 April 2024

Mysteries Manifesting At Millsands (3)

The Mystery Of The 83 (Or 83a)??

We now know that the old industrial Millsands has gone and in replaced by smart (?) office blocks and flats. A two bed flat in the above complex will cost between £140,000 and £180,000 according to on-line sites.

fbb dreads to think how much the offices will cost!

We also know that there is a FREE bus into the the city centre (SC2) every 20 minutes, seven days a week, which seems a bit on the lavish side as the young trendies who live there are more likely to have a car hidden away somewhere; or be happy to save the planet by walking.

So why do we have TWO departure lists for a service 83 at the stops as seen in yesterday's blog.
Now there's a story to tell!

Under the Sheffield Bus non-Partnership, the 83/83a was joint between the ever loving chums of First Bus (83) and Stagecoach (83a) and the joint part of it ran every 10 minutes from Ecclesfield in the north of the city through to Hunters Bar (south west) where the service split.
fbb only has an old timetable extract for the opposite direction but his astute readers will surely manage to get the idea!

First 83 ran to Greystones on a traditional long-standing route that had, as is necessary in modern bus management, a whole range of route numbers from 74, through 83 and 84, 81 and 88A and back to a simple 83.
The other "half" frequency, Stagecoach 83a, ran to Fulwood and Lodge Moor, there joining frequent route 120.
On the way back down the hill the 83a passed the former Sheffield residence of your aged blogger; but, back then, there only was the 120 and it was numbered 60!
Only 40 years ago! Yikes!

Then the joint 83/83a service reduced to every 15 minutes and slowly became ludicrously uncoordinated. Surprisingly (!) the route lost even more passengers and First, with its usual skill and business acumen (??), pulled out completely.

The Greystones bit is now numbered 6!

Then the Stagecoach 83a was renumbered 83 and the frequency was further reduced to -- well you guess.
A shambles at very approximately every 30 minutes! Stagecoach also had a frenzy of withdrawing evening and Sunday services which, in this case, were won on tender by First.
Which is why, in the displays at Millsands, you have two 83 panels.
It is, of course, the same route, but, as First (helpful as ever) uses different timing points, the Deep Throat steam driven computer system at PTE Towers cannot possibly create a combined timetable.

The map on the PTE timetable non-leaflet doesn't really explain it properly. 
There are a couple of arrows on the full Sheffield network map ...
... but the outward arrow for the 83 is missing and there is no mention of Millsands.

Thanks to a combination of planning by the bus route gurus and planning by those who think up road schemes, it was difficult to get the 83/83a (now just 83) into the city and to the correct stops for its onward route whilst also using the same roads in both directions. So the 83 goes out of the city northbound via Nursery Street (map right)...
And inbound via Millsands (left). There is a river in the way!

And ne'er the twain shall meet!

But there is one solution. Between Nursery Street and the back alleys of Millsands used to be a footbridge across the River Don.
It was closed and boarded up by 1989!
Under the development of the new and trendy Millsands, the bridge has been replaced by something much more attractive and much less likely to collapse.
It links to the gardens at the northern end of the development ...
... and to a rather splendid riverside walkway where you can watch the ducks dabbling ...
... and the salmon leaping in the limpid blue waters of the mighty Don.
Maybe not quite yet! But it is certainly an almost unbelievable improvement from dreary dismal industrial days past.
Despite the footbridge, fbb doubts whether many tremdies use the 83 to get to and from Millsands!
They probably won't  be flocking to the SC2 either - but time will tell.

The fbb's are planning a "Royal Progress" to Sheffield in June and, while the Mrs fbb cat is away at a conference. the mouse-like fbb intends to play. 

His first ever visit to Millsands will be high on the agenda.

While Sheffielders are marvelling about Millsands there are the Wonderful Buildings at West Bar to Worry the Buses. And it is right next door to Millsands.

 Next Next Door To Millsands blog : Thur 18 April 

Puzzle Picture
If you know it, it was easy! fbb received an emailed correct answer at 0638 yesterday!
It is, as many of you will know, Stockwell bus garage in London.

The garage is in Stockwell, in the London Borough of Lambeth, and its opened in April 1952. At the time of construction it was Europe's largest unsupported roof span. The garage provides 73,350 sq ft of unobstructed parking space and could originally house 200 buses, required at a time when the last trams were being replaced by buses.
It hasn't changed much!
But, shock of all shocks, the sign on the wall is NOT in a proper London Transport font.

1 comment:

  1. The historic footbridge illustrated is still in situ, now in the middle of the roundabout at the Bridgehouses end of Corporation Street. It has been partly restored. The new Nursery Street footbridge hasn't replaced it, and is located about 300 metres downstream, roughly halfway between Corporation Street and Lady's Bridge.