First Glasgow: Was Simplicity Effective?

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JumpinTrainz

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Simplicity was introduced in 2013 (almost 8 years ago), looking back at the route maps from the Overground changes and what the services were like before May 2013 a lot of routes were combined into one.

I wanted to know how effective people think the simplicity changes were. Obviously granted First know the network best and wanted to scale back on routes which perhaps weren’t working anymore and ones which were.

Which routes would you have kept and how would you change the network from simplicity now 8 years on?
 
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If the aim was to 'simplify' then, no I don't think it was.

However, if it was to maximise efficiency then, I think it was effective.

The changing of some Service Numbers to fit with others left a huge mess in some areas though. Take Paisley Road West. The 9A should be the 10. The 10 should be the 8, renumber the actual 8 to something that fits in with Parkhead (68?).

You then have the 8/9/10 on PRW, with the 8/X8 to Silverburn. Drop the X8 from Pollok Circular and Number that as the 48, there's nothing Express about a Pollok Local Service. You'd then have the 48/49 in Pollok.

Just my idea of how you could 'simiplify' one area.
 

PaulMc7

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As much as the network needed a refresh at the time I don't think it's that great tbh. It helped some areas with having easier route numbers to remember but then others ended up a mess. I also remember at the time it not being easy to understand the changes too. A lot of confusion was caused by so many changes at once.

I feel like a smaller amount of changes but on a more regular basis could be more effective if we were ever to experience something like Simplicity ever again. Some changes on a yearly basis instead of reworking a fair chunk of the network in one go would work better and be easier to keep up with
 

adrock1976

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What's it called? It's called Cumbernauld
If the aim was to 'simplify' then, no I don't think it was.

However, if it was to maximise efficiency then, I think it was effective.

The changing of some Service Numbers to fit with others left a huge mess in some areas though. Take Paisley Road West. The 9A should be the 10. The 10 should be the 8, renumber the actual 8 to something that fits in with Parkhead (68?).

You then have the 8/9/10 on PRW, with the 8/X8 to Silverburn. Drop the X8 from Pollok Circular and Number that as the 48, there's nothing Express about a Pollok Local Service. You'd then have the 48/49 in Pollok.

Just my idea of how you could 'simiplify' one area.

There is already an 8 that runs along Maryhill Road which is the Lambert based one that runs to/from Balfron and Stirling.

Personally, I would have liked to have seen the Glasgow 8 either renumbered or broken up, as it feels like that it takes three days to get from one area north of the Clyde to the other.

The 44, 62, and 66 were just renumbering for renumbering's sake. The 40 renumbered to the 60 I get that as east of Central Station and Glasgow Cross to Parkhead Cross would have been three consecutive numbers had the 62 did not get renumbered (60/61/62).
 

PaulMc7

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There is already an 8 that runs along Maryhill Road which is the Lambert based one that runs to/from Balfron and Stirling.

Personally, I would have liked to have seen the Glasgow 8 either renumbered or broken up, as it feels like that it takes three days to get from one area north of the Clyde to the other.

The 44, 62, and 66 were just renumbering for renumbering's sake. The 40 renumbered to the 60 I get that as east of Central Station and Glasgow Cross to Parkhead Cross would have been three consecutive numbers had the 62 did not get renumbered (60/61/62).
This was the issue with simplicity. Organising numbers meant that some areas that no change could have worked in seen change to organise numbers in another area. Parkhead has the 64 too so if the 46 was renumbered to a 63 that would have been 60/61/62/63/64 with a couple of other services.

The 44 becoming the 4 worked to be fair. Made it the 3 and 4 at Lincoln Avenue at the time and through Govanhill it was the 4/5/6/7. Problem is that there's only so much that could have been done right
 

route101

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Always thought it was half baked and they were going to come back to do a part 2. On the plus side there hasn't been any drastic changes since. On the other hand its been stagnant, bus usership has declined and the secondary routes have almost gone or in tender.

The bus renumbering with 4,5,6 etc down Victoria Road for example, did nothing to make it simpler for me. As for buses, I do think there should be bus regulation and fares and tickets valid across all operators. Its confusing when McGills operate tenders, what day ticket is valid for that etc? The zonecards and daytripper tickets are outdated, surprised no one really complains, have they no experience of using transport abroad or areas with stronger PTE?
 

PaulMc7

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Always thought it was half baked and they were going to come back to do a part 2. On the plus side there hasn't been any drastic changes since. On the other hand its been stagnant, bus usership has declined and the secondary routes have almost gone or in tender.

The bus renumbering with 4,5,6 etc down Victoria Road for example, did nothing to make it simpler for me. As for buses, I do think there should be bus regulation and fares and tickets valid across all operators. Its confusing when McGills operate tenders, what day ticket is valid for that etc? The zonecards and daytripper tickets are outdated, surprised no one really complains, have they no experience of using transport abroad or areas with stronger PTE?
A lot of people probably haven't used many buses outside of Glasgow tbh. I've only used them in Edinburgh, Falkirk and Stirling too. I do think the whole system needs a rework too and it would probably be easier to get a network sorted here that does enough to give everyone using buses what they need.

