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Travel & transport from BBC stories as at 06:55 01 Feb 2023
- Strikes Update: How Wednesday 1 February’s walkouts will affect you
- The Papers: Half a million to strike and 'Tories confront Hunt'
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1  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Campaigns for new and improved services / Re: How you'd reopen a railway to Witney on: January 28, 2023, 12:49:38 pm
Reported that a firm of consultants employed by Oxfordshire County Council is working on a business case for reopening Oxford–Witney:
2  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Oxford - transport reduction at peak times on: January 17, 2023, 10:40:42 am
It is a bit more than LTNs (Low Traffic Neighbourhood) in residential areas, which are indeed already in place. The main routes across the city will be blocked by what are sometimes called "bus gates", but in this case will be ANPR cameras with a massive number of exemptions. So you won't be able to drive from (say) Botley Road through the city centre to Cowley Road, unless you qualify for one of the exemptions.

The intention is good but it's overly complex, and I wish they'd just gone for a simple congestion charge like London. But Oxford does have a bit of a "not invented here" tendency sometimes...
3  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Heritage railway lines, Railtours, other rail based attractions / Re: Class 153 conversion(s) on: January 09, 2023, 03:25:44 pm
It's on ...
4  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: New Adlestrop Railway Atlas update on: December 29, 2022, 09:05:43 pm
They are!

The Newcastle area was the biggest cartographic challenge - basically trying to balance legibility with accuracy and completeness. But to be honest it's the rural areas I enjoy the most - just thinking of an old line through Wooperton, Wooler and Coldstream. Entirely unviable right now but a man can dream...
5  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: New Adlestrop Railway Atlas update on: December 29, 2022, 03:29:28 pm
And a year later... here's another update:

It now includes the north-east - which means England is complete. (Newcastle was pretty complex!) Plus a few tendrils into the Borders, and various changes/updates/corrections around the country.
6  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: maximum two pound fair across most of the country on: December 19, 2022, 03:01:06 pm
It's participating operators only, so although the big guys are all taking part, lots of the independents seem to have opted out - presumably, as with ENCTS (English National Concessionary Travel Scheme), they're not being reimbursed the full amount by Government.

Locally both Stagecoach and Oxford Bus Co/Thames Travel are taking part, but I can't see any of the independents or CICs (Community Interest Company ) signed up. Stagecoach have (unsurprisingly!) excluded the Oxford Tube.
7  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Rural buses - does anyone promote them? on: December 16, 2022, 12:00:57 am
We have two buses here in Charlbury: the S3 Charlbury-Woodstock-Oxford (operated by Stagecoach) and the X9 Chipping Norton-Charlbury-Witney (operated by Pulhams).

Both were formerly commercially viable, just about. Post-pandemic both are now on subsidy and likely to be withdrawn unless their fortunes turn round.

It occurred to me earlier that I've never seen a single piece of publicity for either service. No leaflet drops, no posters, no advertising, no promotional fares, no community outreach. Nothing other than sticking timetables up at bus stops. The bus comes and the bus goes and it's up to you to find out about it.

As it happens, both services are fairly labyrinthine, partly as a result of the town's one-way system but also due to the way the S3 interworks with Chipping Norton services. I've lived here for 20 years and take an unhealthy interest in these things, and even I only figured out last week which way the evening S3 services leave Charlbury. The most common complaint I hear is that "I don't know where and when the buses go from".

Stagecoach and Pulhams are both generally thought of as good operators. So - is this normal? Are other Coffee Shoppers outside the big metropolises being regularly exhorted to get their local buses?
8  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Rail unions strike action 2022/2023 on: November 26, 2022, 08:15:38 pm
I cycled past Combe station earlier and the display was apologising that there would be no services from this station today due to strike action.

Those pesky strikers, depriving Combe of its 0tph Saturday service.
9  Journey by Journey / London to the Cotswolds / Re: 2022 Delays & Cancellations on: November 23, 2022, 07:30:35 pm
Not a good evening.

The 1734 Paddington–Hereford appears to have sat down and wept on the Didcot avoiding line, where it's been stuck for 50 minutes and counting:

The 1757 Paddington–Foregate has been sent through Didcot station to avoid it, but is itself running 45 minutes late, most of it picked up in the Paddington–Reading disruption:
10  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Normal crosses, Maltese Crosses and Asterisks on tickets. And the letter D on: November 16, 2022, 01:59:33 pm
D = Discounted (Senior Railcard used in this case). A child ticket has C where the D is.

Or CD (Capital Delivery) for Child & Discounted (e.g. a Network Railcard ticket)!
11  Journey by Journey / London to the Cotswolds / Unusual trains on: November 15, 2022, 10:16:02 am
Couple of interesting workings on the (delay-strewn) Cotswold Line this morning:

I'm guessing the Swindon–Cheltenham train, which passes along the Cotswold Line twice, is an RHTT (Rail Head Treatment Train). But what's the odd Bristol Parkway–Moreton IET (Intercity Express Train) which then appears to vanish into thin air? Was it coupled up to another IET at Moreton?
12  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Rail unions strike action 2022/2023 on: November 08, 2022, 08:58:16 am
The 04.49 from Hereford to Paddington was reinstated late last night. I spotted it in time to save Mrs F the protracted journey on the charming but rather slow bus from Charlbury into Oxford this morning. Can't imagine it was busy, though, unless there were many other people watching RTT» (Real Time Trains - website) in the small hours.

Otherwise no service before 09.00 here.
13  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Rail unions strike action 2022/2023 on: November 07, 2022, 09:18:28 am
Bit confusing this morning - the departure boards were saying that several up trains would run on the Cotswold Line, but in fact nothing has run so far. Looks like the first one will be the 08.56 from Great Malvern which RTT» (Real Time Trains - website) is showing as being on its way.

Next question is whether anything will run this evening...
14  Journey by Journey / London to Didcot, Oxford and Banbury / Re: Oxford Station - improvements, incidents and events (merged topic) on: November 06, 2022, 07:18:17 pm
The bridge needs replacing regardless of the station works. It's sufficiently low that the bus companies need a special fleet of low-profile double-deckers to fit through it, it's unpleasant for pedestrians and downright lethal for cyclists.

The road won't be "closed", of course, just closed to motor traffic. Pedestrians can still get through and so can cyclists (if they dismount). It might make a few people think twice about driving into Oxford, and as a resident of an Oxfordshire town I know there are plenty of people who could take the direct bus, Park & Ride, or train, but don't. There will be those for whom it's a genuine inconvenience, of course, but I believe the improvements to the bridge for non-private car users - and to the railway, of course - will be worth it in the round.

(Oxford is getting a massive new fleet of electric buses in a couple of years... I presume these will be too tall to fit under the old bridge?)
15  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Rail unions strike action 2022/2023 on: November 06, 2022, 07:10:22 pm
RTT» (Real Time Trains - website) is suggesting that many services have been reinstated tomorrow on the Cotswold Line, at least:

A cursory check suggests that several other lines have had some service reinstated (e.g. South Cotswolds, TransWilts), but that it's pretty skeletal on a few (e.g. North Downs, Banbury stoppers).
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