Arriva Knows All? Arriva Knows Nothing!

Here is the Arriva supervisor for Leighton Buzzard hard at work.
There is no doubt that the D1 Dash Direct no longer dashes to Sandhills; it has been replaced by the L1 Lurching Indirect, as it happens.. fbb does wonder whether there were plans for more Ds dashing around Leighton Buzzard. 
Instead, the new network uses L route designations with no brand. And no orange!

If you are clever enough, or maybe lucky enough in the Arriva web site journey of mystery and misdirection, you may be fortunate enough to find a timetable for the L1. If you do you will note that its heading explains …

… that it runs “through” Sandhills and Roman Gate. The network map confirms this.
Indeed the above map confirms what Arriva suggested was happening to the D1 …
… but never did. Indeed (again!) Arriva has an on-line map showing the D1 as indubitably running via Roman Gate!
Of course it never did!
Arriva’s timetable shows an hourly service on the L1, so it is a 50% reduction from the heady homely days of the D1. 
This is not quite the meaning of “improved services” in fbb’s understanding of the English language. And he should know – he used to be an English teacher!
There is now a Sunday service but no mention of train connections!

But, here it is again; Arriva’s CURRENT map showing buses via Sandhills and Roman Gate.

And that is the way Roger French’s L1 went as he tried out the new network back in May. His bus ambled gently along Bellona Way …
… veered right into Moneta Way …
and ran out of road!

The above is what appears on Streetview but for Recent  Roger, the barriers were a bit more obvious.

Grovebury Road leading to Grovebury Road, another bit thereof, (and, eventually, to the retail park) was simply and obviously  not there. All the L1 could use was a thin and unsuitable track. Had Roger explored Grovebury Road from the other end …
… he would have been equally frustrated.
There is no road; which is why Roger’s L1 was sadly impeded. Why the driver of said L1 had not been informed that the L1 could not go that way is both a mystery and oh so typical of modern bus management. 

In due course Central Bedfordshire council is creating a “Bus Link” with an L1 bus stop attached …

… bit it isn’t quite ready yet!
Maybe someone should have told Arriva, then their timetable and the driver would show and go the right way, respectively.

But, hey, it IS Arriva!

But somebody knew. Roger spotted “closed” bus stop signs at Roman Gate …

… and several on-line timetable mongers get it right …
… and even the sainted Traveline shows that the L1 as using the old D1 route via Chartmoor Road.
The time point is at “Eden Way (opp)” but it is Chartmoor Road, honest.
Really, somebody should have told Arriva! 
Perhaps they have, now.

As a result of the incompetence, Roger’s bus was back at the station 19 minutes late. The L1 becomes an L4 so that was very late as well. Did the service ever catch up?

In his blog Rog asks a pertinent question. “Where were the supervisory staff to supervise these new services?’ Where was Blakey when he was most needed?

Good Question.

Of coure we don’t need on-the-road inspectors any more; we have satellite tracking and very clever ticket machines plus sophisticated computer scheduling, so nothing can possibly go wrong.

Just like the new network in Leighton Buzzard.

fbb’s “contrast and compare” will continue later in the week. Hopefully it will be less complicated.

Hopefully?

Another L1?

Of course, all our readers are familiar with the crest of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway Company Managing Committee and its locomotives.

Surely our readers will recognise instantly their class D1

… and their very different class L1.
Older readers with good model railway memories may remember that Triang made a model of the L1 which was introduced way back in 1960.
It only lasted until 1967, just creeping in to the Triang Hornby era; but it was never re-issued after that.

Anyay, all will be revealed in one or other of our Variety blogs, due on Sunday and Monday.

 Next Variety blog : Sunday 4th June 

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