Durham Bus Stn
#21
(16/03/2014, 17:25)Kuyoyo Wrote: Funny, I rank Park Lane along with Middlesbrough and Gateshead as one of the better laid-out Bus Stations in the North East. Admittedly it could do with being enclosed but then the same could be said about Bishop Auckland 'Bus Station'.

The main problem is with multiple buses trying to use the same stands at the same time. Granted; operators could make an effort to rectify this issue, and sometimes things happen which truly are unpredictable, but Park Lane is far from perfect.

To make the following anecdote a little clearer, do refer to this map throughout.
An example of this was demonstrated on Friday night at 16:00. Three Houghton-bound "Laser" 35s came into Park Lane together, causing chaos. One occupied the correct stand (L), with another occupying Stand M. Luckily, the "Fast Cats" X35 which should have been sat on Stand M in preparation for the 16:05 departure was still laying over. A "Prince Bishops" 20 was already pulled into Stand N (its correct stand), so the final "Laser" 35 in the trio had to wait behind the crossing until one of the vehicles had pulled out of Stands L/M. In turn, the E2 which was trying to depart from Stand P couldn't - the following Economic service was already trying to pull in front of the Shields-bound "Laser" 35 I was on, and another Shields-bound "Laser" 35 was stuck next to Stand R - jamming in the President which was operating the 16:04 #9 departure from that stand.
It was truly chaotic for that two or three minute period - of course the lettering of services on "Laser" 35 confused things even more. Some passengers wanted to get on one bus, while others wanted to get on another. Some thought, "I'm going to wait here for the next 35 which won't be as packed"...

A similar example of this happened at about 8am earlier this week. Three 56s (two branded and a red one) occupied Stands S, T and V. Drivers of the "Lime" and "Silver Arrows" often drop off at those stands if they have a good amount of layover (especially the former) which allows other drivers to get past Stands K and J with greater ease. There was also the usual service departures from those stands which were affected and ended up sitting behind Stand V, blocking Stands L-R in the process.

As well as the issue of it being immensely cold, there's also the issue of an accident occurring at the entrance/exit of Park Lane. If one thing blocks that part of Park Lane, you're guaranteed chaos for at least an hour. Perfect example of this happening around this time last year:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/danielgrah...otostream/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/danielgrah...otostream/
Doesn't happen often, but enough to prove that Park Lane really isn't suitable.
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#22
(16/03/2014, 17:48)Dan Wrote: The main problem is with multiple buses trying to use the same stands at the same time. Granted; operators could make an effort to rectify this issue, and sometimes things happen which truly are unpredictable, but Park Lane is far from perfect.

To make the following anecdote a little clearer, do refer to this map throughout.
An example of this was demonstrated on Friday night at 16:00. Three Houghton-bound "Laser" 35s came into Park Lane together, causing chaos. One occupied the correct stand (L), with another occupying Stand M. Luckily, the "Fast Cats" X35 which should have been sat on Stand M in preparation for the 16:05 departure was still laying over. A "Prince Bishops" 20 was already pulled into Stand N (its correct stand), so the final "Laser" 35 in the trio had to wait behind the crossing until one of the vehicles had pulled out of Stands L/M. In turn, the E2 which was trying to depart from Stand P couldn't - the following Economic service was already trying to pull in front of the Shields-bound "Laser" 35 I was on, and another Shields-bound "Laser" 35 was stuck next to Stand R - jamming in the President which was operating the 16:04 #9 departure from that stand.
It was truly chaotic for that two or three minute period - of course the lettering of services on "Laser" 35 confused things even more. Some passengers wanted to get on one bus, while others wanted to get on another. Some thought, "I'm going to wait here for the next 35 which won't be as packed"...