The network should be focused on a few key areas and that's where the numbering should be organised for instead of trying to bitpart sort it through random areas.

Parkhead, Silverburn, Springburn, Clydebank, Motherwell, Hamilton would be a decent 6 place setup as key parts of the network. We don't really need it to be more specific than that. For example, the 3/4 setup we had at Lincoln Avenue as much as it worked or even the 7/7A/8/8A we have through Cadder aren't really necessary and probably confused people who used them a bit as it was the 54 for years to Summerston and the 12 to Rutherglen

I'd love to see timetables from before Simplicity just to compare our network then to now just to see where the numbers really have dropped
 
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tbtc

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It's a frustrating mixed bag of things. I can see why managers want to try schemes like this - start off with high minded ideas, try to fit services into concepts. But then realise part way through that it's a bit messier than that, and the services can't be neatly pigeonholed.

Some of it looks great in theory. Having the 1/2/3 as the City - Partick - Yoker - Clydebank services, having the 4/5/6/7 as the City - Govanhill services, having the 9/10 as the Paisley Road services, nice and simple.

But it doesn't quite work like that. Many routes are cross-city, so the apparent "simplicity" only works on certain sections. City - Shawlands has a frequent service but 3/38/57 which isn't as easy to remember! Once you've established a "rule", you then appear to contradict it (e.g. it it's important to have a common 1/2/3 towards Partick then why does the 77 get numbered in sequence with the other services (particularly the 3)? Especially as the 38/57 both run from the Infirmary to Shawlands, so have quite a bit in common - why not number them in common, when you've amended other service numbers elsewhere in the city?

And there seems to be no consistency with what deserves a separate route number and what only gets a suffix (e.g. the Paisley Road service to Silverburn gets its own number - 10 - but the Paisley Road services to Braehead is just a 9A ... the route that co-ordinates with the southern half of the 6 gets it's own number - 5 - but the route that co-ordinates with the northern half of the 6 is just a 6A).

If you're going to chop and change lots of city services then why leave all of the Motherwell/ Hamilton - Glasgow services untouched with three digit numbers? Why number the 40 to the 60 because it shares some bits with the 61 but then leave the 240 and 255 untouched? At least renumber one of them to the 261, given the common route to Tollcross? It's like they are happy changing everything "Strathclyde" but the "Central" services are sacred and cannot be amended. I'm not saying that everything should be changed, but there feels an element of double standards.

Talking of renumbering, why not change the X3 to be the X38, thus fitting in with the 38C at Muirhead and also the other "X thirty something" services to Falkirk/ Stirling? It's only the X3 because the main Cumbernauld services inherited from Kelvin were the X4 and X5 because the previous Cumbernauld services were the 40/50 - the number of the X3 has no relation to other services (and absolutely nothing to do with the Drumchapel - Govan service!), whereas being the X38 would fit in with both the other Glasgow - Muirhead service and the other Glasgow - Cumbernauld services.

What about the lengths of some services? The 3 and the 6 particularly. If you're going to chop up a number of routes (e.g. the 9 used to be Drumchapel to Linwood, which was some round trip!) then it seems odd to have long routes like the 3 and 6 when you "simplify" things. If you're going to chop and change several routes then why not have the 5 take over the Clydebank side of the 6 (thus retaining the link from Mount Florida/ Victoria Hospital to Great Western Road/ University area - so you'd keep the cross city link but seems odd to have the service that's come all the way from the far side of East Kilbride be the one that goes all the way to Clydebank, rather than the much shorter Castlemilk service?

Same with the 3 - I know it's been discussed a bit on here but it's an incredibly long service without actually offering many significant cross city links (i.e. it's not exactly in a straight line - unlike the 2 which is a long route but at least I can see some passengers wanting to get from one side of the city to Partick or Parkhead) - yet other services that are much shorter on one side of the city terminate in the centre (5/ 6A/ 9A/ 10 etc)

There's definitely some "good" in the changes (and they were a handy way of masking the large cuts on certain corridors) but it feels quite inconsistent - why renumber some services to neatly match up but not others that share common sections (e.g. the 38/57 would be a very frequent cross city route from Shawlands to the Infirmary, but didn't warrant having similar numbers, whereas the 7 sits neatly with the 4/5/6 but for a much shorter common section)

I can also appreciate that Glasgow has changed a lot since the Overground came in in the 1990s - the services needed to change, looking at how busy places like Silverburn can be, but I don't feel that First have embraced the new destinations as well as Lothian have in Edinburgh (where a lot of services have been diverted/ extended to serve Ocean Terminal/ Gyle/ RIE over the past generation). I know that someone will likely say that a lot of people shopping with several bags aren't going to want to struggle home on a bus, but these places are big employers as well as social destinations, yet it doesn't feel like First have made much effort to connect suburbs to places like the Fort. It's more about "simple links into the city centre, and anyone who wants something different can change there", with the exception of the 77 which does offer a few non-radial links.

tl;dr version - too radical in some areas and not radical enough in others!
 

