Chester Station to City Centre Free Bus Ends on November 21

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by LNW-GW Joint, 3 Nov 2011.

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  1. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    Posters at Chester station say that the popular free bus link between the station and city centre is to become a commercial service from November 21, fare £1 each way.
    The service will have a new operator but run at the current frequency (every 10 mins).

    Funding for the free bus was from the council and the four TOCs which serve the station.
    I suspect it was the council which pulled the plug.

    The notice helpfully says that the service will still be free for holders of English bus passes, but not for those (like me) who have Welsh passes.
    Don't you just love devolution...
     
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  3. 142094

    142094 Established Member

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    Can see what will happen straight away:

    Those without the Concessionary passes will walk, those who do have the pass will continue to use it. Patronage drops, the bus company complains it isn't getting enough revenue and pulls the service.
     
  4. Gareth Marston

    Gareth Marston Established Member

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    It can be rammed what a pity.
     
  5. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    Service update on the Cheshire West & Chester Council website saying it will become service 40 operated by Aintree Coachline from 21st Nov with no change in frequency. No information on the bus no longer being free. It does however say Aintree Coachline can terminate the service at 55 days notice.
     
  6. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    I suspect that most people will pay the £1 fare rather than walk. These days, quite a lot of people seem to lazy to walk very far - some even get out the car to go to destinations that they could walk to in 5 minutes. And, £1 is a pretty low bus fare these days - the lowest commercial fare on Arriva in St. Helens is almost £2.
     
  7. Statto

    Statto Established Member

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    It is a bit of a hike fom Chester Station to the City Centre, so some will still get the bus, plus you can get a Plusbus ticket for Chester which costs £2, same price as the return fare on the Railbus.

    My biggest bugbear is the lack of a bus service from Chester Station to the Bus Exchange, even if you get the buses that stop at the Station you've a bit of a hike when you get off the bus to the Bus Exchange.
     
  8. raildude

    raildude Member

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    Plusbus is not valid on this operator.

    Unlimited travel on these participating bus operators:
    Arriva, First.
     
  9. All Line Rover

    All Line Rover Established Member

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    It's a pity that the bus will no longer be free, but the money has to come from somewhere, and recently CWAC council have been cutting bus services no end!

    I do not disagree with the decision to charge £1 - it is more than reasonable. I would disagree if they pulled the service completely. I don't mind them pulling services round where I live as they are heavily underused (often only 1 person on them!) but not the Chester City Rail Link.
     
  10. Statto

    Statto Established Member

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    Arriva have bus routes serve Chester Station, but follow the Railbus route around to Frodsham Street, then go off on various routes. These have the advantage of operating all day as well.
     
  11. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    The distance is just far enough to put people off.
    It's also quite confusing with ring roads and underpasses, and not through the best part of town.
    Even the free bus puts you off a long way from the Roodee (or as you say the bus exchange), as racegoers have found out the hard way!

    Derby and York are rather similar.
     
  12. 185

    185 Established Member

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    Cheshi*e West Council have nothing but contempt for public transport.
     
  13. Gareth Marston

    Gareth Marston Established Member

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    yeah - its a mixture of the good and the bad. If you want a bus to Wales your OK at Chester railway station but if you need a bus to English parts its a long long walk.
     
  14. Statto

    Statto Established Member

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    Funny you should mention the ring road, as a few times walking to Chester Station, i end up getting lost on the underpasses trying to cross the ring road, & end up going to the wrong exit.:oops:
     
  15. All Line Rover

    All Line Rover Established Member

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    Meh - the "and Chester" part of "Cheshire West and Chester Council" is a bit of a misnomer, as the vast majority of the area that the council covers is rural. There is no need for public transport (any public transport in rural areas is heavily underused, as I've already mentioned) so the council doesn't bother improving it!
     
  16. martinsh

    martinsh Established Member

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    as witnessed by their predecessors selling their local bus operator to First of all people !
     
  17. Paul Sidorczuk

    Paul Sidorczuk Veteran Member

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    Being the type of area that it is, Chester sees quite a number of visitors who are elderly and have the NCTP over 60's pass. It is a long walk from the station, but as been said elsewhere on this thread, there are other buses that call at the station where these passes will retain their validity.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    This is quite a good valid point that you have made. Considering that Chester is a tourist destination, you would assume that this matter would have been attended to long ago and the commuters using bus/rail for their journeys need a co-ordinated city transport facility.
     
