Tuesday 23 April 2024

Surveying Sensible Swansea (2)

It Seemed A Good Idea At The Time

In 2017 bus routes to The Mumbles (area) were flashed yellow and (possibly) branded "Metro".
Basically there was a 2 & 2A mixed up with a 3 & 3A with different destinations on different day sets, usually evenings and Sundays, Because of the yellow colour on the old map it is too much of a challenge for fbb to try and sort them out, especially without the timetables that have long since been replaced.

But, to save you much investigation, the routes that replace the Mumbles Railway ...
... are still the 2 & 2A, 3 & 3A in 2024 - although there have been a myriad changes since 1960 when the train (it is NOT a tram!!) closed.

So because the route along the sea front is one travelled by fbb, the old man thought it would be a good basis for examining First Cymru ("Swansea") buses in detail.

And So To The First Cymru Web Site
It follows the same pattern as every other First Bus web site but the Google headline entry for Swansea does at least encourage you to get to what you want to know rather than ploughing through acres of stuff you don't want to know.

We have already seen that the PDF timetables are appalling, but what about the "front line" presentation?

fbb will start with the current 3 and 3A; chosen because they are changing at the beginning of May.

Well, here we have route 3 from Swansea to Bracelet Bay ... 
... and return.
Then we have separate tables for the 3A, also Swansea to Bracelet Bay ...
... and return.
The 3A has two extra time points at West Cross (Shops) and Moorside Road, but otherwise looks much the same.

So why are they two tables for what is two parts of the same service?

The super smashing good news is that First Cymru offers individual route maps for lots of their services - maybe ALL of their services; fbb has not checked them all!
On the current route map, the 3A is a paler version of the 3's bright red. 

If we enlarge the Mumbles area ...
...we see that the 3A diverts via West Cross, which warrants a look on Google Maps.  

The estate appears to be of 1960s vintage, with a co-op ...
... a church ...
... and lots of 1960s style semis.
But what is slightly baffling web-site-wise is that when you go to "route maps" as per the headline page as shown above, the first thing you find is a timetable

What is more, it is a well presented timetable showing both the 3 and the 3A together.

How very sensible!
The 3A runs via West Cross which we have experienced above, but the 3 manages to get to Bracelet Bay ...
... without calling at Oystermouth Square!
Bit never mind, eh? It does stop there on the way back,
Maybe someone has built  flyover since Google Streetview was there?

Or maybe the nice timetable, much admired by fbb, is actually WRONG!

But, from May 6th, the 3/3A is changed for the better and for the simpler!
Everything becomes a 3A; and West Cross gets a half hourly service (which it probably had in 2017 with the 2/2A).
And, joy of Oyster joy, it does now call at Oystermouth Square in both directions.
It is worth recording that the old 3/3A calls at the University (fbb remembers the hours of utter tedium enjoying the debate on consolidated motions - NOT!) ...
... and Singleton Hospital ...
... as per the old map.
... so does the new 3A.
That loop will become important when fbb explores the 2/2A in tomorrow's blog.

The excitement knows no bounds.

 Next Sensible Swansea blog : Weds 24th April 

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