PaulMc7

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I think the problem in Glasgow in particular is the spacing around the city centre regarding terminus points. The longer routes should be chopped down a bit but is there anywhere in the city centre left that could be used as a terminus point? Arguably no. The 6 probably couldn't fit with the 6A terminus or 21 around George Square so you'd be left with the top of Hope Street/Renfrew Street as probably the only option. Even with the 3 you'd be looking at Sauchiehall Street at Charing Cross coming from Govan but then you'd need another terminus for a service that covers the city centre to Drumchapel.

That's just a couple of examples but it's a problem for a lot of services. Even just out of the city centre at any side isn't filled with many areas that could be used.

As for a couple of numbering issues I have always found it weird that the X3 was kept the same when it was the last Cumbernauld express left instead of becoming the X38. The other one in particular I've always thought could have been done is having the X2/X3 being the 1D/1C. Granted at the beginning of Simplicity the 6 still went to Mountblow so even an X6 could have worked when it was cut back to Clydebank.

I also feel like the 38/38A is enough but the 38B/38C/38E could have been different.

35- Rouken Glen to Barlanark
36- Rouken Glen to Chryston
37- Rouken Glen to Baillieston

Feel like there would be a fair amount to sort but it could be made easier with key areas picked out like I mentioned in previous comments.
 

38A-Z

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I think the problem in Glasgow in particular is the spacing around the city centre regarding terminus points. The longer routes should be chopped down a bit but is there anywhere in the city centre left that could be used as a terminus point? Arguably no. The 6 probably couldn't fit with the 6A terminus or 21 around George Square so you'd be left with the top of Hope Street/Renfrew Street as probably the only option. Even with the 3 you'd be looking at Sauchiehall Street at Charing Cross coming from Govan but then you'd need another terminus for a service that covers the city centre to Drumchapel.

That's just a couple of examples but it's a problem for a lot of services. Even just out of the city centre at any side isn't filled with many areas that could be used.

As for a couple of numbering issues I have always found it weird that the X3 was kept the same when it was the last Cumbernauld express left instead of becoming the X38. The other one in particular I've always thought could have been done is having the X2/X3 being the 1D/1C. Granted at the beginning of Simplicity the 6 still went to Mountblow so even an X6 could have worked when it was cut back to Clydebank.

I also feel like the 38/38A is enough but the 38B/38C/38E could have been different.

35- Rouken Glen to Barlanark
36- Rouken Glen to Chryston
37- Rouken Glen to Baillieston

Feel like there would be a fair amount to sort but it could be made easier with key areas picked out like I mentioned in previous comments.
The 38s initially were confusing but I think people got used to it. Anyone from Alexandra Parade to Giffnock can get any 38.

Going to Rouken Glen has a 38+ letter. Eastwood Toll/ N Mearns get a 38.

The passengers that still comment on it are ones that use it from Giffnock to city or City to Alexandra Parade as they don’t understand what the difference is with the B/C/E etc but they know they can get it to their destination. Anyone going to Chryston / Barlanark/ Rouken Glen etc know which one they need to get.

Now they’ve done this, I think adding more numbers in would cause a lot more confusion. Eg anyone getting a bus from Shawlands to City with your idea would be:
3/35/36/37/38/57/57A.

I think the 3/38s and 57s from Shawlands work ok.

It was definitely confusing for people at first but I think now it’s been done, adding in a load more service numbers would cause more confusion.
 

JumpinTrainz

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I honestly think grouping the 38s together was a smart idea. People are way too dramatic about different route variations. Surely the 38A/B/C/E is easier than the 213, 42, 38, 36. All go through Alexandra Parade, Glasgow Royal Infirmary and on to Giffnock and Shawlands.

Most people can work out which bus they can get given the destination therefore the number is slightly irrelevant.
 

PaulMc7

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I honestly think grouping the 38s together was a smart idea. People are way too dramatic about different route variations. Surely the 38A/B/C/E is easier than the 213, 42, 38, 36. All go through Alexandra Parade, Glasgow Royal Infirmary and on to Giffnock and Shawlands.

Most people can work out which bus they can get given the destination therefore the number is slightly irrelevant.
Number will always be better than letter when it's more than one variant especially with buses as unreliable as the 38s pre Covid. In the City Centre especially when multiple buses come at once it's easy to get it wrong whereas if the numbers are different it makes it so much easier. From experience, the 38B and E cause some people a bit of a mix up because of the different routes through Carntyne.

