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Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by 175mph, 15 Dec 2019.
There is a scheme in West Yorkshire which the main operators (First, Arriva, Transdev) have signed up for where they will issue refunds for taxis if the last bus is delayed by 20 minutes or more.
I've only had an issue with the last bus failing to show when there has been unexpectedly heavy snow and they have pulled the service. Around here you just need three or four flakes of snow and the taxis all come off the road anyway.
I remember a few years ago having finished my shift, I heard that one of our buses had been involved in an RTC. This would have resulted in the cancellation of all services on that route for the remainder of the day. Control were not bothered about sending out a replacement vehicle and driver but I worked out I had enough driving hours left to be able to run the final service in each direction using another bus which had just come in for fuel and cleaning. I rang up control and informed them of my intention and they agreed, surprising really as the 'above and beyond' attitude was generally frowned upon by management at that time.
Sounds to me that YOU should have been the manager!
(It was certainly the case a few years ago i believe and assuming it still is) In Scotland, the first and last full route journey of every registered service *must* be run as part of the licence terms and conditions.
This led to an odd situation one night in Edinburgh when the bus operating the last 33 journey from Ferniehill to Baberton broke down and ended up operating just over an hour late and running 5 mins ahead of the first night service N33.
Needless to say, this caused confusion with punters trying to pay night fare on the late running day service.
This brings to mind the only time I was nearly stranded (in Caerphilly) because the last bus to Cardiff (route 36 from Tredegar) failed to turn up. Fortunately, the driver of the last bus from Cardiff to Caerphilly on route 36, which was going out of service, ascertained by radio-phone that the bus from Tredegar had broken down and agreed to take me and one other passenger back to Cardiff on his return journey to the depot. He drove along Manor Way and dropped me off at a bus stop closer to my home than the regular route, so I was only a few minutes later home than expected.
I don't have any knowledge in such matters, but I find that very hard to believe. It sounds more like something the company management would tell a driver if they claimed they could finish sharp because their vehicle 'was playing up'. In many circumstances the first and last full journeys could be covered by alternative services either from the same or rival operators. The traffic commissioners might not be too impressed but I don't think a blanket licence condition would be appropriate.
But as I say, that's just my own speculation and I don't know anything definitive.
But maybe you'd also have punters (loyal customers of the company) who had been waiting an hour for the 33 expecting to use only the daytime fare or a concession pass. They might have been rather miffed to fork out the premium fare for a night bus just because the company didn't make a reasonable effort to run the standard day bus and in future they might not trust the same operator again.
I've known similar with drivers who ran out of driving time and needed to take a half hour break before proceeding with the last journey of the day. Generally they do still drive the route, but just very late. However I don't think it's actually the law.
When I worked at Arriva they management were obsessed with lost mileage, I suspect they had got into trouble with the traffic commissioners.
No matter how late you were running it was " just keep going" . Even when 3 vehicles on the same route were running together, common sense is the one on time takes the punters and the 2 running late pick up on time elsewhere on the route, but no, we were actually told NOT to use common sense.
They once tried to book me on my last run of the day for being 5 minutes early, no, I was 55 minutes late.
Other than very bad weather I have never known the last run on any route not to operate and I was there 19 years. Even during the " beast from the East" Arriva did a pretty good job of keeping running in Northumberland. The only time I ever got taken off the road was when temperatures were so low the buses couldn't hold air, about minus 12C I think.
In Scotland, I believe that the first and last full route journey *must* be run as
The information was given to me by someone I knew who was a driver....how accurate the information was, I've no idea....
You could well be right in saying that it was just something said my management.....
But then again, would management want to take a hit on the cost of getting a bus out to cover the journey if it wasn't necessary, especially when the journey would be covered, all be it over an hour late and by a night service.
Living in the Fens for seven months of year when not in Longyearbyen where the bus service runs on time early to late in all weathers. The substandard service that is provide by Stagecoach is a joke, the timetable is a work of fiction. The buses are either running late or don't turn up at all. As the buses are running late they are turned back early on route and return from where they came. Take the 56 which runs between Wisbich via March to Manea and Benwick. This service is always running late throughout the day, two or three of the services are turned back at March where people are left with a choice of taking a cab or waiting for up to two hours for a 39 to Doddington and then walking the rest of the way to Benwick (3 Miles). For the people of Manea, the train service is pot luck at the monment. The last bus on all 4 routes tend not to run as the drivers run out of hours. As for Stagecoach paying out taxis, It's Bob hope or No Hope as Stagecoach claim that the service has run and you were late for the bus and it is up to you to prove it.
Had the last 31 from EK bus station not turned up, it had missed out the bus station completely. new driver i guess . Last few runs run to and from Kingsgate.
Apparently the SPT supported journeys have to run .
