But First …

Modellers’ Royal Aspirations

According to the recent TV programme, Hornby sold the whole of their production of the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee loco even before one single model arrived from the manufacturers’ in China. Oddly, their class 66 for today’s event is only available to members of the Hornby Collector Club.
It is a bog-standard model, quite old, but in an attractive purple livery.

Order it today and …

… you will get it in the autumn. At £130 its a good price by todays frightening standards.

Strange that it is not available to all.
Then Corgi, also part of the Hornby empire, are offering a Borismaster in “Royal” blue. 
At £12 don’t’ expect the detail and quality of mainstream bus models of today, now retailing at between £50 and £60 – super OUCH!
Meanwhile in London …
… Roger French noticed a bit of clean-up work by Transport for London bus shelter spit and polishers.

These stops are on Westminster Bridge which isn’t on today’s ceremonial route.

Wherever the shelters are, fbb is pretty certain that HMK will have other things on his mind and not be unduly concerned about a few mucky bus sheyters.

“Bus shelters?” quoth his maj, “What are they. One doesn’t normally travel by bus. One prefers other transport on special occasions. One prefers electrically driven windows, air con and suspension stabilisers.”

“Camilla has advised lots of cushions in the old girl for the ride back!”

Guards Are Back On Our Trains …

… for a quick trip to Victoria for a practice!

Oadby : Oh Dear! Part 2
Whilst wrestling with his self-busted laptop, fbb did highlight the poor quality of timetables on the otherwise excellent and comprehensive Leicester Buses web site.

Oadby caught fbb’s eye; (a) because he has ridden the services, albeit before the latest route change and (b) because Arriva’s presentation is always so utterly awful.

The schedule FROM Leicester …

… is only shown as running to Sandhurst Street which, as we know from yesterday’s blog, is just off the A6 at the start of the main shopping street, The Parade.

But surely the outward timetable should show you where the buses go, NOT just as far as an arbitrary computer generated time point? The inward route, of course, starts at Sandhurst Street.

But it isn’t.
This is Sandhurst Street just off the A6 …
… a junction much changed but with its name plate on the end building, above the number plate shop.

As a shot above shows, the bus layby is most definitely on The Parade. 

Nuff Said.
Here is the TO Leicester timetable extract …

… littered with empty space and not at all easy to match with the outward times as many morning trips start at The Parade.

So, surely it is better to show the route as a “circular” thus making the operation much clearer. And that is what fbb has done here.

But, we hear you cry, the 31 does not mention Sandhurst Street (or even The Parade) as it wends its way into the city. Does that mean it doesn’t stop there.

It does stop there; and, remember (?), fbb showed a huddle of passengers waiting thereat in the previous blog.
So where is Oadby ASDA? The stop is, technically, the equivalent of Sandhurst Street and it is located just out on the A6. 
As it is marked on the road as a “Bus Stand” you have to assume that buses “wait time” there. Bet they don’t! ASDA is on the opposite side of the terrifying A6 weil hidden in the trees …
… and thus not the most useful landmark.
So fbb recommends naming both inbound and outbound stops as The Parade which is where most people want to get on or off.
A quick look on-line (c/o Streetview) suggests that the same stop name in both directions at Stoneygate is feasible. So, Stoneygate Knighton Road seems more helpful than the duality on Arriva’s list of place names.

(Knighton Road is the yellow bit) and the outbound stop is here …

… with the inbound stop on the Leicester side of the junction. Also almost at the junction is Stoneygate Baptist Church, which fbb has, many aeons ago, visited.

You can’t miss it.

The railway station is, oddly, missing on the inbound route and you would have thought that it might be an important “traffic objective” in both directions.
So fbb has made all those changes …

… with apologies for the red wiggly lines. fbb forgot how to get rid of them!

And separate tables for the evening service …

… and the peak hour X31.

Incidentally, Arrive also includes the X31 with their service X3 from Market Harborough – which is where it really belongs.

It is odd that Arriva thinks their X31 terminates at a different Haymarket bus station – fbb didn’t know Leicester had two!

One further sophistication is really needed. There are insufficient time points on the huge wiggly route through the estates. But sorting those out is beyond fbb’s pay grade! If Leicester Buses ere really keen to do a first rate job for their passengers, then this route does need a better set of times to define more clearly the difference between 31 and 31E..

Oh, all roght. If there is a bit of spare time over the weekend, fbb might have a go.

Happy Hoppy Happenstance

News from Leicester that on Thursday last this free city centre bus route carried 935 passengers; yet the bosses were thrilled with an earlier total of 400!

 Next Variety blog : Sunday 7th May 
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