Author Topic: New service "P"  (Read 2887 times)

Offline HughT

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New service "P"
« on: January 17, 2019, 10:08:20 PM »
Does anyone have any more info on this new service, as it appeared in yesterday's Notices and Proceedings?

PF0000108/161 WHIPPET COACHES LIMITED, UNIT 1, 2 ROWLES WAY,
BUCKINGWAY BUSINESS PARK, SWAVESEY, CAMBRIDGE, CB24 4UG
From: Drummer St Bus Station/ Swavesby Guideway Cambridge
To: Addenbrookes Hospital
Via: Railway Station
Name or No.: P /
Service type: Normal Stopping
Effective date: 18 February 2019
Other details: Monday to Friday

Does the fact it's a M-F service suggest that P = Peak hours? Just speculating!

Offline gc_bus

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2019, 05:24:04 PM »
Hmmm - service "P" would appear to compete with Stagecoach across its entire length unless Whippet have something "interesting" up their sleeves.

Offline skyLink

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2019, 09:59:15 PM »
Hmmm - service "P" would appear to compete with Stagecoach across its entire length unless Whippet have something "interesting" up their sleeves.

Or is it a way of covering dead miles for the u from the depot to  addenbrooks
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Offline John Wakefield

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2019, 11:19:42 PM »
Nothing on Whippet web site http://www.go-whippet.co.uk/latest-news/news/ in fact no updates since 24th November 2018. One would have thought they would want to give prospective passengers advance notice of the new service.

Offline HughT

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2019, 11:22:24 PM »
Or is it a way of covering dead miles for the u from the depot to  addenbrooks

The "U" starts and ends from/at the Eddington end. So the dead mileage wouldn't match the route suggested by N&P.

Offline alanv

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2019, 09:02:57 PM »
More likely due to the Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust preparing for its move to a" bespoke, purpose-built hospital on the world-class Cambridge Biomedical Campus (CBC) in April 2019".

Offline barryb

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2019, 05:59:25 PM »
Timetable is on Traveline South East. 

I'm confused.  It's a quarter hourly service from Drummer Street to Addenbrookes via the guided busway, with three runs from and to the depot on the Northern Guideway and via Orchard Park.

Initially I wondered if it was a similar idea to the Papworth village contract, and that they had decided to fill in the rest of the day with a service to the city centre.  However most of the route (except Orchard Park itself) already has a better service to Addenbrooke's, and the first arrival and last departure at Addenbrooke's (just before 8 and just after 6) aren't as shift friendly as the contracted service.

It looks a bit like a service that serves almost no useful purpose, a bit like the old Whippet C (and previously D).

It's potentially useful for Orchard Park residents who are office workers on the Addenbrooke's site and don't otherwise use buses.  It might also have limited use for people going from the city to Addebrooke's but who don't use other buses.

Every other potential use is ruled out by the bus not being early or late enough for shifts, frequent enough for appointments, late enough for visitors, early or late enough for commuters to London, being part of a network, ...
« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 06:52:03 PM by barryb »

Offline HughT

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2019, 06:34:41 PM »
I posted a brief piece to the Busway blog earlier today:
http://travellingtheguidedbusway.blogspot.com/

But I'm as puzzled as barryb! Two possibilities come to mind concerning the Swavesey/Biomed services:
1. they're directly contracted by someone on the Campus;
2. they're required by the planning permission;
3. they're being paid for by developer contributions (S.106 money)

Since the Cambridge News reports from time to time that there's insufficient capacity already on the Busway during the rush hour, the *need* for either of the above seems plausible, if not totally convincing...

As for the off-peak shuttle from Drummer St to the Campus, well that could also come under either category above. Or it could, conceivably, be Whippet looking for something to do with three buses that are sitting around unused between the two rush hours. But, as barryb points out, there surely isn't the demand, given that there are also non-Busway services operating from the city centre to the Biomed Campus (though only the Citi 7 and the other Busway services go anywhere other than the Addenbrooke's Bus Station - oh, and the Trumpington 25 on its outbound run, I think).

So it's definitely a puzzle. There are already 7 buses an hour, off-peak, using the Busway between the Railway Station and the Biomed Campus - although they're far from evenly spaced, even when they're running to time. And I can say from experience that a few more city-bound services from Puddicombe Way (the closest stop to Long Road 6th Form and the UTC) would be welcome in mid-afternoon!

FWIW, my money is on option 2! I can't see Whippet starting this up as a standard commercial service. It's not unknown for planning applications to require new services that don't survive the test of time (Orchard Park, for example).

Offline barryb

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2019, 06:38:33 PM »
I never thought of s106 money.  Maybe it will be diverted into Great Kneighton when the time comes?  But then it would probably have been a K?

Offline alanv

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2019, 08:37:35 PM »
The combined P and U service will provide a nominal 7/8 minutes frequency between the station and Addenbrookes during the whole day.
Stagecoach A and D services provide a 15 minute frequency between the same stops.
I have ignored the Stagecoach peak period R service which serves the station and  only the Francis Crick Avenue stop at Addenbrookes.

Offline HughT

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2019, 10:44:00 PM »
I never thought of s106 money.  Maybe it will be diverted into Great Kneighton when the time comes?  But then it would probably have been a K?

The use of letters for services can be quite puzzling. I often wondered whether the "N" was for Cambridge North Station or Northstowe. But then SC removed the service, and substituted a "D" (which stands for ... ??). Hmmm ;-)

Offline barryb

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2019, 12:45:55 AM »
The use of letters for services can be quite puzzling. I often wondered whether the "N" was for Cambridge North Station or Northstowe. But then SC removed the service, and substituted a "D" (which stands for ... ??). Hmmm ;-)

I think D stands for "Da next available unused letter (at that time)"?

