Is it ever acceptable to have no stock of bus timetables at a bus enquiry office? I ask this question because two almost adjacent south coast operators were without them.
Other than for Eclipse, First’s Gosport & Fareham timetables weren’t available ahead of the 22nd April 2012 changes. It was a major alteration and they only appeared a few days after the event (rather than the more useful week beforehand, at the least). At least there are bus enquiry offices to visit in Gosport, Fareham & Poole, to ask questions. In Bournemouth, the only easily accessible place near the main bus stops for W&D information is the tourist office. Tourist staff need not always be the best people to answer complicated questions.
What are the alternatives? Smartphones and tablets. Or printouts taken off the web before the journey. If you know there will be no information at the point of travel. None of these necessarily offers a solution for spontaneous travel, not in the same way as a booklet or set of leaflets might.
It’s understood that with a considerable number of changes and possible cuts, Gwynedd county council, Wales, is no longer offering its comprehensive bus timetable booklets. Instead, library staff can photocopy or print off timetables directly for you, at 10p per service. Paying for timetables may not be to everyone’s liking (though it’s not unknown to pay for booklets, even today). But paying per sheet or service does ensure that timetables are always readily available and never out of stock. It’s quite a clever approach, don’t you think.
Additional information from Omnibuses’ Northern Correspondent