It's the same with the 1s too. Witnessed confusion between the 1/1A with people not realising which goes through Bellsmyre and the Vale of Leven Hospital in particular. Seen it once or twice too with the Golden Jubilee hospital in Clydebank because the 1D doesn't go near it but the 1/1A/1B do.
 

tbtc

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Number will always be better than letter when it's more than one variant especially with buses as unreliable as the 38s pre Covid. In the City Centre especially when multiple buses come at once it's easy to get it wrong whereas if the numbers are different it makes it so much easier. From experience, the 38B and E cause some people a bit of a mix up because of the different routes through Carntyne.

It's the same with the 1s too. Witnessed confusion between the 1/1A with people not realising which goes through Bellsmyre and the Vale of Leven Hospital in particular. Seen it once or twice too with the Golden Jubilee hospital in Clydebank because the 1D doesn't go near it but the 1/1A/1B do.

It's partly a cultural thing - e.g. there have been very few "suffix" services in Edinburgh during my lifetime - quite a few of the daytime ones have been services from West Lothian (e.g. 16A) or Fife (e.g. 55A) - the majority of LRT/ Lothian services that I can think of were evening/Sunday variations (e.g. 4A) - there were some daytime suffixes (e.g. 15A) but the 43 being renumbered 44A is the only daytime one I can think of in recent times (could be wrong, of course, now I live down south, but that's what I can remember)

Whereas Glasgow has had frequent daytime services with suffixes as long as I've paid attention to Glasgow services - back to the days of the Kelvin 5A and Strathclyde 62A competing on the Easterhouse corridor. The only break with this would be the Overground era - I don't think that the initial Overground services had any sufixes other than I think there was a 45A (maybe an early morning service for postal workers?) but there were "A" versions of non-Overground routes like the 42 so it wasn't a blanket ban on them

I think it's going to be one of these things like a "national" livery versus a "local" livery or route branding - some people will have a preference but we're really all guessing what works best of applying our personal preferences.

My take on it (and it's only a hunch/ preference - this isn't science) is that a suffix works well when the vast majority of the route is the same and the vast majority of passengers will be able to board the first bus that turns up. On the southern side of the 38, my hunch is that most passengers on Jamaica Street will board the first southbound service (i.e. going no further than Giffnock), so it makes sense to have them all under the umbrella of being some kind of 38. Maybe it's less useful northbound, since the "split" at Alexandra Palace means that I'd guess that a higher proportion of passengers will want one particular "branch".

Having all services under one "umbrella" feels like it makes more sense when most people will be taking any bus since they are heading for the "core" section. So you can board any "38", it keeps it simple - you only have to remember one number. Whereas, if you have the 35/36/37/38 then passengers for the "core" have to remember four numbers - and then you get confusion over whether the collection of thirty-something numbers includes a 34 or 39 (okay, there's no 39 at the moment and the 34 doesn't share any stops with any of the 38 corridor, but you know what I mean = giving people several numbers to remember introduces confusion over which numbers to go for and which ones to let go - some people may only get a (every ten minutes) 38 rather than trust a half hourly 35, which may mean bunching of passengers.

But, as I say, this is guesswork.

However, I think that the "1" corridor makes sense for the frequent Glasgow - Clydebank - Dumbarton service but I don't know that the 1C has as much in common - maybe I'd have the 1C, 1D and X4 all under a different "umbrella" (e.g. "11" given the shared sections with the 1 - given than the single digit service number already in use) since they have a common route from the city centre up the A814 but don't go as far as the longer distance "1" services.

So, if we were keeping all of the current routes in Glasgow, I'd say that the suffixes make sense on corridors like the 4, 34, 57 and 89 (since the vast majority of the route is the same, the vast majority of passengers will be boarding the first bus) but maybe makes less sense on the southern half of the 7 corridor - the 6/6A along Great Western Road is probably borderline IMHO.

Ultimately though, you're always going to have some members of the public confused by similarly numbered bus services, it's unavoidable, which is why we should try to list changes where possible - and it's probably better to have the occasional (well planned) "big bang" like Overground and Simplicity than to constantly change services.
 

route101

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The 6A and 9A should be different numbers, 54 and 20. As the 6 from East Kilbride never goes to Drumchapel.

X4 should really be a one series, even more so now that the 4 stops at Broomhill.

No problem with the Lanarkshire 3 digits as it differentiates them from city services, though by logic the 18 and 21 should be 2xx if operated by Blantyre depot.

The 5 is is pretty reliable, and probably because it terminates at Osborne St.

There is already an 8 that runs along Maryhill Road which is the Lambert based one that runs to/from Balfron and Stirling.

Personally, I would have liked to have seen the Glasgow 8 either renumbered or broken up, as it feels like that it takes three days to get from one area north of the Clyde to the other.

The 44, 62, and 66 were just renumbering for renumbering's sake. The 40 renumbered to the 60 I get that as east of Central Station and Glasgow Cross to Parkhead Cross would have been three consecutive numbers had the 62 did not get renumbered (60/61/62).
The 8 is now the X10 and operated by Balfron depot.
 
