Friday 17 May 2024

Happily Working in High Wycombe (3)

Complications At Cressex

Once you would have enjoyed an Arriva bus on High Wycombe's Park and Ride.

In 2019, the service (now operated by Carousel) ...
... was reorganised and became route 8 incorporating buses to Cressex. Back then the route ran every 20 minutes.
The Park and Ride site is close to the  M40 junction at Handy Cross.
No amounts of clicking and prodding on Google Maps would reveal what buses and coaches serve the Coachway a k a Park and Ride.
The current bus service is provided by toute 8 which also serves housing at Cressex hence the branding on this Carousel bus.
Also on the site is a Waitrose which was supposed to look like this ...
... but actually looks much more boring, like this.
There is also a large leisure centre, equally slab-;ole in appearance!
So there ought to be plenty of reasons for going by bus and thus a frequent service to encourage the use of public transport.

Every 20 minutes is not frequent enough to achieve that.

And here is an extract from the combined Arriva and Carousel network map.
This shows an 8 (as per bus picture above), an X8, a 28 and a 28A. The 8, 28 and possibly the 28A all serve Cressex ...
... but the X8 does not.

So next we can look at the information from Carousel's web site, now in corporate GoAhead style. We can call up a PDF route map ...
... which confirms what we understood from the network map.

But the timetable shows only 8X buses in the morning peak - nothing from Cressex apart from an occasional 28; which seems a little unfortunate for those that live there.
But wait! What about travelling FROM High Wycombe?
It's a loop innit? And badly shown, surely?

You would think that the 0818 arrival at the Coachway on service 8 via Cressex (lower table) would be the 0822 X8 departure; and so on. So why no Cressex times on the X8 table?

Later, there is an occasional mention of a bus from Cressex into town ...
... but nowhere near the 20 minute frequency that fbb thinks is operated.

And what are those short working from Coachway to Cressex? They are also service 28 ...

... although why an obviously rural route that just happens to pass the Coachway should be included with a Park and Ride route is a mystery.

What a mess.
The 28 does a little tour of new housing at Lane End ...
... then sets off on a large one way loop to far away places with strange sounding names; and with lots of Ends. The 28A omits the loop at Lane End.

The end point of the 28 is given as Stokenchurch.
In fact ths route doesn't quite reach the pulsating heart if that community because it turns back towards Hgh Wycombe via a newish road (called, inventively, New Road) on the eastern edge of the village.
At least the loopiness of the 28 timetable is shown correctly!
It is not the only bus via Stokenchurch.  That privilege goes to Red Rose 40 ...
... with an hourly headway which also serves Stokenchurch village!
But because the chumminess between Arriva and Carousel does not extend to Red Rose, the 40 does not appear on the network map. Poor.

Not that long ago it was a Carousel route ...
... branded Link 40.

Stokenchurch has one notable non transport claim to fame. It has a Post Office Tower. Like its big brother in London, it once carried "horns" which, so we were told, handled thousands oif telephone calls.
The towers were tall because, back in the pre-satellite days of the 1960s, microwaves needed a "line of sight" to the next relay station. Such a carbuncle was not welcomed in the well heeled county of Bucks where many bucks bought opulent isolation from the ills of the real world.

Objectors were told the tower would be pretty (it wasn't when built) ...
... and not very tall (it was when built!). Although fbb was too young to understand at the time, it is likely that planning permission was not a problem. If it was required it was a rubber stamp job "in the National interest".

Later the horns were replaced with microwave dishes ...
... and now, the tower is almost empty of attachments.
Ot is it?

Back in the early days of this network (coded "backbone") it was obvious that you did not need hulking great towers for a few piffling phone circuits, and they certainly did not need to be "secret".

Apparently, it was said, the towers were "hardened" against nuclear attack and they were actually built to link Civil and Military Defence (and attack) sites across the UK. In the event of Nuclear Wat, there would be a need to control and manage the population and this network would provide he necessary means of communication after everything else was fried.

Of course, nowadays this could all be twaddle - but if so, why has the London BT Tower been removed from Ordnance Survey maps? A potent question for the conspiracy theorists. You wouldn't want the Ruskies to find it!

And why is the driveway to the Stokenchurch Tower overgrown and totally secretive?
And why, they ask, does the "backbone" take a very wiggly route along the backbone of the UK?
Some of this stuff is still secret as oer thevsign to the Kelvedon Hatch bunker.

The good news is that the possibly secret Stokenchurch Tower IS marked on maps, sometimes anonymously ...
... but usually named.
And buses stop nearby!
Red Rose 40 is outside the scope of these blogs, but the 275 will feature in tomorrow's piece - as will Carousel's service 1 group.

Such fun!

 Next Carousel blog : Saturday 18th May 

1 comment:

  1. Andrew Kleissner17 May 2024 at 15:49

    If you go to Bing Maps and take the 1:25000 OS option, you'll find the BT Tower in London clearly marked. Not however on the 1:50000.