24 February 2008

To catch a bus (part 2)

First Devon and Cornwall 32759 WA54OLN

The above photo shows bus stop 3 outside Derriford Hospital. Bus Stop 3

Where do I begin?

Its now wonder that passengers and drivers often have a job working out which bus stops where. The route numbers displayed on the flag are out of date and incomplete. 52 appears twice, 7 appears 3 times, the 10 and the 39 are now First rather than Citybus, and who is Western National? Anyone new to Plymouth would never have heard of them! I will come to the Derriford issues in another post later so will ignore the whole 'Northbound' and 'Eastbound' issue for now.

Now things are changing at last:

Back in January 2007 Plymouth City Council awarded a tender to a company called Trueform Engineering for the following:

supply of modular bus stop poles/flags/timetable cases and associated infrastructure; and/or removal/disposal and installation of new pole and flag infrastructure (including ground works); and/or sleeving of existing pole, disposal of existing infrastructure and installation of new modular system bus-stop posts.

And what are we getting?

New bus stop outside McDonalds

Here is a new bus stop being modelled by my son!

New bus stop flags

Its certainly much neater than the older one above!

The useful addition of the text code for the next bus is noted. One of the problems I had at Derriford was not knowing the code to use. There is a timetable display panel (although in this case only First seem to serve the stop!) but its not as fancy as some in the Trueform portfolio. I just hope that as we see these spread across the City we do finally get them at Derriford and they will be kept accurate and not allowed to get to the state of the flag at the top of this posting.

Is the City Council starting to take bus passengers and public transport infrastructure seriously? Well the signs are good!


  1. I don't see why the council haven't used Real-time at Derriford.

    Others have said its because there are sooo many buses - but i still think it would help

    (especially when my journey home is full of 50's running NIS :()

    Whats' your opinion??

    dan :D

  2. The stops at Derriford are quite frankly laughable. The NHS trust keeps on pushing up car park prices and reducing staff spaces, to promote "a green commuting strategy" I'm sorry, but two terminally rusty shelters and some equally rusty and hugely out of date stops are not going to convince me out of my car..

    There really should be a covered terminal like those seen at park and ride sites, somewhere the old dears and people not at the best of health can sit away from the cold and wet. The amount of buses and people that use Derriford also as an interchange would be more then enough to justify it.

    Only one catch, The trust is absolutely skint and would never ever be able to afford it.. :(

  3. Citybus and First both use Omnitimes software. But last year there was a software update, This giving more templates for the timetables. Therefore Citybus being annoying changes there design from the one at grahams bus stop to the one in use now. First just updated the colours and the blocks around the Service Numbers!

  4. The text timetables are a waste of time, as all you get back is what's on the printed timetable posted on the stop, not RTI.

  5. I think its a mixture as you do certainly get some RTI on the text service. I am not sure how many buses have the equipment fitted as its not always the most accurate information but it is often RTI


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