  18. merlodlliw

    merlodlliw Established Member

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    I noted yesterday morning, there is a big bus timetable display just in the station entrance,almost like a train display screen, it gives the buses to Wrexham every 12 mins http://www.arrivabus.co.uk/serviceInformation.aspx?id=2561 and Mold http://www.arrivabus.co.uk/serviceInformation.aspx?id=2531 every 30 mins.

    The local have a rail ticket free bus, now £1 with a different company, must mean some of the funders have pulled the plug,

    If you missed it, I put up my visit to Cardiff on "Wag Express continues to March"(the month) on this page
     
    Last edited: 4 Nov 2011
  19. Tracky

    Tracky Member

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    While a lot of the visitors who use the bus will have bus passes, any who visit from Wales will find that their bus passes are not valid as the journey starts and ends in England. Whatever happens, passengers could use the Arriva bus services from in front of the town crier. I can't be sure on this point but I believe the single bus fare into town on the Arriva services is 50p...
     
  20. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    The '& Chester' part is there really because a city has to be in a council district containing the name of the city, no other reason. Officially it's Cheshire West and City of Chester but the 'brand name' used is Cheshire West & Chester.
     
  21. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Time for all buses to go to the station like in most comparable towns in mainland Europe.
     
  22. 142094

    142094 Established Member

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    Exactly - integration at its finest over here :roll:
     
  23. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    Well they provided and support the large park and ride car park at Hooton.
    And funded the Chester Gateway improvements around the station.

    I agree they are lukewarm about transport investment and are not interested in the Halton Curve for instance, which would improve links to Liverpool, or in the rump Ellesmere Port-Helsby line.
    They would benefit from any Wrexham-Bidston upgrade but again are lukewarm (only Neston comes within its orbit).

    The council's area now includes Ellesmere Port and Northwich, and is less rural and rich than many people think.
     
  24. Statto

    Statto Established Member

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    The thing is, the First depot is opposite Chester Station, which makes it more bizarre that there's no service to the Bus Exchange from the Station

    It became a Unitary Authority a couple of years ago, with the Borough/City Councils merged with the County Council, & likewise East Cheshire.
     
  25. merlodlliw

    merlodlliw Established Member

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    Welsh Bus passes in & out of Chester are accepted for travel to Wrexham & Mold(Flintshire) also Welsh bus passes are accepted in & out of Whitchurch & Oswestry.


    Bob
     
  26. 45689ajax

    45689ajax Member

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    Unfortunately this depot is now no longer in use.
     
  27. 185

    185 Established Member

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    The car park at Hooton was funded whilst dinosaurs roamed the earth. They do actually make a fair profit from that car park. They have slowly removed every last supported bus service that served places that only seven or eight years ago needed a double decker to accomodate the passengers. Quite fortunate that Neston & the Port are near to the border hence the fairly good (Merseyside-bound) services.
     
  28. KingboyD

    KingboyD Member

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    There is a free bus service??? I have walked to the center all these years lol!!!
     
  29. tsubaki

    tsubaki Member

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    Having only used this service intermittently, I seem to recall that at one stage it was free only if you had a railway ticket, otherwise you had to pay.
     
  30. trainophile

    trainophile Established Member

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    I assume the ticket barriers don't retain tickets then?

    Been meaning to have a look round Chester ever since I've been passing through there for three years (on Advance tickets so can't exit station). So I've got two weeks left if I want a freebie bus ride then. Might tie it in with a Club 55 day out.
     
  31. Tracky

    Tracky Member

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    Yes...

    My point is if people get the train from Ruabon to Chester then they cannot use a welsh bus pass to go from the station to the town.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    The railways preference to retain tickets was seen to be more important than the bus operators need to prove rail travel and the barriers do retain tickets if Chester is the destination.

    'trainophile', even if you are on advance tickets if you have the time to leave the platform between trains the barrier staff will let you out as long as you can show your ticket. Most of them are nice people...
     
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