Friday, 15 August 2014

I'm Driving Backwards for Christmas

There's a Spike Milligan song from the "Goon Show", which is called "I'm walking backwards for Christmas". I thought of this with the new proposals for the Winter bus time table which has the bus go anti-clockwise rather than clockwise around Corbiere.

A bus stop is a sign to the public that a bus is along that route. So if the proposals go ahead, new signage will need to be painted on the road, and the old signage will have to be removed. Any vertical poles (although there are few on this part of the route) will also need to be changed. If the experiment is not a success, the whole process will need to be reversed. And the stop number system will have to be adjusted on the computer systems.

This reminds me of when Liberty Bus arrived and apparently because of the transport Minister's desire for changes, a number 15 went all the way through the Tunnell to part of the East. As the 15 to the airport was often a double-decker, it involved changes for passengers at Liberation station. It also meant more delays for the number 15.

Is this new change electioneering by the Transport Minister? I am sure that would be "officially denied"!

The better solution would be to have "through tickets" for destinations rather than routes. Hence one ticket could have taken you in to town from the West, and on another bus to the East, with appropriate fares. This would improve matters with St Brelade / St Peters, so that residents could visit the St Peter's Garden Centre and the Bowling / Rugby on one ticket, with one fare. UK bus companies have had "through tickets" based on destination rather than route for some time.

Here is a Parishioner's response (which has come my way, and is not mine) on the proposed routes:

Ref. Winter timetable changes. Invitation to comment
As a resident of St. Brelade, I comment only of those routes affecting the Parish

12, 12A, 12X (and 15)

1. I hope it has not escaped the attention of LibertyBus that there are NO bus stops on the anti-clockwise route around Corbiere? Further, if this matter has been considered, I am surprised that there has not been any consultation with the residents prior to your announcement to ascertain their views more directly. I am sure many may prefer that routing, however…

2. With the routes apparently terminating at Corbiere, will this mean that passengers destined for stops between Corbiere and La Rue des Camps have an enforced delay in their journey in addition to an extended journey? How might this also affect fare structures? Could I suggest that it may be better that the route was ascribed as La Moye via Corbiere thus treating the Corbiere stop as a waypoint not a termination point or specific destination.

3. In relation to (2) it is also noted that the X12 travels out from St. Helier in the mornings empty – ‘not in service’. Likewise the return evening service travels back to town empty. This is surely a total waste of resource? Similarly, at other times the 12 often terminates at Corbiere and runs back to St. Helier displaying ‘not in service’. Perhaps if that is to continue the reasoning might be explained?

4. While accepting the X12 is primarily a commuter service into St. Helier, it is useful in linking the La Moye and Quennevais areas with the airport and facilities/businesses along the Airport Road and Avenue de la Reine. A similar service outside of normal commuter hours would we useful addition to the services offered. As a La Moye resident, there is no convenient service to the airport without changing buses and a walk between stops nor links to the other widely patronised facilities in St. Peter.

Although not forming part of the revised schedules, the following matters I also bring to your attention:

1. The timings of the 12, 12A and 15 often mean that two or more of these routes run almost in convoy into St. Aubin especially on return journeys to St. Helier. That in turn leaves wide gaps between bus services. As you are do doubt aware, that can be the source of frustration to many passengers, especially those travelling into St. Helier, on a Friday and Saturday night when the village is at its most popular. As a result large numbers of over-exuberant people build up at the St. Aubin N stop in particular regularly resulting in some rowdyism. That often spills onto the buses themselves as I am sure your drivers will confirm.

2. There also occurs a secondary problem insofar that when routes do converge on what is often an extended stop at St. Aubin N, the space available with a single lay-by is insufficient to accommodate two buses. That can lead to traffic congestion and heightens frustrations.

Therefore time-re-scheduling on routes 12, 12A and 15 would, I feel, be beneficial; or alternatively on these busier occasions (or in addition to) a relief service be applied during the hours 10pm – 12.30 am on Fridays and Saturdays such that the frequency is every 15 minutes. At present gaps can be up to twice that, sometimes longer.


James said...

Is this new change electioneering by the Transport Minister?

No. Blatantly it isn't.

Bear in mind that the minister is a Deputy representing St Saviour, and look at the swingeing cuts being imposed on the 13 service which serves that parish!

TonyTheProf said...

Unless he is looking to stand as Senator, of course.

Mark Forskitt said...

Still no grasp of the concept of a bus service that goes where people need to go. Stuck with the mentality of get the commuters in to and out of town, and something for the tourists to get to (selected) places of interest in the summer.

If you are in St Ouen or St Mary the nearest facilities such as library, swimming pool etc are at Les Quennevais. The secondary school covering that catchment area is there too. Yet apart from a specific school bus there is no service. I cannot even get a bus to meet my son after school, or for him to do after school activities and get home without going into town and back out here. Most unsatisfactory. I expect to have something to say about that in October ;)