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It's partly a cultural thing - e.g. there have been very few "suffix" services in Edinburgh during my lifetime - quite a few of the daytime ones have been services from West Lothian (e.g. 16A) or Fife (e.g. 55A) - the majority of LRT/ Lothian services that I can think of were evening/Sunday variations (e.g. 4A) - there were some daytime suffixes (e.g. 15A) but the 43 being renumbered 44A is the only daytime one I can think of in recent times (could be wrong, of course, now I live down south, but that's what I can remember)

Whereas Glasgow has had frequent daytime services with suffixes as long as I've paid attention to Glasgow services - back to the days of the Kelvin 5A and Strathclyde 62A competing on the Easterhouse corridor. The only break with this would be the Overground era - I don't think that the initial Overground services had any sufixes other than I think there was a 45A (maybe an early morning service for postal workers?) but there were "A" versions of non-Overground routes like the 42 so it wasn't a blanket ban on them

I think it's going to be one of these things like a "national" livery versus a "local" livery or route branding - some people will have a preference but we're really all guessing what works best of applying our personal preferences.

My take on it (and it's only a hunch/ preference - this isn't science) is that a suffix works well when the vast majority of the route is the same and the vast majority of passengers will be able to board the first bus that turns up. On the southern side of the 38, my hunch is that most passengers on Jamaica Street will board the first southbound service (i.e. going no further than Giffnock), so it makes sense to have them all under the umbrella of being some kind of 38. Maybe it's less useful northbound, since the "split" at Alexandra Palace means that I'd guess that a higher proportion of passengers will want one particular "branch".

Having all services under one "umbrella" feels like it makes more sense when most people will be taking any bus since they are heading for the "core" section. So you can board any "38", it keeps it simple - you only have to remember one number. Whereas, if you have the 35/36/37/38 then passengers for the "core" have to remember four numbers - and then you get confusion over whether the collection of thirty-something numbers includes a 34 or 39 (okay, there's no 39 at the moment and the 34 doesn't share any stops with any of the 38 corridor, but you know what I mean = giving people several numbers to remember introduces confusion over which numbers to go for and which ones to let go - some people may only get a (every ten minutes) 38 rather than trust a half hourly 35, which may mean bunching of passengers.

But, as I say, this is guesswork.

However, I think that the "1" corridor makes sense for the frequent Glasgow - Clydebank - Dumbarton service but I don't know that the 1C has as much in common - maybe I'd have the 1C, 1D and X4 all under a different "umbrella" (e.g. "11" given the shared sections with the 1 - given than the single digit service number already in use) since they have a common route from the city centre up the A814 but don't go as far as the longer distance "1" services.

So, if we were keeping all of the current routes in Glasgow, I'd say that the suffixes make sense on corridors like the 4, 34, 57 and 89 (since the vast majority of the route is the same, the vast majority of passengers will be boarding the first bus) but maybe makes less sense on the southern half of the 7 corridor - the 6/6A along Great Western Road is probably borderline IMHO.

Ultimately though, you're always going to have some members of the public confused by similarly numbered bus services, it's unavoidable, which is why we should try to list changes where possible - and it's probably better to have the occasional (well planned) "big bang" like Overground and Simplicity than to constantly change services.
This was the 45C. Instead of turning left up West Nile Street it turned right and went to George Square then turned left into North Hannover Street and joining normal route there. Operated one run in the morning from Kennishead at 0457.
 

tbtc

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One thing I'd not considered until now was that First could do something to link the numbers of the "non-city" services (8, 16, 34, 43, 46, 90 etc) to give more focus to the orbital nature of such services - e.g. Lothian have the 100/200/300/400 for Airport services - maybe First could have all their orbital services as 101-109 so that they'd stand out a bit more? At the moment you have some where they share bits of route but the numbers are nowhere near each other, so passengers may not appreciate the 8 and 90 form a kind of Partick - Byers Road - Springburn - Parkhead orbital service - maybe if all services from Partick to the QE Hospital had similar numbers they'd be easier to understand for passengers? 8/16/77 aren't so easy to remember.

X4 should really be a one series, even more so now that the 4 stops at Broomhill

I don't mind either way but it seems odd that the City - A814 - Drumchapel service is part of the "1" corridor whilst the City - A814 - Knightswood service isn't - either have them both under the "1" umbrella or create a new "umbrella" for them to share (and maybe the City - A814 - Mountblow service, since the current 1D only shares half of the route that the longer distance "1"s have

No problem with the Lanarkshire 3 digits as it differentiates them from city services

I only mentioned them as there seems to have been no attempt to integrate them with the "City" services, even when they share common sections of route (e.g. given the fact that the 60 diverts via Duke Street, the 240 has more in common with the 61 - same goes for the 21 and 267)

by logic the 18 and 21 should be 2xx if operated by Blantyre depot.