A similar example of this happened at about 8am earlier this week. Three 56s (two branded and a red one) occupied Stands S, T and V. Drivers of the "Lime" and "Silver Arrows" often drop off at those stands if they have a good amount of layover (especially the former) which allows other drivers to get past Stands K and J with greater ease. There was also the usual service departures from those stands which were affected and ended up sitting behind Stand V, blocking Stands L-R in the process.

As well as the issue of it being immensely cold, there's also the issue of an accident occurring at the entrance/exit of Park Lane. If one thing blocks that part of Park Lane, you're guaranteed chaos for at least an hour. Perfect example of this happening around this time last year:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/danielgrah...otostream/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/danielgrah...otostream/
Doesn't happen often, but enough to prove that Park Lane really isn't suitable.

If you're using that as a 'issue', then it's applied to every bus station in the area with the exception of Hartlepool Interchange (only because it's only used once an hour by one bus service) and Wallsend Bus Station. You can't get more than one bus on stands in Middlesbrough and, as witnessed by the accident on Monday, there's also the issue of the bus station getting blocked if buses end up blocked onto the stands. Same happens at Gateshead, well know for a queue to built up for Stand H as there always seems to be a timing clash with the X9 or X10 a 56 a 57 and the X25. Middlesbrough Bus Station also has the problem that the roundabout at the entrance/exit can cause major problems if the queue to exit.

For 'lay-out', I was more referring to the fact it has two separate parts unlike Eldon Square plus there's very little of the 'saw tooth' bays there (and of what there are of those bays, they have plenty of room to reverse unlike Durham, Eldon Square and Haymarket).
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#23
(16/03/2014, 17:57)Kuyoyo Wrote: If you're using that as a 'issue', then it's applied to every bus station in the area with the exception of Hartlepool Interchange (only because it's only used once an hour by one bus service) and Wallsend Bus Station. You can't get more than one bus on stands in Middlesbrough and, as witnessed by the accident on Monday, there's also the issue of the bus station getting blocked if buses end up blocked onto the stands. Same happens at Gateshead, well know for a queue to built up for Stand H as there always seems to be a timing clash with the X9 or X10 a 56 a 57 and the X25. Middlesbrough Bus Station also has the problem that the roundabout at the entrance/exit can cause major problems if the queue to exit.

For 'lay-out', I was more referring to the fact it has two separate parts unlike Eldon Square plus there's very little of the 'saw tooth' bays there (and of what there are of those bays, they have plenty of room to reverse unlike Durham, Eldon Square and Haymarket).

That's exactly what the problem is. Bus stations should be designed with these things in mind, but in my opinion, they haven't been.

Stands A-G at Park Lane probably work a lot better than Stands H-V as there appears to be a lot less issues. Breakdowns/vehicle issues have been known to occur on Stands A-G too mind, but drivers have in the past been able to work around it (I recall when 4920 had problems with changing from reverse to drive, an Arriva bus just decided to cut over the layover bays to get to its usual stand).

Durham, Eldon Square and Haymarket are far too compact. When you compare the sizes of those bus stations compared to the 'better' bus stations you gave as examples, is it any wonder that those are far superior?
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#24
(16/03/2014, 18:04)Dan Wrote: That's exactly what the problem is. Bus stations should be designed with these things in mind, but in my opinion, they haven't been.

Stands A-G at Park Lane probably work a lot better than Stands H-V as there appears to be a lot less issues. Breakdowns/vehicle issues have been known to occur on Stands A-G too mind, but drivers have in the past been able to work around it (I recall when 4920 had problems with changing from reverse to drive, an Arriva bus just decided to cut over the layover bays to get to its usual stand).

Durham, Eldon Square and Haymarket are far too compact. When you compare the sizes of those bus stations compared to the 'better' bus stations you gave as examples, is it any wonder that those are far superior?

But how can you design bus stations for occasional 'issues' like late buses? The simple matter is you can't.