Shortly before Wessex withdrew from the Yate area I had a situation where I was waiting to get the last 86 back from Emersons Green on a friday evening and it failed to turn up. When attempting to ring the company I got a message stating the office was closed and the driver on the service going the other way claimed it had run and I'd missed it. In the end a SGBC driver kindly drove back in her car after finishing the 462 and gave me a lift home. I emailed Wessex to complain and on the monday they responded telling me the bus had broken down.
Had a situation in early 2017 traveling back from Filton to Yate on the last 82 of the day where the driver claimed he would be terminating at Parkway and me and the lady already on board should club together and get a taxi! Upon reaching Cribbs Causeway the passengers boarding were understandably not happy and one had some strong words with the driver. He subsequently got on his phone and then announced "I'm going all the way to Yate"!
Slightly off topic I know but anyone ever attempted to use a school/college day only service and had an issue with it not running for whatever reason (eg because a driver hasn't operated the full route) or the service has not been running?
A few years ago I had an extended stay in Filton on a Friday evening after a Eurotaxis driver didn't bother to run the full 680 route and took a shortcut missing out the stop where I was stood waiting. Also ended up on there one evening when a driver claimed "We've been told not to go into UWE on an evening if we don't drop anyone off there in the morning". I complained to the company about this pointing out that it isn't unheard of that someone might be traveling one way on it.
Plus on numerous occasions over the last 10 years Traveline has listed that service as running on days when in reality SGS Filton hasn't been open so the service hasn't operated. Back in July I was hoping to ride the service on the last day of the Summer term but after ringing Eurotaxis to check it was running I was told "No and it hasnt run for a fortnight now"!
Anyone else ever heard of this sort of thing happening with a school/college/works service?
No, but I've had a bus go past me I attempted to flag down, which was a special college run, but there was plenty of space available on the bus from what I could see, it was in the afternoon taking students home from college and listed on the timetable at the stop at which I was stood at. If the service isn't open to the public, why list it on the timetable at a public bus stop?
I complained about it at the enquiries desk and just got told "Yeah, they do that sometimes".
Because BSOG raid, basically (very similar to an ORCATS raid in concept). The services are (or were, I think the criteria may have changed?) only listed as public services in order to claim BSOG, and the operator really has no interest in making them actually usable by the public.
There are others - for instance chunks of some National Express services are registered as local bus services for the same reason even though (with some exceptions) nobody really uses them as such.
When I was doing a school run and " normal" punters wanted to be on, I used to ask them if they were aware it was a school run and did they really want to get on, some school runs were utter chaos.
That was one of my jobs in the past - making sure that the FDR/BSOG for NatEx was captured. Some routes were quite important for local bus service provision (like the ones that used to run through the Scottish Borders and Northumberland). However, most were rather less crucial like Sheffield to Chesterfield! One route was the Liverpool to North Wales route that, in the summer, was duplicated and naturally, all the dupes were also able to claim the grant.
Variation on a theme. On a Stagecoach Wales day out that started from Chepstow etc. I had reached Merthyr and then headed to Brecon on a late running service. Missed the X43 but the timetable showed the next journey to Abergavenny and (at the same time), a partial duplicate operating Schooldays only. So I waited and the partial dupe (to Talybont?) turned up but no bus to Aber.
I twigged that there was something up and yes, subsequently discovered that the timetable in Brecon Interchange was missing a "Non Schooldays" code over the journey I was looking for! So it was another hour to wait and to Aber and then paying £60 for a taxi to Chepstow to reclaim the car. Ouch!
I know I might seem like I'm making mountains from molehills regarding issues with buses in my area, but the timetables seem very good at marking journeys that are school day or non school day only workings.
As you have admitted yourself, these are College Day Only journeys that run in convoy (3 vehicles) slightly behind the main service car (350) that runs every half hour (M-S) so aside from two villages, the impact is minimal. Think you're overthinking things a little.
I have not been personally affected by this but I've seen others affected. I was travelling on a service which has reduced frequency in the evenings on the last service before a 2hr gap. This service is supposed to stop at a hospital, where there is a small lay-by on the road through the hospital grounds. But drivers often skip the stop, sometimes because taxis or other buses are parked there, sometimes apparently out of habit. This has on a few occasions caused problems when people have been waiting and have had to run along the road to catch the bus after seeing it sail past.
It would be interesting to compare the % of cancelled bus services compared to the % of cancelled Northern train services....
I suspect Northern’s stats would be worse, and this is 100% tax payer funded ‘service’
Interesting variation on theme - having arrived at Oldham I asked the information office when the last 184 to Huddersfield would be. 1815 was the answer.
Arrived 1806 to see the tail lights of a 184 heading into the distance. Seems the information I was given assumes it's normal weekday service but in fact it's Saturday service.
Polite suggestions to the bus station supervisor that it's up to TfGM to get me home at their expense have fallen on deaf ears, so I'm on a bus to Greenfield (£4.40!) to pick up a train (at least a fiver)
Needless to say TfGM will be receiving a formal complaint and request for reimbursement.