Yeah - the letters had a brief flirt with maybe meaning something, but it hasn't lasted long and it's not that clear!

Railway Station to Trumpington Park and Ride... R? S? T? P?

And Papworth to the Hospital / Biomedical campus?  P?  H?  B?

On Histon Road the meaning of B is clear, of course.  It means "Don't mistake me for an 8; B is completely different and will drive past you...".  Nothing could be clearer  ::)
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 12:53:26 AM by barryb »

Offline Elsworth Fox

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2019, 02:56:37 PM »
Two things about the timetable I find interesting.  First, the three Swavesey journeys each way are shown as stopping at all stops on Histon Road.  Secondly, I wonder if the timings during the peak are feasible.  The 0711 from Swavesey, for example, is given 19 minutes between Drummer Street and Addenbrooke's, no stand time,25 minutes to get back to Drummer Street, then 4 minutes stand time before leaving for Addenbrooke's.  Still, if it's not well used.

Offline gc_bus

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2019, 08:44:18 PM »
Still nothing on Whippet's own website about their new P service. Bizarre as it launches in 11 days time!!

Offline barryb

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2019, 09:42:28 PM »
It really is the strangest service.

I've never looked at a new timetable and not been able to work out what they were thinking.  Sometimes you might think that what they were thinking was not right, or was over hopeful, but I've never actually not been able to work it out at all.

Edit: Could N&P have got the start date wrong?
« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 09:45:16 PM by barryb »

Offline HughT

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2019, 11:00:58 PM »
The N&P date and the start date in Traveline agree. (But I don't know who's responsible for entering Whippet data into Traveline, so perhaps it's just about possible that both sources are wrong?)

Offline Spoddendale

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2019, 07:24:38 AM »
This is a link to the timetable for service 'P' on the Traveline website:

http://www.travelineeastanglia.org.uk/ea/TTB/EFA02__0000045b_TP.pdf

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Offline Julia_Hayward

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2019, 08:00:48 AM »
It's disappointing when town - Addenbrookes is already over-bussed, and harks back to the early deregulation days. This is when we need some leadership from the powers that be (dare I say franchising?)...

Offline gc_bus

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2019, 03:59:19 PM »
I phoned Whippet today and they confirmed that the P does indeed start on 18/02/19 (a week Monday) - they hope to update their website etc soon - the lady who answered said that they are missing their Commercial Manager who left later last year hence information updates are scarce. She also mentioned that they are still uncertain what will happen to the X3.....

Offline Julia_Hayward

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2019, 11:51:37 AM »
I assume it will be run with the vehicles that used to operate the 'C' ?

Offline gc_bus

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2019, 08:52:51 AM »
Yup, I think the four "spare" ex-C B7RLE's will be running on the P. First signs of the new P have appeared on Whippet's Twitter feed. Nice advertising for it next to bay 1 in Drummer Street Bus Station. Think the service itself will depart from bay 10.

Offline barryb

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2019, 12:59:24 AM »
So it's P for Pedigree?  Would have never guessed that one!

Still nothing on their website other than the Twitter post.

Offline gc_bus

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2019, 08:53:12 AM »
The Whippet Twitter feed mentions that "they hope" to get something on the website by today....... what a strange way to run a business!

Offline barryb

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2019, 09:27:13 PM »
And it's there:

Separate leaflets for the peak journeys from the depot and the daytime service.

http://www.go-whippet.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/P-SWAVESEY-LEAFLET-190218-3mm-bleed-final.pdf

http://www.go-whippet.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/P-leaflet-Whippet-190218-PRINT-2mm-bleed-black-cropboxes6379.pdf

Obviously we are nosey and a bit weird (or maybe it's just me...) so we look at both leaflets.  However if I'd only looked at the leaflet relevant to where I live in Orchard Park then I'd have remained properly confused as to what a "Purple" ticket was. 

It is such a shame that the first journey isn't a few mins earlier so I could have used it to go to the railway station :-(


Offline HughT

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2019, 10:08:47 PM »
Am I alone in finding it odd that the outbound service uses a different stop (Bay 2) at the Railway Station from Whippet's "U" (Bay 1)? At least they both use Bay 8 on the inbound service...

Offline HughT

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2019, 05:05:22 PM »
So at 10.15 this morning (Friday) there were a couple of guys handing out leaflets for the city bit of the "Pedigree" service. And it looks as though outbound calls at the Railway Station will be at Bay 2, for both P and U services. This would be a change for the U (if true). No sign of this being recorded on Traveline. And I wonder whether it will feed through to apps and Real Time Displays? Only time will tell...

Offline HughT

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2019, 11:17:52 AM »
WG102 was parked up in Sidney Street this morning (Saturday), on promotional duty.

Offline gc_bus

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2019, 05:37:58 PM »
On service P for its inaugural  day were Wright/B7RLE's WG101/102/104. Only WG102 was in full Pedigree livery but the other two are already in blue with their previous Busway C stickers removed. Talking of stickers, the insides of these vehicles are festooned with Pedigree stickers. Each seat also had a free M-ticket voucher. Worthy of note is that the B7RLE's now have Wi-Fi fitted. Loadings varied from pretty full to mostly near empty. There are some very impressive timetables along the route stops.

Offline barryb

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2019, 01:59:20 PM »
Any news as to how this service seems to be doing?

Offline TCD813

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Re: New service "P"
« Reply #29 on: March 17, 2019, 02:56:49 PM »
Any news as to how this service seems to be doing?

I was in the city on Monday 11 March 2019 at around 16:30 - 17:00 and a P passed me in Emanuel Street, comfortably-loaded.
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