Why are some PlusBus areas so small?

miklcct

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In some areas, PlusBus areas are so small that it cannot be used for any decent connections with the railway. For example, I used a bus connection from East Grinstead and to Haywards Heath yesterday but my destination (Chelwood Gate) was outside both zones so I couldn't use a PlusBus ticket. The Metrobus network is spread into 9 PlusBus zones that aren't interconnected!

The purpose of PlusBus is to add local bus travel to a long-distance rail journey. However, some of the zones actually can't cover places which are too far to walk from the rail station and require a bus connection to get, defeating the purpose of the scheme.

Why aren't the PlusBus areas made larger to cover places which aren't directly served by the railway, and to cover gaps between different railway lines, encouraging people to use connecting public transport to attract rail travellers?
 
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duncombec

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The purpose of PlusBus is to add local bus travel to a long-distance rail journey. However, some of the zones actually can't cover places which are too far to walk from the rail station and require a bus connection to get, defeating the purpose of the scheme.
Key word highlighted: Chelwood Gate is approximately 8 miles from both of the stations you quote (slightly less to East Grinstead, slightly more to Haywards Heath). 8 miles is hardly local.

To quote from the Plusbus website:
We're all after an easier life. Travelling to or from the train station doesn't have to be hassle - driving in traffic, trying to find a parking space or paying through the nose for a taxi. Simply buy a PlusBus ticket with your train ticket and you're sorted. We give you unlimited bus and tram travel on most/all operators services, around the whole urban area of your rail-served town or city.
The fact that Chelwood Gate is not in even slightly in any urban area is probably key to why it won't be accepted.

Why aren't the PlusBus areas made larger to cover places which aren't directly served by the railway, and to cover gaps between different railway lines, encouraging people to use connecting public transport to attract rail travellers?
Because that would be a different scheme. There is much to be said for setting one up, but really, you're complaining about the wrong thing.

I suggest PlusBus is designed with the purpose of reducing the need (or the pressure on) railway station carparks, by providing an add-on fare cheaper than the car park for people who live too far away from the station to walk, but close enough that they don't really need to be using a car.

Believe it or not, in the south of England, a single fare of £4.10 (Haywards Heath) or £3.70 (East Grinstead) for an 8 mile journey is actually pretty good going - and unlike many operators (still), Metrobus make it incredibly easy to find their fares online.
 

RT4038

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In some areas, PlusBus areas are so small that it cannot be used for any decent connections with the railway. For example, I used a bus connection from East Grinstead and to Haywards Heath yesterday but my destination (Chelwood Gate) was outside both zones so I couldn't use a PlusBus ticket. The Metrobus network is spread into 9 PlusBus zones that aren't interconnected!

The purpose of PlusBus is to add local bus travel to a long-distance rail journey. However, some of the zones actually can't cover places which are too far to walk from the rail station and require a bus connection to get, defeating the purpose of the scheme.

Why aren't the PlusBus areas made larger to cover places which aren't directly served by the railway, and to cover gaps between different railway lines, encouraging people to use connecting public transport to attract rail travellers?
One has to realise that generally the bus companies are none too happy with their deal out of Plusbus - the railway gets its full fare and the bus company has to make do with a discounted fare. The system won't be progressed meaningfully until the funding of both come out of the same pot.
 

JonathanH

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What hardship is being claimed here? With the advent of contactless payment on buses, there isn't a need for through tickets any more, the benefit of which was arguably only ever about removing the 'cash' barrier to boarding a bus, and a dubious 'right' of passengers to save money at the cost of bus companies just because they were making a through journey.
 

Ken H

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Plusbus in West Yorkshire covers the whole county. Buy a Weeton - Horsforth day return and get a £4 plus bus to ride to Todmorden, Huddersfield and Wakefield.
 

johncrossley

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With the advent of Uber-type apps, there's less reason to use the bus at the end of a train trip, especially if you only need a single trip.
 

miklcct

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Key word highlighted: Chelwood Gate is approximately 8 miles from both of the stations you quote (slightly less to East Grinstead, slightly more to Haywards Heath). 8 miles is hardly local.
The PlusBus area where I live, Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole, is so large that it covers 7 railway stations on the same line, with 4 of them designated interchanges, and the boundary as far as beyond the council boundary, up to Wimborne.
 

johncrossley

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The PlusBus area where I live, Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole, is so large that it covers 7 railway stations on the same line, with 4 of them designated interchanges, and the boundary as far as beyond the council boundary, up to Wimborne.

As an approximation, PlusBus covers continuous urban areas. So once you get into the countryside, that's usually the end of the PlusBus zone. Hence the Bournemouth zone is bigger than the East Grinstead one, and the West Yorkshire one is bigger than the Bournemouth one.
 

duncombec

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The PlusBus area where I live, Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole, is so large that it covers 7 railway stations on the same line, with 4 of them designated interchanges, and the boundary as far as beyond the council boundary, up to Wimborne.
Presumably because MoreBus and Yellow Buses have found it easier to accept on all of their services rather than just some. You may also note that with a few exceptions, it is mostly one large, contiguous, urban area. Chelwood Gate: population 587....

