more uk frequent network maps: nottingham

Nottingham, UK now highlights frequent services on its network map.  More detail at the link.

Nottingham slice

Often when you first map the frequent network, you notice for the first time how self-disconnected it is.  Nottingham's frequent network is entirely radial with just one frequent orbital (crosstown) service spanning about 45 degrees of arc along the west side, easily seen on the full map.  The orbital is an extension of a radial, but it's clearly in an orbital role for a while.

One of the great outcomes of frequency is easy connections, so once you map the frequent network you usually start seeing opportunities to build more non-downtown connection opportunities, whether they be full orbital lines or just ways for two radials to connect (or even through-route at the outer ends) so as to create more direct travel opportunities within a subarea of the city.  For example, looking at this map, I immediately wonder whether 44 and 45 should be combined into a two-way loop so that you could ride through, say, between Carlton rail station in the far southeast corner of this image and Mapperley in the centre.  (You wouldn't present it as a loop in the schedule.  You'd still call it 44 and 45 but note on the map and in the timetable that 44 continues as 45 and vice versa.  This is how you build more direct travel opportunities in small city while still keeping the network legible.)

14 Responses to more uk frequent network maps: nottingham

  1. WS February 15, 2013 at 7:16 am #

    What is the use of this map for the average user, if it does not show the light rail line, running northwest from the city centre towards Phoenix Park, Bulwell and further north? A very unhappy example of how different operators mis-inform transit users.

  2. Cascadian February 15, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    I was going to make a joke about the transit system being designed to deter bandits from nearby Sherwood Forest, but apparently the forest is 22 miles away.

  3. Jeffrey Bridgman February 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    Huh, it’s strange that they don’t have the tram (NET) on there… it’s operates frequent service.

  4. Rational Plan February 16, 2013 at 3:02 am #

    In an American Grid city activities are often dispersed and unless there are diagonals as well people will need good services in all directions to be able to get around the city.
    In A UK radial city most roads head straight for town, also a much greater percentage of business is concentrated in the centre.
    Thats why there are relatively few crosstown lines in the UK. They would be carting around a lot of fresh air. Nottingham has a loop to the West because that is the side the motorway is on and so thats where most of the suburbs have grown and what out of town businesses there are a based in the West.

  5. Alan Howes February 16, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    Yes, very sad that the tram is not on there. They do include the heavy rail lines!
    But – a terminological point. “Cross-town route” – how do you define this? I use “cross-town” to mean a route crossing the town from one side to another, and going through the centre. If it does not go through the centre, it’s a Peripheral route. Or Orbital if it goes all the way round.
    What are your views? (I have a current client who is crazy about classifying everything we do, and I would hate to confuse him!)

  6. Zoltán February 16, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    Alan Howes,
    My understanding of crosstown in North American use is specifically a non-downtown route. In the UK, crosstown is not used, but cross-city refers to crossing the city through downtown.
    New York City is an exceptional case, with two uses of crosstown. The subway’s crosstown G train is so called because it does not enter Manhattan. On Manhattan’s bus network, ‘crosstown’ buses are the short east-west routes, so called because they go neither uptown (north) nor downtown (south).
    I understand orbital to refer to a route with an arc-like form complementing a radial network, whether or not it makes a full circle.
    I rarely hear peripheral, but when I do, it refers to coverage service operating outside of downtown or inner city areas, that functions more as a circulator (i.e. mainly serving local trips) than a crosstown (that has a wider function for longer trips).