The issue with Middlesbrough is the fact some drivers (for all companies not just one) seem only to be able to try using Stand 11 (the one slap bang in the middle of the horseshoe) to set down (it is the official set-down stand) however when you've got buses turning up all the time, there's plenty more stands to be used. The only other problem is the doors - the 'In' and 'Out' way doesn't work in my mind and all stands (bar stand 1/2/20/21 as those bring issues) should have been done with one set of double doors as on Stand 11. Although the key problem is the fact the refurbishment was done on the cheap (hence the reason it was completed 2 weeks earlier than originally forecast and the door issues were there on the first day).
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#25
What brings park lane down for me is the bend near the metro station which is between stands L and K... if buses are at stand K and there sticking out sometimes it can cause a back up...

I also agree with buses using different stands when a bus is on their original stands, the 20's and 35's are terrible for this as are the E's


Passengers of stagecoach wonder why they don't serve park lane (the likes of the 3,4 etc), its congestion and a badly designed bus station to me.

Its also like a wind turbine - i'm sure there was plans to cover it, this was years ago mind.

As the one on the nexus map of park lane is behind (like normal)

|-Stand A - Metro Replacement
|-Stand B - 23/24
|-Stand C - 61/X7
|-Stand D - 60
|-Stand E - 38/38C/238
|-Stand F - 42
|-Stand G - 700
|-Stand H - 39 (Pennywell)/73
|-Stand J - 2A,2C
|-Stand K - 8,78,78A
|-Stand L - 35/35A/35B/35C - Low Moorsley / Rainton Bridge / South Hetton
|-Stand M - X35
|-Stand N - 20,20A,X20
|-Stand P - E1/E2/E6
|-Stand Q - 35/35A/35B/35C- South Shields
|-Stand R - 9
|-Stand S - 56/N56
|-Stand T - 29/29A/135/136/X36 - Towards Newcastle
|-Stand V - X36 - buses between Interchange and Enterprise Park leave from stand V/700

Could they not move X36 to stand M for the one towards Newcastle - so Stand M is fully Fast Cats?
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#26
(16/03/2014, 18:12)Kuyoyo Wrote: But how can you design bus stations for occasional 'issues' like late buses? The simple matter is you can't.

I'd hardly say that late buses are an occasional issue. Maybe they're not 'late' in the operator's definition of the word (up to 5 minutes late), but when you've got, in some cases, three buses due to depart the same stand in the space of 5 minutes, then it's a persistent problem.
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#27
(16/03/2014, 18:12)Kuyoyo Wrote: But how can you design bus stations for occasional 'issues' like late buses? The simple matter is you can't.

The issue with Middlesbrough is the fact some drivers (for all companies not just one) seem only to be able to try using Stand 11 (the one slap bang in the middle of the horseshoe) to set down (it is the official set-down stand) however when you've got buses turning up all the time, there's plenty more stands to be used. The only other problem is the doors - the 'In' and 'Out' way doesn't work in my mind and all stands (bar stand 1/2/20/21 as those bring issues) should have been done with one set of double doors as on Stand 11. Although the key problem is the fact the refurbishment was done on the cheap (hence the reason it was completed 2 weeks earlier than originally forecast and the door issues were there on the first day).

Why can't you? Late running buses is not an 'occasional' thing, it's a daily occurrence. Buses using the wrong stands is a daily occurrence (I'd go as far to suggest it happens every hour each day) - again, this could be prevented by operators choosing which stands to have buses serve on the basis of when they're actually going to be there, but it's a problem nevertheless.
The design of the perfect bus station would factor the daily issues into plans - things like the issue with the blockage of the entrance/exit owing to an accident is going to be factored into the decision less because that truly is an occasional thing.
Granted, this will inflict a greater cost - but you'd be providing minimal disruption to customers and hopefully things would operate with greater ease. As a customer, I hate it when my bus driver can't get to the right stand and I have to panic that the driver isn't actually going to stop to let me on when he does eventually get to my stand as he expected me to walk over to the bus itself.

