Author Topic: New timetable for C3.  (Read 3097 times)

Offline alex397

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New timetable for C3.
« on: July 03, 2010, 11:16:05 AM »
An interesting observation here. From 30th August 2010, there will be an extension to Epping St Margarets Hospital.

This extension will only affect the Hoddesdon short-journeys, so the C3 will basically be two seperate services. One will operate Holdbrook Estate-Waltham Cross-Hoddesdon-Harlow, whereas the other half will operate Epping-Waltham Cross-Hoddesdon.

This seems quite a strange thing to do. Essex CC service 213 operates hourly between WX and Epping, with a very light load of passengers, so don't know how Centrebus will get a good share of passengers following a very similar route.

A good thing though is that it will connect Epping and Waltham Abbey with new places.

Offline dwarfer1979

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Re: New timetable for C3.
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2010, 08:49:29 AM »
An interesting observation here. From 30th August 2010, there will be an extension to Epping St Margarets Hospital.

This extension will only affect the Hoddesdon short-journeys, so the C3 will basically be two seperate services. One will operate Holdbrook Estate-Waltham Cross-Hoddesdon-Harlow, whereas the other half will operate Epping-Waltham Cross-Hoddesdon.

This seems quite a strange thing to do. Essex CC service 213 operates hourly between WX and Epping, with a very light load of passengers, so don't know how Centrebus will get a good share of passengers following a very similar route.

A good thing though is that it will connect Epping and Waltham Abbey with new places.
The intention was to provide a commercial replacement for the tendered 213 (as a rule a council cannot support a service that parallels a commercial service) so what happens to the 213 in the future remains to be seen.  Passenger loadings on the 213, from my limited personal observations, aren't that bad (they don't set the world alight as a stand-alone service but it is a good starting point) and there is seen potential for travel across Waltham Cross (particularly to/from Brookfield Centre).

Offline alex397

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Re: New timetable for C3.
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2010, 05:11:19 PM »
An interesting observation here. From 30th August 2010, there will be an extension to Epping St Margarets Hospital.

This extension will only affect the Hoddesdon short-journeys, so the C3 will basically be two seperate services. One will operate Holdbrook Estate-Waltham Cross-Hoddesdon-Harlow, whereas the other half will operate Epping-Waltham Cross-Hoddesdon.

This seems quite a strange thing to do. Essex CC service 213 operates hourly between WX and Epping, with a very light load of passengers, so don't know how Centrebus will get a good share of passengers following a very similar route.

A good thing though is that it will connect Epping and Waltham Abbey with new places.
The intention was to provide a commercial replacement for the tendered 213 (as a rule a council cannot support a service that parallels a commercial service) so what happens to the 213 in the future remains to be seen.  Passenger loadings on the 213, from my limited personal observations, aren't that bad (they don't set the world alight as a stand-alone service but it is a good starting point) and there is seen potential for travel across Waltham Cross (particularly to/from Brookfield Centre).

Especially as the C3 will run one minute ahead of the 213! I guess the 213 will possibly be withdrawn as you suggest, would certainily be seen as a wast of taxpayers money.
The 213 does get quite good loadings at Waltham Cross, but the majority of passengers get off around Waltham Abbey. I have often used the 213 up to Epping at you'll be lucky if there are more than 5 passengers. I have seen it busy at school times, but that is about it.
I think the C3 will be a much better service, but I think they should renumber the Epping to Hoddesdon C3 to differentiate from the WX-Harlow service. It might be quite confusing for people in Waltham Abbey and Epping.

Offline dwarfer1979

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Re: New timetable for C3.
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2010, 08:53:13 AM »
I think the C3 will be a much better service, but I think they should renumber the Epping to Hoddesdon C3 to differentiate from the WX-Harlow service. It might be quite confusing for people in Waltham Abbey and Epping.

However that would make it confusing for customers on the established section between Waltham Cross & Rye Park area.  Centrebus as a rule appear to favour using the same route number for services that run on the same road if that section has the busiest traffic.  The most confusing for passengers (and clearest example of the principle) is the X31 in Luton.  The same route number is used for journeys to from Luton to Milton Keynes, Hemel Hempstead & Toddington because the busiest section for passengers (and the piece with the competition) is on the shared section between Luton & Dunstable - where it competes with the Arriva 31 (hence the name).

Using one number highlights the frequency on the shared section, whereas having seperate numbers highlights the difference making the frequency appear lower (the reasoning behind schemes such as First's Overground networks), it depends on where the emphasis of the service is as to what is deemed better.

Offline alex397

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Re: New timetable for C3.
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2010, 05:54:05 PM »
I tried out the new C3 Epping extension today.
I got on Wright 748/YN08MRO at Epping Church, where the C3 and 213 turned up at the same time, with most passengers boarding the 213. Some got on the C3, but I don't think people know it goes to Waltham Cross, especially as it says Hoddesdon on it.
I think the C3 needs to turn up at least 5 minutes before the 213, so that the 213 can't jump ahead of the C3.

