Passengers' anger at Plymouth bus timetable changes
Bus passengers have hit out at Plymouth Citybus after many were left waiting in the rain following a timetable overhaul.
The bus company launched its new-look timetable and revised routes on Sunday. But yesterday morning customers reported chaos as some services failed to turn up and others arrived late and crammed full of people.
A key vehicle also broke down, causing a string of delays, while a school bus set off an hour late thanks to a mechanical fault.
Citybus boss Richard Stevens last night apologised to those affected but said much of the feedback from customers had been positive. The company has spent £500,000 on its biggest timetable shake-up in five years. But angry commuter Wayne Edgar told The Herald the Number 34 service between Stoke and Crownhill was “shocking”.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
Mr Edgar said the bus showed up 35 minutes late during the morning rush-hour.
Others took to Citybus’ Facebook page to complain about the morning’s delays.
Katey Northcott, who was in Woodford expecting the Number 20, said she was “left standing in the rain for 45 minutes waiting for a bus that never turned up”.
“If you’re going to change the buses at least make sure they actually turn up,” added fellow passenger Paige Bolt.
Martin Thomson claimed he had to wait for an hour and ten minutes to catch a Number 29.
Nayomi Mumford, who waited for the same service after failing to get on a packed Number 152, said she was late on the first day of her new job.
Anaël Devieux described the new Number 21 A and B routes as “a complete useless nightmare”.
And Alex Bond said some people had stood at a stop in Estover for an hour and a half in wait of a Number 34.
Citybus’ school service Number 121 from Dobwalls had failed to start at Liskeard. That bus set off for the city an hour late, making dozens of pupils late for class.
An early morning Number 5A also broke down, triggering a knock-on effect of delays, managing director Mr Stevens said.
Mechanical problems also hit the Number 34 service to Derriford, which returns as a Number 29, he said.
Mr Stevens said: “To those who have had a poor experience I’m really, really sorry.”
But he added: “Generally the feedback has been positive. From our perspective, considering the volume of the change and the enormity of the change, it’s gone extremely well.”
Mr Stevens said the majority of services began running smoothly after the initial rush hour problems, caused by the breakdowns. There were also delays on the Number 42 in Southway, however, as a result of a road closure in Dunnet Road.
“Those two incidents have marred an otherwise positive day,” Mr Stevens said.
“It was a momentous day – the biggest timetable change for Citybus for at least five years. There’s no doubt there has been some confusion but the overall aim of this timetable change was to make the services more reliable.
“It’s going to take a few days for things to settle out so we can get a grip on what’s gone well and what hasn’t gone well and then we’ll work to improve on that. We’ve got work to do and we’ll spend the next few days taking our feedback and looking at what’s not quite right.
“We are really interested to know what people have found from today’s experience and we’ll learn our lessons from there.”
The Herald revealed in June how Citybus was reviewing all its services.
Mr Stevens said the changes were not about saving money or making cuts but “to invest in reliability and to get people the links that they wanted”.