Yeah, that's something that will be a bit confusing to average passengers, who won't appreciate that some routes are ex-Strathclyde and others are ex-Central - especially now that the City - Rutherglen - East Kilbride services don't run beyond the city centre (whereas the 18 ran to Summerston in Overground days) - having them in the "two hundred" sequence could tie them to the 263/267 - this is the kind of "simplification" that First have done in some areas but not others, which makes things a bit confusing

The 5 is is pretty reliable, and probably because it terminates at Osborne St

True, but the East Kilbride - City 6 would be more reliable if it terminated there too - we have a situation where the 6 is both a cross-town "town service" in Clydebank and East Kilbride, but the 5 terminates in the city centre, despite having only come a short distance from Castlemilk

This was the 45C. Instead of turning left up West Nile Street it turned right and went to George Square then turned left into North Hannover Street and joining normal route there. Operated one run in the morning from Kennishead at 0457.

Gosh - that's great memory - I stand corrected - 45C not 45A!
 

smtglasgow

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There was a lot of smoke and mirrors about Simplicity, but there were positives. From a passenger perspective, the 5 minute service on the main corridors sounded great – even if it actually hid a slight reduction in the number of buses per hour. But having the services co-ordinated (at least on paper) meant that buses were evenly spaced out.

I’m agnostic on renumbering. Are people confused by high numbers? Part of me thinks of a number as a brand, so services like the 44, 62 or 66 which had been more or less unchanged for years were familiar to most folk. But I guess regular passengers adapt, so maybe the elusive converts from cars need low numbers to give them confidence to change – or maybe not.

As far as First are concerned, I’m sure they view Simplicity as a success. They were able to introduce some hefty reductions on the poorer performing routes while trumpeting the improvements on the main corridors. They also managed to close Cumbernauld depot without too much grief – the turnaround in the financial performance of the No. 2 operation suggests that it was Cumbernauld that was dragging it down.

I’m pretty sure someone in First is busy working on a commercially sustainable network for post-Covid. I doubt much will change (although frequencies might drop), but they have better data about real journeys than ever before, so who knows.
 

PaulMc7

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Would be interesting to see the data in terms of services doing well compared to those that aren't doing so well. I imagine some cuts will happen across the board but I also see some routes changing to cover the best parts of the routes that may be under threat. The main thing going forward for First will be to cover the most ground while making a profit so I think they'll be quicker to get rid of poor performing services compared to previous years. We've already seen the X1, X2 and 32 go permanently as well as the 31 being cut between Carmunnock and East Kilbride so they've definitely changed regarding holding on to services
 

JumpinTrainz

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There was a lot of smoke and mirrors about Simplicity, but there were positives. From a passenger perspective, the 5 minute service on the main corridors sounded great – even if it actually hid a slight reduction in the number of buses per hour. But having the services co-ordinated (at least on paper) meant that buses were evenly spaced out.

I’m agnostic on renumbering. Are people confused by high numbers? Part of me thinks of a number as a brand, so services like the 44, 62 or 66 which had been more or less unchanged for years were familiar to most folk. But I guess regular passengers adapt, so maybe the elusive converts from cars need low numbers to give them confidence to change – or maybe not.

As far as First are concerned, I’m sure they view Simplicity as a success. They were able to introduce some hefty reductions on the poorer performing routes while trumpeting the improvements on the main corridors. They also managed to close Cumbernauld depot without too much grief – the turnaround in the financial performance of the No. 2 operation suggests that it was Cumbernauld that was dragging it down.

I’m pretty sure someone in First is busy working on a commercially sustainable network for post-Covid. I doubt much will change (although frequencies might drop), but they have better data about real journeys than ever before, so who knows.
This is true. Simplicity reduced the network quite drastically while promoting the “better than 10 minutes to the City Centre” and strengthening the main corridors. Presumably they had reason to do this but we lost a lot of routes. At one stage we had the 11, 12, 16, 20, 23, 45, 56 all of which are now gone. The were merged into other routes but that was quite a massive reduction.

It would be interesting to see which routes make the most money and which don’t. First would probably never release this information however. You have to wonder how practical the 6 is running from Clydebank all the way to EK. Routes like the 4 and the 6 have decreased a lot since 2013. The 44 used to be Streamline along with the 62 and the 6 used to merit deckers but not so much now.
 

PaulMc7

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I could see the current frequency for the 6 on a Monday to Friday and a Saturday sticking to be quite honest. Used it a lot over the years and it used to always be busy but in 2018/19 it was far quieter than ever before. I imagine the middle section of the route between Gartnavel Hospital and Muirend is probably where most of the income is for the service.

As for the 4 I don't think there's many services that have had bigger declines. Even when I left school in 2012, the 44 was very busy and still had decent numbers up to Knightswood. Nowadays, the numbers are poor out with peak time. Could see it becoming a 3 bus an hour setup with 2 to Newton Mearns and 1 to Eaglesham
 

GusB

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I'm a little bit concerned that this will just turn into another general First Glasgow thread. Please keep the discussion strictly to whether or not Simplicity was a success. Comparisons with the current network are valid, but this is not the place for speculative ideas about how a future network will look.
 

adrock1976

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What's it called? It's called Cumbernauld
There was a lot of smoke and mirrors about Simplicity, but there were positives. From a passenger perspective, the 5 minute service on the main corridors sounded great – even if it actually hid a slight reduction in the number of buses per hour. But having the services co-ordinated (at least on paper) meant that buses were evenly spaced out.