Yes, I hate the in/out door system at Middlesbrough too. As an occasional visitor, I've never understood it. I hate that I'm forced to use specified entrances/exits - I'd prefer to navigate around the station at my own will, providing it is safe to do so.
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#28
(16/03/2014, 18:18)aureolin Wrote: I'd hardly say that late buses are an occasional issue. Maybe they're not 'late' in the operator's definition of the word (up to 5 minutes late), but when you've got, in some cases, three buses due to depart the same stand in the space of 5 minutes, then it's a persistent problem.

The general rule for most bus stations is that there must be a 5 minutes gap between services off stands for companies (hence why one trip of Stagecoach on Teesside's 13 service goes off stand 19 in Middlesbrough during the week as there's a Hartlepool service 1 timed to leave the normal stand (20) at the same time).

And there lies another problem that could be mentioned about Park Lane but not Gateshead and Middlesbrough - there's little layover space there compared to Gateshead and a lot less than in Middlesbrough. Not uncommon for buses in Middlesbrough to sit in the layover bays while waiting for their stand to clear and that includes (the very limited) number of services that don't terminate there (which is now down to just 4 Stagecoach services and no Arriva services).
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#29
(16/03/2014, 18:24)Kuyoyo Wrote: The general rule for most bus stations is that there must be a 5 minutes gap between services off stands for companies (hence why one trip of Stagecoach on Teesside's 13 service goes off stand 19 in Middlesbrough during the week as there's a Hartlepool service 1 timed to leave the normal stand (20) at the same time).

And there lies another problem that could be mentioned about Park Lane but not Gateshead and Middlesbrough - there's little layover space there compared to Gateshead and a lot less than in Middlesbrough. Not uncommon for buses in Middlesbrough to sit in the layover bays while waiting for their stand to clear and that includes (the very limited) number of services that don't terminate there (which is now down to just 4 Stagecoach services and no Arriva services).

Well that's certainly not the case for the Shields Economic services... Arguably one of the most troublesome services, combined with the high frequency "Laser" 35 and "Prince Bishops" 20 which surround the stand the Economic services use.
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#30
(16/03/2014, 18:23)Dan Wrote: Why can't you? Late running buses is not an 'occasional' thing, it's a daily occurrence. Buses using the wrong stands is a daily occurrence (I'd go as far to suggest it happens every hour each day) - again, this could be prevented by operators choosing which stands to have buses serve on the basis of when they're actually going to be there, but it's a problem nevertheless.
The design of the perfect bus station would factor the daily issues into plans - things like the issue with the blockage of the entrance/exit owing to an accident is going to be factored into the decision less because that truly is an occasional thing.
Granted, this will inflict a greater cost - but you'd be providing minimal disruption to customers and hopefully things would operate with greater ease. As a customer, I hate it when my bus driver can't get to the right stand and I have to panic that the driver isn't actually going to stop to let me on when he does eventually get to my stand as he expected me to walk over to the bus itself.

Yes, I hate the in/out door system at Middlesbrough too. As an occasional visitor, I've never understood it. I hate that I'm forced to use specified entrances/exits - I'd prefer to navigate around the station at my own will, providing it is safe to do so.

Using Middlesbrough (and Stagecoach again, will use Arriva again), stand allocations refer to where the bus is going (Stagecoach's 11/12 go off the same stand as they both go a similar route as far as the A174 Parkway and both serve the Parkway Centre, likewise the 36/37/38 use the same stand as they are a combined service, Arriva have now done the same by moving the peak time Ingleby Barwick/Kingsmead express to stand 12 with the 17/17a/17b as they are a group of services and to avoid confusing people from those areas that they get their off-peak bus off one stand and the peak express from a completely different one).

