On Trains & Buses

Travel news, views & information from Europe & North America by an independent public transport user

Nearly back to normal

Posted on February 5, 2012

Reading time: 3 minutes.

After yesterday’s snow, public transport seems to be returning to normal though there may be changes from the usual timetable in the morning. For one thing, the Bletchley disruption on the WCML is continuing and some train and bus operators in the south-east are still experiencing some difficulties. Of these, Southern Trains is just one with their website’s front page being a summary of service running information; their website must have run into bother earlier.

Other websites felt the strain too and the new Greater Anglia (formerly National Express East Anglia) website got a baptism of fire. Like Southern, it too has a front-page giving a service overview but there’s their JourneyCheck page and Twitter feed too and that has been very active throughout today. The rest of the website doesn’t seem to have been put into place though.

Yet another website that went down on everybody was that for Arriva Buses. Nevertheless, bus users in Yorkshire and the Northeast of England were well served with Twitter feeds. One wonders why we don’t get the same in the English Northwest too. After all, there is a Twitter account but it never seems to get used.

Though the BBC did sterling work when it came to overviews, Twitter seemed to come into its own (Facebook may have done the same but I am keeping out of there given Mark Zuckerberg’s approach to privacy and the IPO that has happened) during the weekend, especially with everything developing so quickly. In fact, you could tell where the snow was by the number of disruption information tweets. Some operators ran into the 1000 tweets (includes retweets and replies too) per day limit though waiting until after 00 or 30 minutes past the hour was enough to get going again, albeit with a 20 tweet per 30 minute quota as I found out last night. Some operators have backup accounts for dealing with this situation so you have to ask what the 1000 tweet limit achieves.

Along the way, I got to learn of some new operators: Marshalls of Sutton-on-Trent and Premiere Buses (of Nottingham, it seems). Links to both have been added to the bus companies page on here and it’s always good to grow more comprehensive.

Around Cheshire, most major roads are now clear though Bowers weren’t too trusting of the A537 for their 58 service between Macclesfield and Buxton. Buses were serving Bollington and the 130 to Manchester seemed to be going too though the live bus tracker seemed to be playing its usual non-availability games as it has been for the last few weeks. Both today and yesterday would have made good days for having it going given the weather that we got.

Continuing with road conditions, there is a lot of slush about the place and I don’t fancy the outcomes if either that or any standing water froze tonight. So far, temperatures seem to be held at 2° C so there’s hope that any frost will not be so severe and there was a lot of melt-water around when I was last out and about. Cheshire East Council don’t seem to be taking chances though and there are gritters out and about again tonight although there’s no sign that pavements are being gritted by the council; maybe that’s being left to householders (before Christmas 2010, there was a statement to that effect from the then Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond) and I was out clearing that next to mine today. With all the lying snow and the threat of ice, we’ll have to see what the morning brings when it comes.