Are you sure it covers 7 stations? PlusBus only say Bournemouth and Poole.
 

FenMan

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With the advent of Uber-type apps, there's less reason to use the bus at the end of a train trip, especially if you only need a single trip.

Only if Uber etc operate in the area. For example, Uber will happily pick-up at Camberley station, but there's no trace of them at Farnborough Main, Aldershot or Blackwater. Although all are in the same conurbation Camberley happens to be in Surrey, where Uber does operate, while the rest are in Hampshire (northern bit), where it doesn't.

.
 

johncrossley

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Only if Uber etc operate in the area. For example, Uber will happily pick-up at Camberley station, but there's no trace of them at Farnborough Main, Aldershot or Blackwater. Although all are in the same conurbation Camberley happens to be in Surrey, where Uber does operate, while the rest are in Hampshire (northern bit), where it doesn't.

That's why I said "Uber-type apps". Maybe other firms operate in those areas.
 

paul1609

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In some areas, PlusBus areas are so small that it cannot be used for any decent connections with the railway. For example, I used a bus connection from East Grinstead and to Haywards Heath yesterday but my destination (Chelwood Gate) was outside both zones so I couldn't use a PlusBus ticket. The Metrobus network is spread into 9 PlusBus zones that aren't interconnected!

The purpose of PlusBus is to add local bus travel to a long-distance rail journey. However, some of the zones actually can't cover places which are too far to walk from the rail station and require a bus connection to get, defeating the purpose of the scheme.

Why aren't the PlusBus areas made larger to cover places which aren't directly served by the railway, and to cover gaps between different railway lines, encouraging people to use connecting public transport to attract rail travellers?
Key word highlighted: Chelwood Gate is approximately 8 miles from both of the stations you quote (slightly less to East Grinstead, slightly more to Haywards Heath). 8 miles is hardly local.

To quote from the Plusbus website:

The fact that Chelwood Gate is not in even slightly in any urban area is probably key to why it won't be accepted.


Because that would be a different scheme. There is much to be said for setting one up, but really, you're complaining about the wrong thing.

I suggest PlusBus is designed with the purpose of reducing the need (or the pressure on) railway station carparks, by providing an add-on fare cheaper than the car park for people who live too far away from the station to walk, but close enough that they don't really need to be using a car.

Believe it or not, in the south of England, a single fare of £4.10 (Haywards Heath) or £3.70 (East Grinstead) for an 8 mile journey is actually pretty good going - and unlike many operators (still), Metrobus make it incredibly easy to find their fares online.
The ticket required for this journey is a 1 day Metro Voyager at £7.25 on the key or Metrobus app. Covers the whole Metrobus network.
The discovery ticket covers most buses & operators in Kent, Sussex and parts of Hampshire & Surrey for £9 a day. the
 

toffeedanish

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Plusbus in West Yorkshire covers the whole county. Buy a Weeton - Horsforth day return and get a £4 plus bus to ride to Todmorden, Huddersfield and Wakefield.
Horsforth is not a Plusbus station. If travelling from Weeton you would need a rail ticket to Leeds.
 

miklcct

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Are you sure it covers 7 stations? PlusBus only say Bournemouth and Poole.
The 7 stations are in order: Hamworthy, Poole, Parkstone, Branksome, Bournemouth, Pokesdown and Christchurch (located in the zone map, where a PlusBus ticket can't be sold with an internal journey between these stations). Among them, PlusBus tickets can be bought from Poole, Branksome, Bournemouth and Christchurch with a train ticket outside these 7 stations.

Therefore, the PlusBus ticket can be used to undercut bus companies' own fare if one has a railcard, or to work around the limitation that multi-operator bus tickets are not available, by getting a Christchurch - Hinton Admiral or Poole - Holton Heath train ticket. For example, if one's intention is to travel between Bournemouth and Wimborne in a single day, taking Yellow Buses outward and morebus return, the cheapest way (with or without a railcard) is to buy a Poole - Holton Heath evening single which is to be discarded, and use the PlusBus ticket to travel on both companies' buses to work around the limitation that no proper multi-operator bus ticket is available to Wimborne.
 

Deerfold

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Horsforth is not a Plusbus station. If travelling from Weeton you would need a rail ticket to Leeds.
Which is an extra £1 or £1.10 depending on time of day, whilst a MetroDay you can just tap on each bus is only £5 to £5.50 depending how many you buy at once on a card or phone, or £5.50 for a paper ticket.

If you've a railcard, the saving can be rather better.

It was ann annoying several years ago when about half the PlusBus stations in West Yorkshire were removed, many near the edge of the county.

Travelling to Keighley often worked well by getting a PlusBus to Hebden Bridge and getting the bus. Now you have to get a more expensive ticket to Halifax and finish the journey early.
 