Like I said above, it's actually quite rare for a bus to use the 'wrong' stand in Middlesbrough as they normally go into the layover bays to wait until their stand is free. Of course, at present we have a service going off the wrong stand as its normal stand is still under repair but that should be resolved shortly then likelihood is the Park End stand will be taken out of use to fix the door on there.
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#31
(16/03/2014, 18:28)Dan Wrote: Well that's certainly not the case for the Shields Economic services... Arguably one of the most troublesome services, combined with the high frequency "Laser" 35 and "Prince Bishops" 20 which surround the stand the Economic services use.

Oh i agree with that, also doesn't help the Laser serves 2 bus stands in Park lane... Wonder if they could drop the ones going to Hetton etc?
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#32
(16/03/2014, 18:28)Dan Wrote: Well that's certainly not the case for the Shields Economic services... Arguably one of the most troublesome services, combined with the high frequency "Laser" 35 and "Prince Bishops" 20 which surround the stand the Economic services use.

That is the general rule for allocating services to stands. As the Economic services run at a combined 7 minutes frequency (every 20 minutes each), that shouldn't be a problem.
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#33
I fear for what will be foisted onto Hexham in the way of a 'bus station'.

The County Council seem set on selling the current site for development, and I suspect they have Ashington in mind (not as a location - but as a 'model') when they propose linear bus stops along Priestpopple.

The majority of the services using Hexham bus station start and terminate there - there are just a minority that are 'through' services (683, 685, 687 and 688 IIRC).

With the layover time requiring somewhere to park the bus between runs, linear stops on busy Priestpopple will create congestion, and the plan to use Benson's monument as a turning point confirms that the 'planners' have no understanding of Hexham and Battle Hill.

I would insist that these planners should spend a whole day observing the movements and see the chaos that occurs - particularly around 3.30pm to 4.15pm when the school buses coincide with the arrival/departure of the afternoon 685, 687, 688, X85, X84, 74, Ten etc. (not to mention the Tyne Valley and Howard Snaith rural services) and imagine how on-street linear bus stops would cause gridlock.

However, I fear that NCC has made up their mind and will push ahead with their plans regardless . . .
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#34
For me the bus station would be (only a few changes)

|-Stand A - Metro Replacement
|-Stand B - 23/24
|-Stand C - 61/X7
|-Stand D - 60
|-Stand E - 38/38C/238
|-Stand F - 42
|-Stand G - 700
|-Stand H - 39 (Pennywell)
|-Stand J - 2A,2C
|-Stand K - 8,78,78A
|-Stand L - 35/35A/35B/35C - Low Moorsley / Rainton Bridge / South Hetton
|-Stand M - X35/X36 (Newcastle)
|-Stand N - 20,20A,X20
|-Stand P - E1/E2/E6
|-Stand Q - 35/35A/35B/35C- South Shields
|-Stand R - 9/29
|-Stand S - 56/N56
|-Stand T - 29A/73/135/136
|-Stand V - 700/ X36 - to Enterprise Park

Tried to fit stagecoach back in but just doesn't work not with almost of these services now running every 10 mins
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#35
(16/03/2014, 18:30)Kuyoyo Wrote: Using Middlesbrough (and Stagecoach again, will use Arriva again), stand allocations refer to where the bus is going (Stagecoach's 11/12 go off the same stand as they both go a similar route as far as the A174 Parkway and both serve the Parkway Centre, likewise the 36/37/38 use the same stand as they are a combined service, Arriva have now done the same by moving the peak time Ingleby Barwick/Kingsmead express to stand 12 with the 17/17a/17b as they are a group of services and to avoid confusing people from those areas that they get their off-peak bus off one stand and the peak express from a completely different one).

Like I said above, it's actually quite rare for a bus to use the 'wrong' stand in Middlesbrough as they normally go into the layover bays to wait until their stand is free. Of course, at present we have a service going off the wrong stand as its normal stand is still under repair but that should be resolved shortly then likelihood is the Park End stand will be taken out of use to fix the door on there.

