Would I make Aldershot Station in time to catch the train to Alton? Luckily yes, three buses in a convoy.
I make the station with five minutes to spare.
Train to Alton running two minutes late.
The No 64 bus from Alton Station to Winchester, the bus stop clearly marked as bus train interchange, is timed to leave at exactly the same time as the train is timed to arrive. The bus usually leaves as passengers are coming out of the station.
Now you have to been a completely brain-dead moron determined to piss off passengers, for a bus to leave as passengers are pouring out of the train station.
I know, to leap off the train, run out of the station, if I am lucky, I catch the bus, delaying my ticket in case others are hoping to catch the bus, if unlucky I see the bus leaving the bus stop.
Today I was unlucky. I knew I would miss the bus, unless it was running late.
Half an hour wait for the next bus.
A few minutes early a No 64 bus turns up, windows filthy. I leap on the bus. Luckily the bus driver asked where I wished to go. I said Winchester, he said wrong bus.
Now you have to been a completely brain-dead moron determined to piss off passengers, to design a timetable with two different bus routes with the same route number.
I am now joined by a lady who has come off the next train.
A further wait of half an hour, by now chilled to the bone.
A No 65 bus comes in. I ask, just in case it is displaying the wrong number.
No, it is going to Guildford. I ask the driver where is the No 64? He says due now. I say what about the one due half an hour ago? Pig ignorant driver extremely rude, says how does he know, he only drives this bus.
Finally a No 64 bus arrives, 5-10 minutes late. Over an hour wait in the cold. Now not even worth going down to Winchester. I ask driver what happened to previous bus? He expresses surprise that it failed to turn up.
The bus is freezing cold, no heating, though not as cold as outside. The windows are filthy. A freezing cold draught, though no idea where it is coming from, no windows open. Maybe a window open upstairs.
New double-decker buses running on this route, not the clapped-out double-decker buses Stagecoach usually run.
But this is a new new bus, different design. Instead of luggage rack up front, two seats, with a tiny totally inadequate luggage space behind the seat.
At Alresford, I see a doubled-decker in front. As we get near, I see it is a No 64. Where did that come from?
I usually get off and walk down the hill into Winchester, but today too late. I stay on until bus station. I would have gone into the office and created hell about their disgraceful service, but it is now 4-15pm, day wasted without wasting more of the day.
I would have arrived around 1500 I arrive 1615.
Once again a day out ruined by Stagecoach.
On my return, bus then train to Aldershot. Bus I found has wifi, but does not connect to anything. At Aldershot, no bus, 20 minutes wait in the cold for next bus. Bus should have wifi, no wifi.
Train service is run by South West Trains. Bus service by Stagecoach. Stagecoach own South West Trains.
Stagecoach and Richard Branson have recently been handed the successful East Coast Mainline, successful because in public ownership. Are they fit and proper to run? No.
Stagecoach, has a live twitter feed, no mention of missed No 64 bus, explanation or apology.
Someone’s idea of a sick joke, when nearly every bus is not only leaving, but arriving more than ten minutes late.
At Alton, the buses must have an instruction to wait for passengers to alight from the train and catch the bus.
All drivers must wear name badges.
Buses must be equipped with gps, live updates at bus stops.
An app for smartphones and tablets, live updates, wifi at bus stops.