I’m agnostic on renumbering. Are people confused by high numbers? Part of me thinks of a number as a brand, so services like the 44, 62 or 66 which had been more or less unchanged for years were familiar to most folk. But I guess regular passengers adapt, so maybe the elusive converts from cars need low numbers to give them confidence to change – or maybe not.

As far as First are concerned, I’m sure they view Simplicity as a success. They were able to introduce some hefty reductions on the poorer performing routes while trumpeting the improvements on the main corridors. They also managed to close Cumbernauld depot without too much grief – the turnaround in the financial performance of the No. 2 operation suggests that it was Cumbernauld that was dragging it down.

I’m pretty sure someone in First is busy working on a commercially sustainable network for post-Covid. I doubt much will change (although frequencies might drop), but they have better data about real journeys than ever before, so who knows.

Regarding the garage at Cumbernauld, they also had all of the Kirkintilloch routes (except the 184 Glasgow - Kilsyth via Twechar which went to Parkhead) when the garage at Possilpark closed in the summer of 2000.

Were the Kirky routes formerly Strathclyde/Glasgow Corporation, or the former KCB?

Also, the garage at Cumbernauld (assuming it is the exact same one just off South Carbrain Road near the railway station) is now Stagecoach (the Ayr based one, not the Dunfermline one). Cumbernauld garage operate the X25 and X25A (both Glasgow - Abronhill via M80 to Low Wood Interchange, A8011, either Town Centre (X25) or North Carbrain Road (X25A), and Kildrum Road), and the X28 (Glasgow - Seafar via M80 to J4 (Mollinsburn/Westfield Road), Mollinsburn Village, Condorrat South Ring, A8011, Seafar Roundabout, Greenfaulds Road, South Carbrain Road, Lye Brae, Town Centre, Seafar Road, Town Centre, Jane's Brae, Greenfaulds Road, and return to Glasgow).

In the days of First Glasgow, the former X2, X4, and X5 all ran Glasgow - Abronhill via M80 to Crow Wood (J3), then the A80 via Moodiesburn and Mollinsburn to Condorrat, then A8011 where there was a three way split to Abronhill via Seafar Road, Town Centre, or Greenfaulds Road and South Carbrain Road to Kildrum, then onwards to Abronhill. It is noted at that time the section of the M80 between Crow Wood and Haggs was still in tow separate sections with them not being joined up until 2011 or thereabouts.

Back in the Springburn area, there was some logic in making the former 45 into the 87, being as the 88 already shares the common section as far as Colston Road. The one downside of the 45 being took off was that from the Balgrayhill Road and Auchinairn Road areas that there was no longer a bus that went south of the Clyde and meant a change to or from the 57/57A at the St Rollox Tesco.
 

PaulMc7

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Speaking of the Springburn corridor would it not have made sense to have the 57A go to Woodhill instead of Balornock East and then have a new service go to Balornock East? The 57A would just have been the full 45 route minus Sighthill obviously.

The 57/57A along with the M3 and 8 are the only services that don't really fit in either with the rest. There's a nice 87/88/89/90 pattern. The M3 doesn't really fit in with any other service on its route and the 57/57A could have been the 85/86 especially since the 56 became the 10 just to fit with the 9/9A along Paisley Road West. The 8 obviously fits with the 7/7A at Cadder and Lambhill but that could have been a 91 and branded in with the 90 as the main orbital routes
 

route101

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This is true. Simplicity reduced the network quite drastically while promoting the “better than 10 minutes to the City Centre” and strengthening the main corridors. Presumably they had reason to do this but we lost a lot of routes. At one stage we had the 11, 12, 16, 20, 23, 45, 56 all of which are now gone. The were merged into other routes but that was quite a massive reduction.

It would be interesting to see which routes make the most money and which don’t. First would probably never release this information however. You have to wonder how practical the 6 is running from Clydebank all the way to EK. Routes like the 4 and the 6 have decreased a lot since 2013. The 44 used to be Streamline along with the 62 and the 6 used to merit deckers but not so much now.

Yes I have noticed a decline in the 4 from the 44 days. Used to feature night buses. Would not be surprised if the Newton Mearns section is getting the chop. Surprised they never split the 6 at Simplcity. This is my route to town now since the 31 was taken off. I think there has been a downturn in commuting to East Kilbride, plus the car/train effect.

Yes the Simplicity change, when you looked at the detail tied some routes together and wasn't really any new routes.

This was the 45C. Instead of turning left up West Nile Street it turned right and went to George Square then turned left into North Hannover Street and joining normal route there. Operated one run in the morning from Kennishead at 0457.
There was an early 31 that went via George Square too.

