The Leicester Buses “Partnership”

But how much of a “Partnership” is it? It certainly has posh bus stop flags with the logo proudly disolayed.

And the information at stops served by multiple routes seems to be up to date – a rarity in many towns and cities.

An innocent observer could be forgiven for thinking that “Leicester Buses” was the operator of all the buses in Leicester. But you soon see that it isn’t. A quick gance from your personal helicopter reveals a wide range of liveries and operators.

On-line, the Leicester Buses web site has a crudely cobbled together collection of different operators’ bus timetable pages, but with the one redeeming feature of a unified network map. The current version shows the area of Thurnby Lodge in comprehensive detail.

Finding it, however, is not intuitive. Which one of these panels would you click for a map of Leicester buses’ routes?

Leicester Bus Guide? NO

The Big Bus Plan? NO
Flexi Area Map? YES

Obvious, isn’t it? But at least it is there. But, go to the operators’s web sites and you will find First Bus at Thurnby Lodge …

… Centrebus at Thurnby Lodge …

… and Arriva at Thurnby Lodge.

Yes, that’s right, Arriva cannot be bothered with any network maps.

Why isn’t there a copy of the full network map on each operator’s web site?

And here is Arriva’s timetable for its route to Thurnby Lodge.

And Centrebus advertises its route 40 …

… TWICE! And with different versions of the timetable. 
The ORANGE 40 Monday to Friday (and other days separately) …

… has an odd Tuesday only journey (note “T”) – oh it doesn’t mean that!

But the GREEN 40 timetable mixes up Monday to Friday and Saturday in a very confusing way.

… but it doesn’t really matter as the times are different anyway!

Both are called “Orbital” as well as “40” The 40 does serve Thurnby Lodge although the name isn’t on the map

… and it doesn’t serve Scraptoft although that name IS on the map.

Which leaves us with the First Bus on-line timetable for Thurnby Lodge. The news is initially not good.

What are those nine digit numbers? The average timetable looker-up has no idea.  And we’ve got:-

Three Haymarket Bus Stations
Three Thurnby Lodges
Three Uppingham Roads
Two Netherhall Roads

Maybe the actual timetable helps?

Hmmm? Not a lot!

But do fbb’s ARMD aged eyes deceive him? Can that column heading be really true? Is First bus advertising Arriva journeys?

NO, YES and YES!

Here is a rare example of partnership in action – although such wonders do not, of course, apply to Arriva’s web site which had no mention of its “partner”.
It will take fbb a while to recover from the shock …

… but he should have returned to something like normality in time to try to understand the 37, 38, 38A timetable. 

So the 53 …

… has been renumbered 37 to present a service in true partnership format! Is that why Arriva’s timetable (see above) says route 37/53 although there are no journeys numbered 53?

If only we could understand the timetable?
A “New” Carriage At Peterville Quarry
A while back, fbb thought he had purchased a Mark 1 Scotrail coach for Peterville. Mark 1 was the standard coached built in thousands point nationalisation and is the standard vehicle on preserved lines. 
But when it arrived it was a Mark 3 Scotail coach.

Instead of sending it back, fbb decided to keep it (it was very cheap) because of its construction. Although not entirely clear from the above, the coach sides are a single moulding of clear plastic with the coloured bits printed on.

This is a cheap and cheerful way to keep the glazing flush with the body panels but not entirely realistic at close range.  Note the crude coach end detail.

So fbb kept his eres open for a Mark 1 Scotrail coach. But all that appeared on the pre-owned listings is a “full brake”.

Even a vintage Lima model comes at a high price; the model is not of the best quality and Peterville Quarry Railway wants a coach to transport its paying OO gauge customers, not a van for non-existent parcels.

But then fbb spotted a Bachmann Regional Railways coach for about the same price as the Lima one above.

And Bachmann coaches are quality with a capital K. The window “glass” is not recessed …

… the corridor end is well modelled …

… as is the underframe.

The Commonwealth bogies look fine …

… and you get seats and corridor partitions.

There is even a representation of the “No Smoking” triangle on one of the compartments.

Of course, a modern coach would have even more detail and you would be able to read the text on that red triangle (with the help of a magnifying glass mayhap). But a modern model would cost £80 whereas fbb spent £35.

He is still looking for a Mark 1 Scotrail coach in Regional Railways style and at a reasonable price. Does such a thing exist?
 Next Thurnby Lodge blog : Thursday 11th May 
Generated by Feedzy