HCT Group buses on steroids

The new 26 and D6 schedules are “interesting”
The highlighted section for the D6 (above) shows one supercharged bus apparently overtaking another en route.
Similarly (unhighlighted) for the 26 towards the bottom of the image.


These are the current working timetables on the TfL site. The 26 is Mon-Fri and the D6 Mon-Thurs. The Friday D6 does not show this “feature”.

Clearly this is nonsense and I can only suppose that the compiler thinks you can lose 10 minutes running time from one journey to the next all in one go.

I hate to think which bus Journey Planner would advise you to catch.

Hi Michael, I have passed this on to the team who provide the schedules to investigate, they should also be able to refer this back to the operator.

Matthew ( cc @GerardButler )

Thanks. Just to make clear that the issues on these schedules seem more widespread than that (and also affect the 388) but these look like the only journeys that push it as far as overtaking the bus in front.


Hi Michael,

Looking at the schedules, this looks to be caused by the Running Times reducing quite quickly after the school peak, we’ll keep an eye on any other schedules. We’ve raised issues in the past where buses operated by different operators had a 5 minute difference between the same stops so was causing journeys to be returned advising customers to change buses rather than staying on the same bus to complete their journey

Matthew ( @GerardButler )


On your second sentence, I’ve noticed “overtaking buses” where a night bus and day bus have a section in common. There could also be a legit reason if the second bus is about to terminate while the first bus picks up loads of passengers!

However, as far as advice to customers goes, I think we’re looking at a mote rather than a beam. The beam being that if there are high frequency and low frequency alternative buses, the service interval is “helpfully” added to the overall time for the former and not the latter. Enfield Town to Chase Farm Hospital is a good example with two low frequency routes (313 and W9) and one high frequency (every 8 minutes) route.

The actual journey time is not that different on each but adding 8 minutes to the W8 time messes things up, the consequence being that Journey Planner advises the low frequency service more often that it should.

The added problem with that journey is that each route serves a different stop in Enfield Town, so someone directed to the 313 or W9 would not be able to take advantage of the W8 which would often arrive sooner.

I think this is by design and I kind of get the logic - that high frequency services aren’t meant to run strictly to a timetable - but the consequences can be bizarre. Also I note that the service interval is not added into overall times for journeys on high frequency tube services, so it is not internally consistent.

Michael (complete with bee in bonnet)