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Description

Dave Whiteland

On weekdays, the 1A service does a regular loop through Eastbourne every 8-10 minutes, but once every 30 minutes it does the longer run out to Hailsham. This is superconfusing for people (like me) who trying to get back to Hailsham from Eastbourne and think the number of the service is helpful.

This week I visited Eastbourne and was confused by it. I worked out what was going on by studying your timetable leaflet, which does indeed *mention* that the Eastbourne part of the route is more frequent. Moments after understanding this I saw another a passenger ask the driver the same question and say: "I thought the 1A went to Hailsham".

The service is good -- actually the driver on the run in from Hailsham was fantastic (and stopped to let some about-to-be-missed people on when not at a stop, shh! like old-fashioned bus drivers used to do [you cannot condone this, I know]) -- but it's simply unhelpful to give the Hailsham-route the same name as the Eastbourne bit.

Surely it's less confusing for two buses with different numbers to run the same partial route (in Eastbourne) than to have 1As only going to Hailsham *sometimes*? Also it would spare your drivers being repeatedly asked if they are going to Hailsham because they are driving the 1A.

So: Can you please rename the route that goes to Hailsham and also follows the 1A's route when it is in Eastbourne to something other than 1A? Thanks!

(Actually I think the 1 sometimes goes to Hailsham too but that's waaay too confusing for now. I thought I'd start with the 1A)

Problem History

  • 1 Dave Whiteland reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 17:58 15 Mar 2012
  • 2 Dave Whiteland wrote to Stagecoach in Eastbourne close 17:58 15 Mar 2012

    Here is the letter that Dave Whiteland wrote.

    1A bus that only sometimes goes to Hailsham is confusing

    On weekdays, the 1A service does a regular loop through Eastbourne every 8-10 minutes, but once every 30 minutes it does the longer run out to Hailsham. This is superconfusing for people (like me) who trying to get back to Hailsham from Eastbourne and think the number of the service is helpful.

    This week I visited Eastbourne and was confused by it. I worked out what was going on by studying your timetable leaflet, which does indeed *mention* that the Eastbourne part of the route is more frequent. Moments after understanding this I saw another a passenger ask the driver the same question and say: "I thought the 1A went to Hailsham".

    The service is good -- actually the driver on the run in from Hailsham was fantastic (and stopped to let some about-to-be-missed people on when not at a stop, shh! like old-fashioned bus drivers used to do [you cannot condone this, I know]) -- but it's simply unhelpful to give the Hailsham-route the same name as the Eastbourne bit.

    Surely it's less confusing for two buses with different numbers to run the same partial route (in Eastbourne) than to have 1As only going to Hailsham *sometimes*? Also it would spare your drivers being repeatedly asked if they are going to Hailsham because they are driving the 1A.

    So: Can you please rename the route that goes to Hailsham and also follows the 1A's route when it is in Eastbourne to something other than 1A? Thanks!

    (Actually I think the 1 sometimes goes to Hailsham too but that's waaay too confusing for now. I thought I'd start with the 1A)

    anorak
    admin
  • 3 Jeremy Cooper responded to Dave Whiteland close 11:24 16 Mar 2012
    Dear Dave

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

    Most bus routes have some journeys that don't cover the full
    route. The number indicates which way the bus goes and the
    destination display confirms whether it goes right to the end of
    the route. Some routes are much busier over only part of their
    length and need more buses for the busiest stops. We don't want
    to confuse the large number of users travelling within
    Eastbourne by having more numbers than necessary.

    I do however understand that this isn't the issue here. At the
    Hospital we don't have any buses on the 1 or 1A advertised as
    going to Hailsham - the buses all show "Shinewater" as their
    destination. The reason for this is that from the Hospital there
    are buses about every 15 minutes from the bus stop on the West
    side of Kings Drive to Hailsham on routes 51, 54 and 98. These
    buses take about 25 minutes to get to Hailsham, whereas the 1A
    takes about an hour. It would therefore be unhelpful to
    advertise the 1A as operating to Hailsham for people travelling
    home from the Hospital - and indeed we wouldn't be keen to
    encourage people to nip across Kings Drive through the traffic
    when they saw a bus with "Hailsham" on appearing on the other
    side of the road. If you do wish to make that journey then the
    full information is available in the public timetable, as you
    have pointed out.

