But onto the real point of all this, as some of you may know, service 3 to Barne Barton is going to enjoy a frequency increase to every 7-8 minutes. I was therefore quite keen to have a look to see how they've adapted to this, if buses are getting less time to get round the route, and how many more buses will be employed onto the service. But this is what greeted me on the forthcoming timetables:
|Royal Parade [A2]||0630||0640||0650||0700||0710||0720||0730||0740||and||1800|
|Stonehouse Brewery Tap||0634||0644||0654||0704||0714||0724||0734||0744||at||1804|
|Devonport Park Avenue||0638||0648||0658||0708||0718||0728||0738||0748||frequent||1808|
|St Budeaux Square, Opp Shops||0649||0659||0709||0719||0729||0739||0749||0759||until||1819|
|Barne Barton, Barne Road||0653||0703||0713||0723||0733||0743||0753||0803||1822|
At frequent intervals? The general public who will look at the new timetables, won't necessarily know that they are now ever 7-8 minutes. This therefore really doesn't aid you in journey planning. What if I needed to get to Town for a dentist appointment from Devonport by a certain time? Its just not really very obvious. Even if it stated 'And then every 7-8 minutes' this is still somewhat vauge, as there are no previous timetables you can look back on from earlier in the day, to find the pattern. The best thing of course, would be to see it going 00, 07, 14, etc "And then at these minutes past the hour until". This is by far the best way of showing whats going on, as it shows a concise yet clear clock face pattern, and you can still work out journey times. On further investigation, even the every 10 minute routes now say at frequent intervals. Yet other services such as the 4, show "And then at these minutes past each hour". I wonder why there is a lack of continuity. You aren't exactly wasting any money, by putting a few virtual numbers on a computer screen. I'll therefore be interested to see what will now appear in the bus shelter displays.
Maybe I'm just being a bit picky! Every 10 minutes is pretty much, the Holy Grail of frequency, so a route every 7-8 minutes is extremely good to see. I believe therefore this is the only route in Plymouth that currently has a 7-8 minute frequency, but correct me if I'm wrong! True that some corridors are covered by multiple routes, so have a better than every 10 minute frequency, so it doesn't really cover the whole picture. The Devonport corridor is only the 3, with the hourly 81A chucked in there as well. It will be interesting to see if the 26 will see a decline in usage. At the moment, 'most' people seem to wait for a 26. But with them seeing even more 3s drive past while waiting, will more people be encouraged onto the 3? I certainly would think so. How can you ignore 2 or even 3, 3s coming past, before one 26. Interestingly, this week I haven't actually seen any Volvo B7 deckers on the 26. Is this just me not looking hard enough, or at the wrong times, or have they been displaced onto another route. I've noted N reg Darts as well as a range of standard Pointer 2 Darts, and even M129 HOD to top it off!