The campaign to save the X8 service via Edenfield to Manchester seems to be gathering momentum. We now have over 120 signatures on the online petition. If you still haven’t “signed”, you can complete the petition below.
Last week I took a picture of fellow passengers as we waited to board the X8 at the Rostron’s Arms stop in Edenfield.
The picture and an accompanying story was published in the Rossendale Free Press.
Possible alternative to X8
A fellow passenger, Jenni Scott, suggested that perhaps Transdev could run the X44 service through Edenfield again if it terminated in Shudehill rather than Chorlton Street. If this were the case, the time lost travelling through Edenfield could be made up by avoiding congested Prestwich and Broughton as it travelled into Manchester.
X8 faster than current X43 service
This seemed like a sensible idea to me so I looked at the X8 and X43 timetables for rush-hour. After looking at the timetables for the current X43 and X8 services, I realised that the X8 takes an average of 45 minutes to get from Rawtenstall to Shudehill and the X43 takes 57 minutes to do a similar distance from Rawtenstall to Albert Square. This shows that the via Edenfield-Cheetham Hill route could potentially be faster than the conventional route via the Edenfield by-pass and Prestwich.
Email sent to Transdev
I sent an email to Russell Revill, the managing Director of Transdev plc and suggested that a regular X44 service on the new route could prove very popular for commuters, offering a faster journey time to Manchester and a terminus in the Northern Quarter of Manchester. I suggested that a service departing at regular, perhaps hourly, intervals would encourage greater passenger numbers and potentially offer Transdev two profitable routes into Manchester.
Mr Revill agreed to take this suggestion to his board meeting on Friday and let us know the outcome of this discussion. Whilst this isn’t (yet) great news, hopefully it shows that Transdev is prepared to listen. I for one would be delighted if this resulted in a better service for Edenfield and surrounding areas.
Once again, Transdev are proposing to cancel a much needed bus service through Edenfield. This time last year, users of the X44 bus service launched an online and written petition to save the commuter services into Manchester.
The petition was successful and after a short interruption to service, Transdev announced that they would be providing a new service, the X8 from Burnley to Manchester.
Unfortunately it now seems that the X8 isn’t paying its way and Transdev are looking to cancel the service from 27th October. Despite the fact that the X8 offers a much faster service to Manchester than the X43 from Rawtenstall it seems to be underused.
[Image credit: "DSCN3567" by Clive A Brown on Flickr]
In my opinion, the failure of the X8 service is likely to be down to the fact that this service hasn’t been promoted or marketed other than via passenger word of mouth. Use of this service does seem to be growing and last week there were 22 passengers on the 0730 service to Manchester. On days that I don’t take the bus to Manchester, I have overtaken the X43 and seen fewer than half a dozen passengers on the lower deck.
Transdev often send their X43 buses through Edenfield when the A56 bypass is busy; in view of the fact that using the route through Edenfield would use less diesel, only take a few minutes longer than the bypass route and may generate some additional revenue it seems nonsensical that they are proposing to withdraw these services completely.
The signatories below would urge Transdev to maintain some form of commuter service for people living between Rawtenstall, Edenfield and Shuttleworth, and at the very least engage in some form of dialogue with their customers before making these decisions.
I’m a member of a LinkedIn group called “Performance Testing“. This morning a member of the group from BlazeMeter posted a link to their blog article about how much detail to put into a performance test report.
Historically I’ve always put large amounts of detail into performance test reports, but over the last 12 months or so I’ve started to reduce the amount of content. This allows me to produce what the customer generally wants in a shorter time frame.
In most performance tests customers tend to want to know the answer to one question:
Will my application perform well under expected user load?
This can generally be answered with “yes” or “no”, although occasionally the answer is “maybe”. (I tend to use traffic lights to show this at a high level.)
Often much more information than this is simply wasting time. In the last year or so I’ve started to produce reports in Powerpoint that can be easily referred to in conference calls or webinars, be presented to clients at their site and can be re-used internally by my client’s project managers when they want to pass on information to their own internal customers.
I have found that by including less high-level detail and including embedded spreadsheets, charts or other documents allowing technical readers to “drill down” to the detail; I can keep all the potential readers of my reports happy.
I’ve attached a PDF “mock up” of a performance test report based on a test that I ran for a client earlier this year. I’d be interested to hear any comments from other testers about what works for them.
Sample Test Report