Thursday 25 October 2012

260 Saturday Timetable Announced

Stagecoach have released the Saturday timetable for the 260 'Villager' for when it is increased to operate six days a week on a 4 month trial from 10th November. The 260 links Goxhill, New Holland and Barrow to Barton. The Saturday service will be same as the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday timetable, with the exception of the 1425 from Barton Tesco, which will operate through to Barton Tesco on it's return rather than terminating in the Market Place.

This is very good news. However the timetable does seem 'over generous'. Is a Saturday afternoon service really needed? Would the Saturday trial be more likely to be a success with less journeys hopefully carrying more passengers per journey?

Also the 260 is unusual in that it has a different Thursday timetable compared to the rest of the week. This is to incorporate East Halton, and a service to Dam Road/Victoria House in Barton. Maybe it's just me, but wouldn't it be more logical to have these variations on a Saturday, not a Thursday, giving a consistent weekday timetable? I can't see that it really matters what day East Halton has it's link to Barton, and Saturdays would coincide with the monthly Barton Farmers Market. The fact the Saturday service is a trial may prevent this from being done now, but something to considerFurthermore I wonder if the Dam Road service is really needed considering the existence of the Barton Town Service?

A 'different' Saturday service could also allow better co-ordination with the 450 between Barrow and Barton. This would be difficult, though surely not impossible, on weekdays due to an interworked schools service, but there isn't that constraint on Saturdays. A 0929 260 from Barrow, followed soon after by a 0943 450 isn't ideal. Even less ideal is an 1139 260 followed by an 1143 450. And from Barton Interchange an 1145 450 followed by a 1200 260 is not exactly an even spaced timetable.

Anyway, good luck for the Saturday service.

Finally, an idea that might save a little taxpayers money 6 days a week. Currently on schooldays there is a 1530 service 450 from Brigg through Barton to Barrow and Goxhill. The bus then returns 'dead' to Barton. During school holidays and on Saturdays, the 1530 instead leaves Brigg around an hour later. Why not instead run the 1530 6 days a week as a 450 from Brigg to Barton, becoming a 260 at Barton to Barrow and Goxhill and return. This would enable the withdrawal of the 1603 260 from Barton Tesco, and reduce mileage on schooldays between Barton and Goxhill.

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