AlterEgo

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The PlusBus area where I live, Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole, is so large that it covers 7 railway stations on the same line, with 4 of them designated interchanges, and the boundary as far as beyond the council boundary, up to Wimborne.
You live in a large conurbation, unlike Haywards Heath.
 

duncombec

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The 7 stations are in order: Hamworthy, Poole, Parkstone, Branksome, Bournemouth, Pokesdown and Christchurch (located in the zone map, where a PlusBus ticket can't be sold with an internal journey between these stations).
There may be 7 stations in the zone, but as you go to admit yourself, you can't buy a plusbus ticket to all of them. It doesn't really "cover" them - and living in a large conurbation it's not surprising there is more than one station covered.
Among them, PlusBus tickets can be bought from Poole, Branksome, Bournemouth and Christchurch with a train ticket outside these 7 stations.
Apologies - I see that the PlusBus site is incomplete, but both your previous thread (https://www.railforums.co.uk/thread...ble-for-every-station-within-the-zone.218264/) and national Rail adds Branksome and Christchurch - nevertheless, still only 4 stations.

Therefore, the PlusBus ticket can be used to undercut bus companies' own fare if one has a railcard, or to work around the limitation that multi-operator bus tickets are not available, by getting a Christchurch - Hinton Admiral or Poole - Holton Heath train ticket. For example, if one's intention is to travel between Bournemouth and Wimborne in a single day, taking Yellow Buses outward and morebus return, the cheapest way (with or without a railcard) is to buy a Poole - Holton Heath evening single which is to be discarded, and use the PlusBus ticket to travel on both companies' buses to work around the limitation that no proper multi-operator bus ticket is available to Wimborne.
I read this as you not using a Plusbus ticket in the spirit they were intended... the key word being PlusBus, not "Buy a train ticket that you don't use in order to get cheaper bus fares" ticket, however useful a true multi-operator ticket would be (which, based on the fact there are no duplicated routings, and each operator serves different catchment areas on their way between the two, probably isn't that high).
 

61653 HTAFC

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As an approximation, PlusBus covers continuous urban areas. So once you get into the countryside, that's usually the end of the PlusBus zone. Hence the Bournemouth zone is bigger than the East Grinstead one, and the West Yorkshire one is bigger than the Bournemouth one.
Though there are plenty of pretty rural areas between some of the population centres in West Yorkshire.
 

Y Ddraig Coch

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Plus Bus from Llandudno takes in, All of Llandudno, Penrhyn Bay, Deganwy, Conwy and Conwy Morfa a massive area for £3.00 add on I think it must be down to the local operator how big the area is.
 

MikeWM

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Try getting anywhere useful with an Ely PlusBus! The area covers, well, Ely. There aren't many buses in the first place, and almost none of them stop anywhere near the station - the nearest bus stop that's served more than a couple of times a day is quite a walk away, around the back/other side of Tesco.

It is only £1.70, but I'd be surprised if anyone actually bought it.
 

davetheguard

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What hardship is being claimed here? With the advent of contactless payment on buses, there isn't a need for through tickets any more, the benefit of which was arguably only ever about removing the 'cash' barrier to boarding a bus, and a dubious 'right' of passengers to save money at the cost of bus companies just because they were making a through journey.

Surely faster boarding at stops because passengers already have (Plusbus) tickets will be a benefit to the bus company?
 

miklcct

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however useful a true multi-operator ticket would be (which, based on the fact there are no duplicated routings, and each operator serves different catchment areas on their way between the two, probably isn't that high).
The value of a multi-operator ticket is when there are duplicated routings, where it isn't known that which company's bus will come first. I travel between two fixed points frequently about 5 round-trips per week i.e. 10 journeys, with approximately 6 on Yellow Buses and 4 on morebus. On some days I use the same company on both outbound and return but on other days I use different ones, and on some days it depends on when I arrive the bus stop. In such case a true multi-operator season ticket can be very useful.

If there aren't any duplicated routings, a multi-operator ticket doesn't confer any advantages over buying a single-operator ticket.
 

TUC

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One has to realise that generally the bus companies are none too happy with their deal out of Plusbus - the railway gets its full fare and the bus company has to make do with a discounted fare. The system won't be progressed meaningfully until the funding of both come out of the same pot.
The bus companies have joined PlusBus of their own free choice.
 

paul1609

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As an approximation, PlusBus covers continuous urban areas. So once you get into the countryside, that's usually the end of the PlusBus zone. Hence the Bournemouth zone is bigger than the East Grinstead one, and the West Yorkshire one is bigger than the Bournemouth one.
Down here in the Rye plusbus we are flying the flag for the rural plusbus! Our area covers from Tenterden and Northiam via Rye Station then for another 20 miles across the Marsh to New Romney via Dungeness!
 

ChrisC

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Down here in the Rye plusbus we are flying the flag for the rural plusbus! Our area covers from Tenterden and Northiam via Rye Station then for another 20 miles across the Marsh to New Romney via Dungeness!
Thanks. That’s a great one to know about. I hadn’t thought about Rye having a plusbus ticket with it only being a relatively small town in a rural area.
 

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