  7. Pete Brown February 16, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    The tram was on the Nottingham City Transport bus network Map until recently. NCT was part of the original tram consortium in partnership with Transdev. When Nottingham competed the contract to build tramlines 2 and 3 the winning bid was by another consortium which included the bus operator TrentBarton (one word).
    The tram now appears on TrentBarton’s network map and was removed from NCT’s! NCT launched a new Yellow Line high frequency route in 2011 on the corridor paralleling tram line 1.
    Rational Plan is right about UK cities having a radial road pattern, in most cases there is only one main road in any given direction, with the areas in between being filled by residential streets. So it would not be possible to operate a grid network with single routes on parallel streets. Also the UK commercial bus operators will naturally concentrate service on the high volume flows, i.e. on radial routes to the town/city centre.
    UK fare structures discourage journeys involving more than one route, as you have to pay each time you board. Single and return fares are often not publicised on websites so it is difficult to decide to use the bus on the spur of the moment. There are day tickets widely available, for more complex journeys or multiple journeys, but bus routes (even if run by the same operator) are not designed for easy connection apart from at the network hub. There is no concept of ‘network’, just separate routes. I once posted on a UK bus industry blog on Jarrett’s article about pulse networks for smaller towns, but this drew no comments – the concept is clearly alien here. To make radial networks more connected some orbital routes would be useful. These would have to be subsidised as they probably wouldn’t be commercially viable. Local authorities are unlikely to have the funding for this in today’s harsh economic climate, having had significant cuts in grants from central government.
    Here’s the network map for Bristol – confusing isn’t it!
    Here’s the network map for Bath (a much smaller city), simpler to understand and clearly shows the radial design. Bath is geographically constrained in that it sits in a bowl surrounded by hills. The bus routes follow the main roads, the side roads are not suitable for buses, being too narrow and too steep.
    Bath does have an outer circle bus route offering useful suburb to suburb journeys without going via the centre, but that is run by someone else:

  8. Jack Horner February 16, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    The linked map is nice except for the serious defect that it doesn’t say what ‘high frequency’ means.
    I would also try to draw the greyed out rectangles (city, Bulwer, Arnold) in some way that doesn’t make it look like the routes are broken where they cross them.

  9. Nottinghaminian February 17, 2013 at 3:55 am #

    Posted a longer comment yesterday which appears not to have appeared. Not sure what I’ve done wrong… Apologies if this appears twice.
    As others have noted, the map above only includes NCT services (which no longer includes the tram). The city council do produce a map of all “frequent” routes, which is on many bus stops, but I’ve never managed to find it online.
    The lack of orbital roads is something which has been acknowledged for some time in official documents. See e.g. p 50:
    There have been various plans for an orbital service including a guided busway and discussions of a tram route, but these have come to nought.
    Widening work currently being done on the ring road is a scaled down version of a previous plan which included some public transport provision.
    The Gedling routes (44, 45) used to be a circular (I’m not sure of the exact details), but were split, rebranded and recoloured in 2010:
    Contrary to Pete Brown’s suggestion the yellow line was not introduced in 2011, but it was substantially upgraded with double deckers in October, shortly after NCT lost out to TrentBarton/Wellglade/Tramlink for the tram extension (sold on the basis they have more seats than the tram!).
    I use both/either and they both carry a lot of people (the trams are rammed in the evening, there are long queues for the buses in the evening) so it isn’t as ridiculous as it might seem.

  10. Nottinghaminian February 17, 2013 at 3:56 am #

    That should be “the trams are crammed in the *morning*”…

  11. Richard February 22, 2013 at 2:34 am #

    I always used GPS as guide map because this technology almost used in all iOS and Android mobiles.

  12. Alfred February 22, 2013 at 5:39 am #

    Please make an online map application to conveince all because mostly people used an iOS or Android devices.

  13. Pete Brown February 22, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    Nottingham bus ride experience:

  14. Hans V. February 27, 2013 at 4:46 am #

    Sadly this map only shows NCT’s buses. There are a lot of private bus lines also operating at very frequent schedules, sometimes paralleling a NCT bus line. Also the tram is missing.
    There is a frequency map of all frequent bus lines at most bus stops, but this type of map lacks non-frequent lines. I never managed to get one for myself.
    And then there is a third map showing all bus, tram and railway lines which can be used with the common “kangaroo” ticket. I have got one of these maps but they lack any frequency information.