07 January 2014

“What does it say on the front?”

If you have been out and about this week you may have noticed a slight difference in some of the destination displays in use on Plymouth Citybus routes. Many of the routes have new displays which have been designed to cut down on confusion that can be caused by the old via display that used to alternate with the main destination. An example of this use to happen at Asda. You check the destination and it says Via Leigham – but its actually on the way to Derriford – it has already been through Leigham! A few examples of the new displays are featured below thanks to Tom Michaels, who along with driver Michael Hudson designed the new displays. They also give their thanks to MD Richard Stevens who along with Peter Oliver and Mandy Jarvis gave them “unstinting support throughout the whole project”.

Plymouth Citybus Eclipse 102 WA12ACU is seen on Royal PArade on a very unusual trip on a 28 to Derriford! Plymouth Citybus Eclipse 108 WA12ADU is seen on Royal PArade on a very unusual trip on a 27 to Derriford! Plymouth Citybus SPD 37 T137EFJ lays over on Royal Parade on the first day of the 61A to Holly Park replacing the 43B. Plymouth Citybus SLF 72WA54JVV side destination

Public Transport Experience: Also at this somewhat inaudible sound-bite exravaganza, the building was named "North Gate Bus Station" to commemorate the non-event that the bus station is nowhere near where the north gate of the long-lost Northampton Castle might have been!

Andys Bus Blog: Following on from our well received previous look back at buses and coaches at Mildenhall Air Show in the 1980's

Norwich Buses Elsewhere within the Go-Ahead Group, Chambers and Hedingham are in the process of renumbering their fleets to fit in with Konect and Anglian's system.

Andys Bus Blog: some of the interesting variety of vehicles operated by Terrington St Clement and King's Lynn based Dacks and predecessor Rosemary Coaches.

Ian Visits Running under Hyde Park Corner is a road tunnel built in the 1960s to relieve congestion on the roundabout above, and sitting slap bang in the middle of Hyde Park Corner, surrounded by war memorials is a gigantic ventilation shaft to extract car pollution from below.

East Norfolk Bus Blog Today being Blue Monday, as the media call it, it was rather apt that some Anglian buses were getting that blue feeling too!


  1. Thanks for the posting Graham. The issue at Asda with Via Leigham you mention was one of the very first issues identified last year when first planning the project. Another troublesome one was 34 Via Stoke in both directions - this used to cause all sorts of confusion at the Royal William Yard/Durnford Street and the Torpoint Ferry - where the bus has to do the same loop in both directions inbound and outbound; in addition to seeing City Centre via Stoke 34 at the TP Ferry when the bus has already been through Stoke.

  2. I think Mike is doing a wonderful job in helping Citybus with their destination screens, it shows that he has a positive approach to customer service.

    However as a bus driver i can tell you that no matter what destination you put on the screen there will always be passengers who see a bus or a route number or letter where i drive and expect it to be their bus regardless.

    Looking away from the outside of the bus but to the inside as a driver and passenger, i think that major companies the southwest should invest in the I-Bus system that TFL set up to help passengers in their geographical needs as well as drivers who can inform passengers of any curtailments, diversions at the push of a button. This making travel a little bit easier for both drivers and passengers. In my opinion.

    But still in the mean time we will still have to put up with the majority of the passengers being ignorant when it comes to destination screens.

  3. Whatever you say, the new displays are far more helpful than the new standard in London, which is now to display ONLY the ultimate destination. When one thinks of the old three part displays in London, showing several lines of via points, you realise how far the capital has dropped in terms of useful on-bus displays.

    Well done, Tom, Mike and the team at Citybus.

  4. The 5/As have gone a step backwards now though, as before they used to have Elburton/Staddiscombe/Saltash via City Centre, plus plain Elburton/Staddiscombe/Saltash. So a bus from Plymstock could show Satash via City centre to Royal Parade, with plain Saltash after, and vice versa; with City centre meaning it was terminating in town. Now there's no via point people are letting it go passed as they don't think it goes into town. Some drivers are using City centre inbound then swapping at Royal Parade, but this is also confusing as to whether it terminates in town or carries on.

    1. This was changed at the request of Citybus - as you say, the original plan was for all routes to start off with a two line display, e.g. in this instance from Plymstock put up Saltash via City Centre. Once you pass the via point, then change to a one-line static display, e.g. just Saltash. It was a great idea in theory however it was rightfully accepted that it wasn't really working - many drivers were still leaving up Saltash/Staddiscombe via City Centre. Hence why the 21/21A destinations just have Barne Barton, City Centre and Chaddlewood/St Maurice. Putting prompts/notes in the drivers duty cards was considered, e.g. in the timetable for each trip on say a 21, underneath Royal Parade[A2] arr 1143 (for example) would be a note saying 'CHANGE BLINDS TO BARNE BARTON STATIC' or similar. However, as I'm sure you can imagine this would be a huge amount of work putting these into every trip on every duty card!!

  5. Yes, and show via points beyond where its short journey would be terminating. I can't see how this was ever acceptable and is rightly being consigned to history in London.

  6. Hi Plymothian. thank you for your comments. After consulting brian george, ops manager at pcb, he said ideally it need saltash via city centre, staddiscombe or elburton via city centre. a large city centre for buses finishing in town, staddiscombe or elburton via broadway .
    will pass this onto the commercial dept. watch this space!
    yours sincerely
    mike hudson

    1. Hi Mike and Brian...I live at Elburton - the shorter journey from Royal Parade to Elburton is the 5 showing "Staddiscombe" (no mention of going via Elburton)
      The 5A shows "Elburton" which takes much longer going via Staddiscombe.(ie all round the houses)
      In my opinion it would be more logical, and helpful to your customers, if the 5 showed "Elburton" and the 5A showed "Staddiscombe", changing at these points to "Saltash via City Centre".
      A simple change that makes sense.

  7. I've never agreed with the use of 'Saltash' as a destination display, it's unbelievably misleading and terrible in-accurate.

    It would suggest to someone not familiar with bus services that it serves Fore Street only (much like the 'new' 30, which too, uses Saltash), when infact it covers considerably more.

    Why not have the destination display showing Latchbrook via St Stephens? That way, both areas are covered an it's much easier for customers to visualize the route.

    Plymstock doesn't just say 'Plymstock', it says 'Elburton' and 'Staddiscombe', why should Saltash be any different?

    First are certainly on to something here and have been for a number of years. Sadly, Citybus are selling themselves short by using a brief and un-helpful display.

    1. Regarding the 5/A in Plymstock, because they are circular routes and have an overlap, the bus needs to show a fair destination. Technically there is no 'destination' in a circular route, only a half way point, which would mean both buses showing the same place. The logic of the 5A being Elburton and the 5 Staddiscombe comes from this in order to bridge what would become a perceived gap in the service (ie if the 5A was Staddiscombe and 5 Elburton, there is nothing indicating a service between those two points).
      On another note with regard to Saltash, the council's RTIs at stop A4 are now showing Albert Cottage/Plough Green [tangent - don't mention on to the displays in A9 which show the arrival times and the origin of the bus instead of the departures and destination or if you're lucky 'Plymstock']. Who, without local knowledge, knows that these destinations are either side of the road at the Ploughboy in Burraton?

    2. Yes, the section in Plymstock is circular, therefore why not show "PLYMSTOCK CIRCULAR" via ELBURTON then STADDISCOMBE for 5 and "PLYMSTOCK CIRCULAR" via STADDISCOMBE then ELBURTON for the 5A.


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