Leigh Park – Is fbb Chicken?

Yesterday, fbb seemed unwilling to look more closely the history of buses to Leigh Park, north of Havant. He claimed that it was all too complicated for a short blog, and too complicated for his weary brain.
It is unusual for fbb to flinch at an omnibological challenge BUT …
Here is just a sample map of Portsmouth Corporation buses to Leigh Park …

… and here are Southdown buses to Leigh Park …

… both arbitrary samples with no attempt to choose particular dates.

And here is today’s Stagecoach network, for comparison purposes.

The RED route is numbered 39.

fbb is grateful to Portsmouth Alan for providing a link to a very thorough set of histories. With ice pack and tranquillisers at the ready, fbb might just attempt a digest of the main events.
But to the matter in hand …
(Non) Changes From September 3rd.
Here is an extract from the current First bus timetable …

… and here the new version from Stagecoach.

Spot the difference!! The route runs from a nice little turning circle at Tipner …

… to the Tesco Extra near Fratton Park footy stadium.

It is the only bus service that ventures to the front door of the store on Fratton Way …

… although there are other routes nearby. fbb did ask about the reason for the 12. His former colleague Peter (who does some public transport work for Portsmouth City) proffered some rxplanation.

It serves that part of Tipner by the Park & Ride serving residents for whom Twyford Avenue or Northern Parade are too far to walk …

… with links to North End Lidl and Iceland and other shops. It also provides a bus service for Chichester Road …

… as it’s a long way between London Road and Copnor Road. Tesco and St Mary’s Hospital, which does some of the stuff that QA doesn’t are desired traffic objectives.

Chichester Road is just one small part of a huge area of older terraced housing at Copnor …

… which, apart from the 12, is only served at the edges. But a few scattered hourly journeys would seem inadequate for such a splodge of population. Some form of “scissors movement” with the much more frequent 2s and 3s would seem a better solution.
There comes a stage when an infrequent bus service becomes so unattractive that it fades and dies. How long will the 12 last?
SERVICE 13 and 14
First shows this mega loop as two separate services! which is misleading. Here is an extract for First Bus 13 …

… with no indication that buses continue past Portsmouth College – or is it Baffins?

Stagecoach lumps the 13 and 14 together but with too few point times to assist users.

But now you can clearly see that each service is actually almost a true circular …

… with only a tiny bit (Arundel Road) as a very small handle to a large lollipop. Whilst First used to run all the way to The Hard interchange, First and the new Stagecoach 13 and 14 only run to the city centre. Pity First’s map is wrong!

On balance, from an outsiders point of view and thus helpful for attracting new users, it would be better io show 13 and 14 as separate circulars. Baffins/College is not even the mid point of the circle, with journeys shown as 18 minutes or 30 minutes according to direction.
First Bus might have got a few more customers if they had bothered to admit that their map did include the 14, not just the 13. 
And First seems unwilling throughout to admit to the circular nature of the route.

First doesn’t help you if you wanted to get from Locksway Road to Copnor Bridge! It implies incorrectly that you have to change from a 13 to a 14 at beautiful Baffins.

The new Stagecoach map is equally unclear, seeming to offer similar information to First Bus but with even less detail!.

It Stagecoach is running the 13 and 14 as circulars, then we need 13s and 14s all the way round supplemented by directional arrows.

More work needed.

A strange one this. Until March this year the 18 was a commercial service …

… tunning every 30 minutes Monday to Friday and hourly Saturday and Sunday. Then First win a short term tender until now.

It runs to Southsea and does not serve Portsmouth Centre or The Hard (Gunwharf Quays). Presumably it dates from the days when Southsea was a shopping centre almost equal in importance to that at Commercial Road Portsmouth. 
Here is the near identical Stagecoach timetable.

Currently, Paulsgrove is well served by buses with the 2 and the 3 being the “main line” routes running every 10 mins (2) and every 12 mins (3)

The 18 is thus the poor relative. But, on the ground, it looks like “good bus territory” at Hillsley Road …
… and Wymering / Allaway Avenue.
Hourly does not seem frequent enough!

Note, in passing, that First’s map uses the traditional “Hillsley Road” as the terminus name of the 18, which is what the buses show …

…  but neither First nor Stagecoach keep up the tradition in their timetables. They use Almondsbury Road!
But another First map maintains total anonymity at the 18 terminus!
Consistency, please.
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