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Why are 'First' buses always late?

 
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geoff



Joined: 17 Sep 2005

Posts: 705
Location: Lyme Rd, Uplyme

PostPosted: 01/06/09, 09:10    Post subject: Why are 'First' buses always late? Reply with quote

Copy of an open letter to 'First' Transport via their website. I will post any reply here.

Dear Sir,

Over the weekend, I tried to use your 31 service on two seperate occasions, hoping to reduce my carbon footprint and avoid trying to park in Lyme Regis.

The first bus I tried to use on Friday was the 13:25 from Uplyme to Lyme which, despite me waiting over 45minutes in the baking hot sun, simply did not appear. Instead I took the next one which was nearly 30 minutes late.

On Saturday I needed to get to Axminster, so we thought we'd give the bus another chance - it can't go wrong twice in two days can it ? Well we waited and we waited for the 31 service which is supposed to leave Uplyme at 12:47. Again, it was over half an hour late.

While we all appreciate the need for carbon reduction and greener transport, how are we supposed to swap to buses when we can't rely on the service? It will never be possible to prise drivers out of their beloved cars while public transport does not offer a reliable alternative.

No doubt the roads are busier in the Summer and perhaps vehicles are more inclined to fail in hot weather, but I would expect that experienced, professional transport managers at First would already know these things and make plans accordingly.

You are letting us all down - please sort it out quickly.

Geoff Browne.
Wannabe bus traveller.
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geoff



Joined: 17 Sep 2005

Posts: 705
Location: Lyme Rd, Uplyme

PostPosted: 15/06/09, 08:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally got a written reply today.

They apologised for the delay in responding, saying they had made a 'full and complete investigation'. They went on to say that the Friday bus had broken down and the Saturday bus was delayed by heavy traffic.

They finished by saying that it is fundamental to their business to try to ensure that [their] bus service is reliable and punctual, but that it is difficult to achieve. They enclosed a 5 ticket voucher by way of apology.

I wonder if we will now enjoy a reliable and punctual service. Presumably they do realise that traffic is always heavier in the tourist season and will adjust the bus times accordingly ?

G.
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Rhodie



Joined: 14 Sep 2005

Posts: 425
Location: Rhode Hill, Uplyme

PostPosted: 03/07/09, 05:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am quite surprised that you had a reply so soon. I had a problem with their Jurassic Coast X53 service last September. I and two other people waited for the last bus from Exeter at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (Wonford) stop not knowing that a diversion had been put in place. Although the diversion had been scheduled months in advance no notification had been posted at this important bus stop.

I wrote to First Bus in October and also to Devon and Dorset CCs, who substantially finance this route. Both councils have asked First Bus for a copy of their reply to me. All three of us are still holding our breath.
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geoff



Joined: 17 Sep 2005

Posts: 705
Location: Lyme Rd, Uplyme

PostPosted: 30/07/09, 14:48    Post subject: And again Reply with quote

It happened again today, so I have again written to First to complain...

"Dear Sir,

I had reason to complain to you about a month ago with regard to the non-arrival of the No.31 bus service at Uplyme and the late arrival of the next, which ruined my arrangements for the afternoon.

You responded stating that the bus was delayed by heavy traffic and that it is "...fundamental to our business to try to ensure that our bus service is reliable and punctual".

I accepted that this might have been a one off unlucky problem, however the same thing has just happened again. My daughter waited for the 14:25 from Uplyme to Bridport, but it did not arrive. She had to wait over an hour to make sure she got the next bus which (possibly even worse) turned up a few minutes early.

How can you possibly hope to win people over to public transport and displace cars when it is completely hit and miss whether a bus will arrive on time or not ?

This is not good enough. Amongst my family and freinds I am a champion for public transport as I see it as the only viable alternative moving forward, but how can I possibly convince people when your service continues to let us down ?

Please don't insult me by saying that the delay was due to heavy traffic - we all know the traffic is heavier this time of year, so you should react accordingly in your scheduling. If this was another mechanical breakdown, then I suggest you urgently review your servicing schedules.

How many exceptions are we supposed to accept ?

This is a very poor service.

Regards,
Geoff Browne,
Uplyme."
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