    The current arrangement with some journeys on the very busy 1/1A
    routes continuing beyond Shinewater onto the much less busy
    route to Hailsham is not ideal, and we do understand that it
    creates a potential point of confusion, although this is the
    first time its been drawn to my attention since this pattern of
    service was introduced in November 2010 (although I do take your
    point that someone asked the same question shortly after you
    did). The use of the 1/1A routes has increased significantly
    since we increased the frequency in November 2010 and we need to
    consider further improvements by the end of 2012, and changing
    the numbering of the Eastbourne - Langney - Hailsham route is
    certainly something that we will consider.

    Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention - and for
    your kind comments about the delivery of the service. Its good
    to see our staff going the extra mile to help customers.

    Yours sincerely

    Jeremy Cooper
    Commercial Director
    Stagecoach in East Kent and East Sussex
    Bus Station
    St Georges Lane
    CANTERBURY
    Kent
    CT1 2SY

    Registered Office: East Kent Road Car Co. Ltd, Daw Bank,
    Stockport, Cheshire, SK3 0DU (Registered in England & Wales No.
    144585)
    Registered Office: Hastings & District Transport Ltd, Daw Bank,
    Stockport, Cheshire, SK3 0DU (Registered in England & Wales No.
    1705689)
    Registered Office: Eastbourne Buses Ltd, Daw Bank, Stockport,
    Cheshire, SK3 0DU (Registered in England & Wales No. 2000069 )

    To view the Stagecoach code of practice for customer suggestions
    and complaints go to:
    http://www.stagecoachbus.com/codeofpract...

    show quoted sections
  • 4 James McCollom commented close 13:39 16 Mar 2012

    A useful destination display is always of use in these situations - sounds like the 1A journeys that continue to Hailsham should show "Shinewater then Hailsham" from the hospital to Eastbourne, and then "Hailsham via Shinewater" from thereon in.

  • 5 Dave Whiteland wrote to Jeremy Cooper close 13:50 16 Mar 2012

    Hello Jeremy

    Thanks for your detailed reply.

    Although I don't like to be confused, I do understand that managing and communicating routes can be complex, and this seems like a trade-off that has been better thought out than I had realised.

    The point you make about not advertising the route because it goes "the long way" to Hailsham is a very good one (in fact, we did get ourselves caught out by the unexpected length of the journey).

    So I have to admit I think that in this case Stagecoach have thought about this at least as hard as I have and reached a better conclusion. The problem isn't the naming of the route so much as the complexity of the route itself -- perhaps that ought to be readdressed, but that's not really what I was taking issue with.

    So, thanks for explaining and I will learn to love the 1A. But only when I am not in a hurry.

    Yours
    Dave

    -----Original Message-----

    Dear Dave

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

    Most bus routes have some journeys that don't cover the full
    route. The number indicates which way the bus goes and the
    destination display confirms whether it goes right to the end of
    the route. Some routes are much busier over only part of their
    length and need more buses for the busiest stops. We don't want
    to confuse the large number of users travelling within
    Eastbourne by having more numbers than necessary.

    I do however understand that this isn't the issue here. At the
    Hospital we don't have any buses on the 1 or 1A advertised as
    going to Hailsham - the buses all show "Shinewater" as their
    destination. The reason for this is that from the Hospital there
    are buses about every 15 minutes from the bus stop on the West
    side of Kings Drive to Hailsham on routes 51, 54 and 98. These
    buses take about 25 minutes to get to Hailsham, whereas the 1A
    takes about an hour. It would therefore be unhelpful to
    advertise the 1A as operating to Hailsham for people travelling
    home from the Hospital - and indeed we wouldn't be keen to
    encourage people to nip across Kings Drive through the traffic
    when they saw a bus with "Hailsham" on appearing on the other
    side of the road. If you do wish to make that journey then the
    full information is available in the public timetable, as you
    have pointed out.

    The current arrangement with some journeys on the very busy 1/1A
    routes continuing beyond Shinewater onto the much less busy
    route to Hailsham is not ideal, and we do understand that it
    creates a potential point of confusion, although this is the
    first time its been drawn to my attention since this pattern of
    service was introduced in November 2010 (although I do take your
    point that someone asked the same question shortly after you
    did). The use of the 1/1A routes has increased significantly
    since we increased the frequency in November 2010 and we need to
    consider further improvements by the end of 2012, and changing
    the numbering of the Eastbourne - Langney - Hailsham route is
    certainly something that we will consider.

    Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention - and for
    your kind comments about the delivery of the service. Its good
    to see our staff going the extra mile to help customers.

    Yours sincerely

    Jeremy Cooper
    Commercial Director
    Stagecoach in East Kent and East Sussex
    Bus Station
    St Georges Lane
    CANTERBURY
    Kent
    CT1 2SY

    Registered Office: East Kent Road Car Co. Ltd, Daw Bank,
    Stockport, Cheshire, SK3 0DU (Registered in England & Wales No.
    144585)
    Registered Office: Hastings & District Transport Ltd, Daw Bank,
    Stockport, Cheshire, SK3 0DU (Registered in England & Wales No.
    1705689)
    Registered Office: Eastbourne Buses Ltd, Daw Bank, Stockport,
    Cheshire, SK3 0DU (Registered in England & Wales No. 2000069 )

    To view the Stagecoach code of practice for customer suggestions
    and complaints go to:
    http://www.stagecoachbus.com/codeofpractice.aspx

    anorak
    admin
  • 6 Jeremy Cooper responded to Dave Whiteland close 14:03 16 Mar 2012
    Dear Dave

    Thank you for your kind response. I do quite agree that the
    complexity of the route itself is a potential stumbling block. I
    will endeavour to simplify it when the opportunity arises, which
    may be later this year.

    Yours sincerely

    Jeremy Cooper
    Commercial Director
    Stagecoach in East Kent and East Sussex
    Bus Station
    St Georges Lane
    CANTERBURY
    Kent
    CT1 2SY
    Tel:01227 828103

    Registered Office: East Kent Road Car Co. Ltd, Daw Bank,
    Stockport, Cheshire, SK3 0DU (Registered in England & Wales No.
    144585)
    Registered Office: Hastings & District Transport Ltd, Daw Bank,
    Stockport, Cheshire, SK3 0DU (Registered in England & Wales No.
    1705689)
    Registered Office: Eastbourne Buses Ltd, Daw Bank, Stockport,
    Cheshire, SK3 0DU (Registered in England & Wales No. 2000069 )

    To view the Stagecoach code of practice for customer suggestions
    and complaints go to:
    http://www.stagecoachbus.com/codeofpract...

    Dave Whiteland To [email address]
    <[give the 1A buses that go to Hailsham a different number to those that don't email]> cc
    Subject Re: 1A bus that only sometimes
    16/03/2012 13:50 goes to Hailsham is confusing

    Hello Jeremy

    Thanks for your detailed reply.

    Although I don't like to be confused, I do understand that
    managing and communicating routes can be complex, and this seems
    like a trade-off that has been better thought out than I had
    realised.

    The point you make about not advertising the route because it
    goes "the long way" to Hailsham is a very good one (in fact, we
    did get ourselves caught out by the unexpected length of the
    journey).

    So I have to admit I think that in this case Stagecoach have
    thought about this at least as hard as I have and reached a
    better conclusion. The problem isn't the naming of the route so
    much as the complexity of the route itself -- perhaps that ought
    to be readdressed, but that's not really what I was taking issue
    with.

    So, thanks for explaining and I will learn to love the 1A. But
    only when I am not in a hurry.

    Yours
    Dave

    show quoted sections
  • 7 Dave Whiteland commented close 14:53 16 Mar 2012

    James -- thanks for your comment -- you are right... but I think the catch here is that it's feasible for people trying to get to Hailsham not to know that that going via Shinewater means it's going to take so much longer. So even such route information isn't necessarily helpful.

    The pragmatic solution is to encourage all drivers to say "are you sure?" to anyone who gets on their 1A bus with a ticket to Hailsham in their paw, heh. But of course that's not really fair on the drviers or indeed those passengers who, unlike me, do know what they are doing.

    anorak
    admin
  • 8 Dave H commented close 19:35 16 Mar 2012

    Great to see Stagecoach E Kent getting back so effectively - at least you don't have the City problem we have with several operator registering routes with the same number (4 or 5 38's and 4 62's last I looked).

    At least you've a permanent Traffic Commissioner back at Met and SE now, so you might get them to help get the numbering/routes sorted out quickly, as it is so often the detail of re registering and fiddling with paperwork that leaves us with odd route numbering.

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