With bus passengers feeding back that they are being left delayed and stranded after a recent timetable change, Metro Mayor Dan Norris is asking local bus companies serious questions.
“We need to know if this is teething troubles or terminal?” asks the Metro Mayor.
Passengers were promised a better service at a meeting of the West of England Bus Forum organised by the Metro Mayor prior to the timetable changes. The meeting, which was attended by both the regional bosses of FirstBus and Stagecoach, was told that driver shortages were causing a problem. But FirstBus and Stagecoach predicted that the recent bus cuts would improve efficiency.
But Mr Norris says early signs are different.
Dan Norris said: “We were told that with a new timetable in place it would be much easier for the buses to run on time. But that doesn’t appear to be what’s happening. Passengers are frustrated, and even worse, angry. So we need the bus companies to revisit their plans and reassess them with urgency.”
According to transport campaigner David Redgewell this bank holiday weekend has seen cuts, cancellations and delays to services including the 1, 2, 5, 49, 48, 48a, 71, 75, 76, 349, 39, 24, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 548.
Metro Mayor Dan Norris continued: “I have asked Firstbus and Stagecoach for an explanation. This needs sorting.
For many people, travelling by bus is a great way to get about and it is vital for more people to choose the bus if we are to meet our ambitious net zero targets.
But encouraging bus use is being hindered by recent performance. We need efficient buses, more passengers and more fares, and so more investment. That’s a virtuous circle. Currently we risk a downwards spiral.”