One thing I'd not considered until now was that First could do something to link the numbers of the "non-city" services (8, 16, 34, 43, 46, 90 etc) to give more focus to the orbital nature of such services - e.g. Lothian have the 100/200/300/400 for Airport services - maybe First could have all their orbital services as 101-109 so that they'd stand out a bit more? At the moment you have some where they share bits of route but the numbers are nowhere near each other, so passengers may not appreciate the 8 and 90 form a kind of Partick - Byers Road - Springburn - Parkhead orbital service - maybe if all services from Partick to the QE Hospital had similar numbers they'd be easier to understand for passengers? 8/16/77 aren't so easy to remember.



I don't mind either way but it seems odd that the City - A814 - Drumchapel service is part of the "1" corridor whilst the City - A814 - Knightswood service isn't - either have them both under the "1" umbrella or create a new "umbrella" for them to share (and maybe the City - A814 - Mountblow service, since the current 1D only shares half of the route that the longer distance "1"s have



I only mentioned them as there seems to have been no attempt to integrate them with the "City" services, even when they share common sections of route (e.g. given the fact that the 60 diverts via Duke Street, the 240 has more in common with the 61 - same goes for the 21 and 267)



Yeah, that's something that will be a bit confusing to average passengers, who won't appreciate that some routes are ex-Strathclyde and others are ex-Central - especially now that the City - Rutherglen - East Kilbride services don't run beyond the city centre (whereas the 18 ran to Summerston in Overground days) - having them in the "two hundred" sequence could tie them to the 263/267 - this is the kind of "simplification" that First have done in some areas but not others, which makes things a bit confusing



True, but the East Kilbride - City 6 would be more reliable if it terminated there too - we have a situation where the 6 is both a cross-town "town service" in Clydebank and East Kilbride, but the 5 terminates in the city centre, despite having only come a short distance from Castlemilk



Gosh - that's great memory - I stand corrected - 45C not 45A!
Orbital routes in Glasgow haven't really been a success, remember the 601? 34 is the only one that has a decent frequency and loadings. I am enjoying this thread but its going off topic.
 
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Jordan Adam

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The 8 is now the X10 and operated by Balfron depot.
Not quite. The 10, 11 & 12 are now merged in to the X10/X10A. The 8 operated a entirely different route from Balfron to Glasgow via Drymen and Carbeth. There isn't any equivalent service now.
 

route101

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Not quite. The 10, 11 & 12 are now merged in to the X10/X10A. The 8 operated a entirely different route from Balfron to Glasgow via Drymen and Carbeth. There isn't any equivalent service now.
I wasn't aware of that. They now brand the service through to Stirling now.

Still here people refer to the 2 as 62 etc. The 7A incorporation was clever, makes you think its frequent running amongst the 7.
 

PaulMc7

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I wasn't aware of that. They now brand the service through to Stirling now.

Still here people refer to the 2 as 62 etc. The 7A incorporation was clever, makes you think its frequent running amongst the 7.
Still get a lot of the older generation where I stay referring to the buses here as if Simplicity never happened. Even heard an old couple mentioned the 204/205/215/216 when referring to the 1s even though that was 6 months before Simplicity. The 7A is an interesting one to be fair. Used it a few times and Kings Park into Rutherglen can be busy but beyond Rutherglen to Westburn was never ever that busy when I used it. I think Newton train station being close to the Westburn terminus plays a part though and if you're going to Cambuslang Main St the 267 from Rutherglen is quicker
 

route101

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Still get a lot of the older generation where I stay referring to the buses here as if Simplicity never happened. Even heard an old couple mentioned the 204/205/215/216 when referring to the 1s even though that was 6 months before Simplicity. The 7A is an interesting one to be fair. Used it a few times and Kings Park into Rutherglen can be busy but beyond Rutherglen to Westburn was never ever that busy when I used it. I think Newton train station being close to the Westburn terminus plays a part though and if you're going to Cambuslang Main St the 267 from Rutherglen is quicker

Yes Im surprised the 7A runs all the way out there. I find that area strange as no First routes run north from Canbuslang to Parkhead etc.
 

PaulMc7

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Yes Im surprised the 7A runs all the way out there. I find that area strange as no First routes run north from Canbuslang to Parkhead etc.
McGill's do have the 364 that runs from Newton to Parkhead to be fair and First had it before them due to it being SPT tendered. I did use it a couple of times when First ran it but it was never that busy and the 64 to Carmyle rarely has passengers beyond the end of Tollcross Road so I guess the demand just isn't there
 

route101

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McGill's do have the 364 that runs from Newton to Parkhead to be fair and First had it before them due to it being SPT tendered. I did use it a couple of times when First ran it but it was never that busy and the 64 to Carmyle rarely has passengers beyond the end of Tollcross Road so I guess the demand just isn't there

Yeah, the wee tiddly routes. Might try that route, though never sure of the fares on McGills tenders or if a McGills zone 1 ticket is valid.
 
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