Photoshopped? Spad?

What cynical times we live in. First ungrateful folk say that the announcement of new trains for Fishguard was timed for the upcoming Welsh General Election. Perhaps it’s just a coincidence. In 2010 Ieuan Wyn Jones explained that to concede Fishguard’s decades-long campaign “could be seen as premature”. Now it’s not premature any more. Simple.

Then yesterday cynical voices were heard again, this time at a public meeting in Newport darkly predicting that “come June, they’ll take the trains away again”. We wouldn’t be happy if they did that, but surely it’s not possible?

But now, Rhydgaled (see his comment on Spad’s post “Rail/bus connections” ) asks, “That information display at Fishguard Roundabout, is it real or have you photoshopped it in?”.

Photoshopped? Spad?

Flabbergasted, Spad decided to return to Fishguard Square (not Fishguard Roundabout – its only round when you drive. On foot it’s square-ish.) to see if he was deceived or deceiving. Here’s the result:

Fishguard Square, evening, bus sign trials 1

19:03 and 32 seconds

The peaceful scene as the sun sets on a warm spring day,  three minutes past seven on a Saturday evening. Spad took picture  No 1. See the small white dog in front of the Abergwaun?

And the sign shows the next two scheduled 412 departures for Newport (click the pic to enlarge).






Fishguard Square, evening, bus sign trials 2

19:03 and 46 seconds

14 seconds later Spad took picture No 2. The dog’s moved off.

Now the sign shows the next three 412 departures.

Is it a fixed display, or will the countdown adjust to the real time the bus appears?

And could it be used to show the next train leaving from Fishguard & Goodwick?

Can this really be happening?


Fishguard Square, evening, bus sign trials 3

19:03 and 54 seconds

Eight seconds later Spad took picture No 3, just as the 410 Fishguard Town Bus left (3 minutes late) for Goodwick and Harbour Village. Spad didn’t wait to see what the sign would display if the 412s were delayed. He wanted to post the photos asap.

So either Spad is the world’s fastest Photoshopper, or the photos are as genuine as the digital countdown signs.

But it’s true, and Rhydgaled is right to be surprised. In their own way, these signs are as unexpected and as welcome as the new train service. They seem to be saying, “yes we take public transport seriously, and we take you, the travelling public seriously too”.

Hopefully they are not subject to a three year trial.



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4 Responses to Photoshopped? Spad?

  1. Rhydgaled

    A simple, “no, it isn’t photoshopped” would have sufficed! I went through there not long ago (Wednesday, March 23rd, on the photography trip to Haverfordwest I mentioned) and am normally quite observant, I must be slipping!!

    I hope these displays get updated, the TV screens at Haverfordwest bus station seemed at one point to be showing out of date information. Some of the times and stand numbers were wrong. Nobody else seems to notice those TV screens at Haverfordwest because they periodically display a no smoking message yet there is lots of smoking going on. I try to wait for the 412 bus home at the station instead, but that involves crossing one of two dual cariageways, which nearly ended very badly once so if there’s no bus to the station I generally can’t get there.

    • Spad

      Agree completely: Real time information is what’s needed. There are many differences between public transport and your own car. A big one is that with your own car, you know what’s happening and when. But you often don’t know what’s happening with the next train or bus. We’re powerless to know and powerless to act. If it’s late, let us know! It puts us back in control. So real time information is not only practical, it’s about respect.

      As for photoshopping (final word, promise), here’s why Spad is sensitive: CP Scott wrote in 1921 ‘Comment is free, but facts are sacred’. stands by those principles. Everyone’s free to express their view, however challenging. But that’s possible only if we’re confident that no one has airbrushed or Photoshopped the facts.

      But Spad does promise to try and be briefer.

  2. Epro

    Very interesting developments indeed. It was reported in The County Echo on Friday that the screens are a trial and while for now they only display the scheduled times, the system will be upgraded to count down the buses arrival. Trains and bus displays in one week. Exciting stuff. Great website by the way.

    • Spad

      Thanks for this Epro. New trains, real time bus info AND a sparkling Pembrokeshire spring – what a good time to be in Fishguard. We started this website as we saw that this was bigger than transport news. This can change our lives, no less, in north Pembrokeshire.
      That’s why is here to promote the new service AND to promote public involvement and debate.
      Spread the word!

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