York and its ‘real time’ buses

A recent visit to that lovely city of York and I was riding on its network of park and ride buses, which I’ve done many times before. But this time was rather odd as ‘real time’ notifications at bus stops can clearly be a little bizarre.

It was around 6.30pm and the First Bus back to Designer Outlet (No.7) from Tower Street was said by the real time bus stop screen to be 20 minutes away, with the following one only a minute behind it. I thought that was odd and that’s what it turned out to be.

The screen jumped to only a 13 minute wait in no time at all; the bus must have been flying so to speak. From there it counted down to a 6 minute wait but then shot back up to a 13 minute wait. Had the driver left someone behind and about turned to pick them up?

A brief conversation with a fellow and obviously local passenger awaiting the same bus and I’m told the screens and the buses aren’t necessarily in harmony with each other. Mm, that’s just what I had been wondering.

The screen kept changing and eventually it signalled an 8 minute wait. However, the bus then appeared!

Well yes, it was Cyber Monday and the traffic was very heavy but we were supposed to be looking at real time information so was it not real or indeed timely information?

York and/or it’s bus company must have invested significantly in the technology to provide passengers/customers with reliable real time information but what we were looking at was random information purporting to be helpful and even accurate.

Cyber Monday is supposedly about good value online deals, I wonder where York went for its real time technology deal?

Flying Scotsman – Past, present and future on the East Coast Main Line

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-39684287

The BBC has the story on its web site – See link above

Well it’s about trains so what would you expect from a blog site run by a railway enthusiast like me. And not as boring as politics either! Did I just say that?

With thanks to spotter Keith Page

The Waverley Route & David Steel MP

When the Waverley Route (Carlisle to Edinburgh) was down for closure in the 1960’s a young Liberal MP stood alongside his constituents and fought to try to save it. Alas the dirty deed was done anyway, only for some of it to reopen earlier this year.

A trip to the National Railway Museum in York recently and what do I find but a graphic panel all about the closing of the Waverley Route and photos of that young MP and his fellow campaigners. Here it is:-

David Steel and the Waverley Route

Please click on the photo to enlarge it.

The writing on the bottom of the photo is too difficult to read even when expanded but it says ‘Lord David Steel MSP leads a protest against Beeching Plan closures in 1968’. Of course back in the day he was just David Steel MP with both a Lordship and being a member of the Scottish Parliament being many moons away. Indeed, a Scottish Parliament was very far from being a reality back in 1968.

Just goes to show how words can mislead even when they are intended to be informative, as in this case. The reader, without any background political knowledge would think that Lord David Steel MSP led the campaign.

An oasis in the heart of busy York

As a frequent visitor to the historic city of York, which can be a busy place any day of the year, I like (even as an atheist) the tranquil surroundings of Holy Trinity Church.

It is now out of use as a place of worship but is maintained by the Churches Conservation Trust. The site is totally surrounded by shops and businesses yet a walk through the gate takes you to a quiet and beautiful place where you can sit down either inside the church or in its small grounds to take the weight off. A real delight.

Here are a couple of shots I took on our last visit.

rsz_holy_trinity_church_1

rsz_holy_trinity_church_3

The photos are amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Bus gets electric makeover – York

The York City Sightseeing bus, operated by Transdev, is claimed to have become the first double-decker in the world to get an electric makeover. It has been converted from diesel to pure electric with lithium ion batteries. York Council was awarded £75,433 to convert the bus after a successful bid to the Department for Transport. The bus can travel all day without needing to re-charge.

The Yorkshire Post newspaper carried this interesting ‘green’ article and see link below:-

www.lancashirebus.co.uk/news.jsp?newsID=1224

With thanks to the LGiU for the lead to this story.