Welcome to a new series of posts which will look at how good our local councils are at imparting information about buses on their patch.
We start with BANES, or Bath and North East Somerset.
Where do the buses go?
There's a map of bus stops in Bath City Centre, but not a wider map of the wider borough showing where the routes run. BANES is covered by TravelWest, which acts like half a northern-style PTE covering the former county of Avon. Maybe they can help:
But alas, this page on TravelWest just takes you back to BANES council:
...with no borough-wide bus map.
This leaves you with having to use First's maps, which don't feature the other operators. The council doesn't seem to want you to know about the other operator's services, even where they subsidise them.
You can get a full list of bus services in any part of BANES only from Traveline South West, but this is hardly clear from the council's website.
In this category, BANES is awarded 1 point out of 5.
These are only provided by BANES for the routes that they directly subsidise, which by definition leaves out the routes that most passengers need to use. They have a list of timetable changes, but for the timetables themselves, you have to go to the operator's website (assuming you know who operates the route you need to use) or Traveline South West, which will save many a council in this survey from a zero rating. TravelWest doesn't do timetables either.
BANES scores 2 out of 5 for timetables, because they are available at Traveline and they do link there.
How much does a journey cost?
Information like this is basic and should be in the public domain. But bus companies and councils don't seem to want you to know in advance how much a single journey will cost.
The bus operators' own sites will give you prices for their own tickets that are valid for a day or longer. If you need to use several operators in one day, they BANES offers you the BathRider ticket. They also mention the Freedom Travelpass, which is valid over a wider area and also on trains. They also mention Plusbus.
AvonRider is valid on all operators throughout what was Avon, but BANES don't tell you about it. TravelWest do, but the page is rather hidden away - you won't find it under 'Fares'.
For fares information, BANES scores 2 out of 5.
So, no timetables but they can be found on Traveline. No all-operator map at all. There is a range of multi-operator tickets, but BANES ignores one of the three types available. The presence of TravelWest promises more help than it delivers.
BANES scores a total of 5 out of 15.