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?”.
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:
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).
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?
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.