As YN08MRO was operating the route, I thought it would be a very large vehicle to get around the Amesbury estate, and as expected it just bypassed the estate, which some passengers were annoyed about. The small Amesbury estate is hail & ride, and is very difficult to drive around. There is one bit where the road is very narrow and very steep, with buses often mounting the kerb. The C3 bypasses this and just goes straight along Upshire Road.
If you look on Travelines maps of both the 213 and C3, the 213 is shown going straight along Upshire Road. As the maps only show the shortest distance between stops, the Amesbury bit isn't shown on the map as its Hail & Ride, so maybe Centrebus didn't realise this when planning the route. Or, they just didn't want to serve it.

Also, at Waltham Cross, it turns off Eleanor Cross Road and goes around the Holdbrook Estate. The C3 did this anyway, and the Harlow journeys still do this, but the Hoddesdon journeys serve it the wrong way round (the bus stops are on the opposite side of the road) to the Harlow journeys, so this also confuses things, and the 213 doesn't serve this estate.

I'm not sure Centrebus will be successful with this. First off, its competing against a Essex CC service, and the C3 is only 10p cheaper than the 213. Also, the timings are a bit too close to 213s timings (towards Epping). They are using full-length single deckers for this route, which are too big- not just for the Amesbury section, but also for Upshire Village, and one turn at Waltham Abbey.
I think Centrebus should use shorter buses so they can get around Amesbury, and maybe liase with Essex CC to withdraw the 213. The Amesbury section is one of the reasons the 213 exists.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2010, 05:59:29 PM by alex1234 »

Offline dwarfer1979

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Re: New timetable for C3.
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2010, 08:47:58 AM »
I tried out the new C3 Epping extension today.
I got on Wright 748/YN08MRO at Epping Church, where the C3 and 213 turned up at the same time, with most passengers boarding the 213. Some got on the C3, but I don't think people know it goes to Waltham Cross, especially as it says Hoddesdon on it.
I think the C3 needs to turn up at least 5 minutes before the 213, so that the 213 can't jump ahead of the C3.

As YN08MRO was operating the route, I thought it would be a very large vehicle to get around the Amesbury estate, and as expected it just bypassed the estate, which some passengers were annoyed about. The small Amesbury estate is hail & ride, and is very difficult to drive around. There is one bit where the road is very narrow and very steep, with buses often mounting the kerb. The C3 bypasses this and just goes straight along Upshire Road.
If you look on Travelines maps of both the 213 and C3, the 213 is shown going straight along Upshire Road. As the maps only show the shortest distance between stops, the Amesbury bit isn't shown on the map as its Hail & Ride, so maybe Centrebus didn't realise this when planning the route. Or, they just didn't want to serve it.

Also, at Waltham Cross, it turns off Eleanor Cross Road and goes around the Holdbrook Estate. The C3 did this anyway, and the Harlow journeys still do this, but the Hoddesdon journeys serve it the wrong way round (the bus stops are on the opposite side of the road) to the Harlow journeys, so this also confuses things, and the 213 doesn't serve this estate.

I'm not sure Centrebus will be successful with this. First off, its competing against a Essex CC service, and the C3 is only 10p cheaper than the 213. Also, the timings are a bit too close to 213s timings (towards Epping). They are using full-length single deckers for this route, which are too big- not just for the Amesbury section, but also for Upshire Village, and one turn at Waltham Abbey.
I think Centrebus should use shorter buses so they can get around Amesbury, and maybe liase with Essex CC to withdraw the 213. The Amesbury section is one of the reasons the 213 exists.
The timetable was drawn up on the basis of replacing the 213 so it was deliberately a similar time to the existing service on the basis that the 213 would be withdrawn if a commercial service were registered, we are still of the understanding it will be imminently (some issue over notice periods I suspect was the delay).  The Epping journeys are all scheduled for smaller vehicles (Dart SLFs or Solos) although of course the odd Scania may turn up.  I'm not sure where Amesbury Estate is - doesn't appear on maps with that name and it won't Google - so can't say whether it should go through, though if it doesn't show on Traveline maps it may have been missed off (as the Centrebus registered route replicates the Traveline map) and would indicate that someone set the Traveline data up incorectly as there is a facility for 'Hail-and-Ride' sections to be correctly mapped (otherwise the journey planner section won't work correctly).  Epping journeys shouldn't serve Holdbrook, that appears to be driver error.

Offline alex397

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Re: New timetable for C3.
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2010, 03:01:33 PM »
Thanks for the info dwarfer1979.

I'm not sure that Amesbury Estate is the official name..I couldn't really think of another way to describe the area. Its a hail&ride section inbetween the fixed stops of Upshire Shops and Pasternoster House. Between these stops, the 213 goes around the housing estate roads, but the C3 went straight along Upshire Road between these stops. It might of been driver error, or because the bus was to big to serve the estate.

Thinking about it now, it is likely it was driver error serving Holdbrook. As I said, it went the wrong way around Holdbrook. But, it is the first week of Centrebus operations on the C3, so a few errors can be expected.

In Epping today, I saw one of the shorter Marshall Darts operating the route, so maybe Centrebus had trouble getting the right sized buses in the first couple of days of the route, or something like that.