So clearly, Middlesbrough Bus Station is a hell of a lot better than Park Lane Interchange.
Buses running late and having to use the wrong stands may only be an occasional issue for you down in Middlesbrough, but it's a completely different story here in Sunderland. Nine times out of ten, it has a knock-on effect, and at peak times more so, causes chaos.

(16/03/2014, 18:31)Michael Wrote: Oh i agree with that, also doesn't help the Laser serves 2 bus stands in Park lane... Wonder if they could drop the ones going to Hetton etc?

That's also incredibly confusing for one-off visitors, I feel. I've always preferred that the 39 Pennywell-bound uses the Interchange whereas the Doxford Park-bound service doesn't.

(16/03/2014, 18:32)Kuyoyo Wrote: That is the general rule for allocating services to stands. As the Economic services run at a combined 7 minutes frequency (every 20 minutes each), that shouldn't be a problem.

Arrival/departure times aren't at a combined 7 minute frequency, though. If a driver rather foolishly decides not to use a different stand when dropping off to then use the layover while he waits for the Economic service before him to disappear, it has a knock on effect. I've been in Park Lane when all three Economic services have been present - two occupying stands while one is on the layover. Down to late running again, and it's ridiculous. It really doesn't show signs that Park Lane is a good bus station.


// Side note: Moved the bus station discussion to this thread, as per original post about Durham.
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#36
(16/03/2014, 18:13)Michael Wrote: What brings park lane down for me is the bend near the metro station which is between stands L and K... if buses are at stand K and there sticking out sometimes it can cause a back up...

I also agree with buses using different stands when a bus is on their original stands, the 20's and 35's are terrible for this as are the E's


Passengers of stagecoach wonder why they don't serve park lane (the likes of the 3,4 etc), its congestion and a badly designed bus station to me.

Its also like a wind turbine - i'm sure there was plans to cover it, this was years ago mind.

As the one on the nexus map of park lane is behind (like normal)

|-Stand A - Metro Replacement
|-Stand B - 23/24
|-Stand C - 61/X7
|-Stand D - 60
|-Stand E - 38/38C/238
|-Stand F - 42
|-Stand G - 700
|-Stand H - 39 (Pennywell)/73
|-Stand J - 2A,2C
|-Stand K - 8,78,78A
|-Stand L - 35/35A/35B/35C - Low Moorsley / Rainton Bridge / South Hetton
|-Stand M - X35
|-Stand N - 20,20A,X20
|-Stand P - E1/E2/E6
|-Stand Q - 35/35A/35B/35C- South Shields
|-Stand R - 9
|-Stand S - 56/N56
|-Stand T - 29/29A/135/136/X36 - Towards Newcastle
|-Stand V - X36 - buses between Interchange and Enterprise Park leave from stand V/700

Could they not move X36 to stand M for the one towards Newcastle - so Stand M is fully Fast Cats?

Michael I think stagecoach did right to omit Sunderland interchange when frequencies changed to 10 mins on most services. Can't remember issues at CBS but then again go ahead served park lane and busways as it was served CBS. Has anyone got any layouts of CBS FROM 80s or 90s.
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#37
(16/03/2014, 19:38)Acky81 Wrote: Michael I think stagecoach did right to omit Sunderland interchange when frequencies changed to 10 mins on most services. Can't remember issues at CBS but then again go ahead served park lane and busways as it was served CBS. Has anyone got any layouts of CBS FROM 80s or 90s.

layouts of the old and refurbish central bus station are in the bygone era on the site
I'm in favour of Bus Bill 
Also out of the EU
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#38
(16/03/2014, 19:38)Acky81 Wrote: Has anyone got any layouts of CBS FROM 80s or 90s.

Here's some from 1985.

   
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#39
Multi-million pound plans to revive Durham North Road.

http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/11...orth_Road/
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#40
(09/04/2014, 17:54)Jimmi Wrote: Multi-million pound plans to revive Durham North Road.

http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/11...orth_Road/

I like the idea, hopefully it goes ahead
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