First South West and Wales discussion

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by Ivo, 27 Feb 2012.

  1. Dhassell

    Dhassell Member

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    The only thing I don't like about the Parkway shuttles, are the ones that come from Bristol TM which call at Filton seem to wait for ages. One I was on waited around 8 minutes for time...
     
  2. Marcus Fryer

    Marcus Fryer Member

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    Looking at Realtime Trains, BRI to FIT buses are allowed 20 minutes SO and 25 minutes SX. 25 minutes off-peak does seem a bit generous, even with Bristol's traffic.
     
  3. Class 33

    Class 33 Established Member

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    For me, the rail replacement bus services were surprisingly OK on Wednesday and Thursday, all the services I boarded actually turned up on time! Though on the 0835 Clifton Down-Bristol Temple Meads service on Thursday, it appears I was the only person onboard during the whole journey - unless anyone boarded at the final intermediate stop Lawrence Hill.

    Yesterday though, it was unfortunately back to being a pretty bad experience again with these rail replacement buses.

    I was concerned that because I was the only person on that 0835 Clifton Down-Bristol Temple Meads service on Thursday, that I thought GWR wouldn't bother running this service yesterday because of lack of passengers. And guess what, I waited for it and it didn't turn up!

    And my journey home last night was horrendous. I got to the Stapleton Road bus stop at a few minutes before the 1759 service. And the same problem as Monday and Tuesday but a bit worst. The 1759 didn't turn up, the 1814 didn't turn up, and the 1829 didn't turn up on time. Just as I was about to give up and get two normal First Bus services home instead, a bus finally turned up at 1840. After being stuck at that bus stop waiting for 45 minutes! Incidentally, I noticed that the 1805 Bristol Parkway service still hadn't turned up by then! What happened to that? - service cancelled altogether or the driver went completely the wrong way again?!

    These services are absolutely hopeless!

    As mentioned I have complained in particular about that lousy driver on Tuesday morning that just shook his head at me and failed to stop for me to board. And I'll have to wait nearly 2 weeks for a reply! My gut feeling though is that because the Rail Replacement Bus Service bus stop toward Clifton Down is now in Redland Grove, rather than South Road where it used to be located - is that that driver probably thought that the Rail Replacement Bus Service bus stop towards Bristol Temple Meads was the nearest bus stop on the other side of Redland Grove, and wasn't informed that it's actually in South Road where the Rail Replacement Bus Service bus stop is clearly marked. It's very clear by the looks of it that a lot of drivers have not been fully trained of the routes to take and the bus stops to stop at for these services. This should have been done well in advance of these 3 weeks of Rail Replacement Bus Services! Either way, I'm still mad that that driver just shook his head at me and failed to stop.
     
    Last edited: 3 Nov 2018
  4. DanTrainMan185

    DanTrainMan185 Established Member

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    As a fellow member said to you the other day you need to speak to GWR as the buses are operated on their behalf.
     
  5. Class 33

    Class 33 Established Member

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    I know. I've emailed GWR to complain
     
  6. DanTrainMan185

    DanTrainMan185 Established Member

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    Let us know the outcome! I'd be interested to hear :)

    In other news, arsonists have set fire to ten buses kept in the sidings by Temple Meads, where A bus keep some of their vehicles. Can't attach a link on here but apparently at least ten vehicles have been destroyed.
     
  7. Whiteway215

    Whiteway215 Member

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    Proving what GW said ages ago, E200s can be used on the Bath 2 with 44908 on it today. Also not seen by me for a very very long time is a decker on the 3, 32344 on there today.
     
  8. Luk3y

    Luk3y Member

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    Sn65zgt was on the 4 this afternoon. Bit of a unusual allocation
     

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  9. D2007wsm

    D2007wsm Member

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    The Gas Bus is currently on its way to Kingswood on a 43
     
  10. matt_splat

    matt_splat Member

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    Meanwhile the bio bus was on the 43
     
  11. Whiteway215

    Whiteway215 Member

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    The Bath Chronicle has reported 10162 broke down (?ran out of fuel) and blocked Bathwick Hill today apparently between approx noon and 1700 hours. Pictures show it jack knifed across the road with its rear end inches from parked vehicles. Another unfortunate incident for the Bath Uni service.
     
  12. vicbury

    vicbury Member

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    I don't think that there has been a day without First being in the local news during the last few weeks! Anyway, today the Bristol Post has a live blog on "what it's really like to get a bus in Bristol".

    Spoiler alert: it involves photos of packed buses and people ranting on Twitter.
     
  13. carlberry

    carlberry Established Member

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    Good choice of day! The traffic in Bristol is hideous today (however that'll be First's fault as well!). Out of the 9 Unibuses 5 were stuck on the Portway waiting to turn into Shirehampton at 8.30 with a sixth on the way up the Portway to join the queue. And one of the A1s today was running via the Cumberland Basin. The main reason being that it was a Streetlite!
     
  14. Private Baxter

    Private Baxter Established Member

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    That it has. I think it's now at a point which is way beyond their control. I was on the 48A this morning, from Fishponds Road up to UWE. For a journey that should take twenty minutes, I was on there for an hour! And that was just the first leg of my journey. The drivers deserve medals.
     
  15. Marcus Fryer

    Marcus Fryer Member

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    That's because of the road works at Frenchay Park Road.
     
  16. Private Baxter

    Private Baxter Established Member

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    Two sets of roadworks!
     
  17. henairs

    henairs Member

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    Hi All,
    Down here in the land of movement (not Bristol) i enjoyed a day trip out to Wells from Yeovil which included 53205 seen in Yeovil now in BOS livery awaiting vinyls looking smart.
    On the 376 route between Street and Bristol there were 4 Gemini's out today at least with 4 Streetdecks also noted. These were 32551 (04 reg) 32636 (05reg) and 37762/772 both 09 reg's.
    E200 44553 was on 126 as well for good measure.
    Cheers, Mike R
     
  18. henairs

    henairs Member

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    Hi,
    Disregard 37762 on my posting, it was 37761 which has been at Wells for a good fortnight now,
    Mike R
     
  19. vicbury

    vicbury Member

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    Another day, another article about First in the Bristol Post. How First responded after chaos on Bristol's buses.

    Spoiler alert: It's another series of raging tweets with the addition of an apology from First.

    Whilst First is clearly not responsible for the traffic choas in Bristol yesterday morning, I do find the copy+paste generic responses to customers on Twitter to be quite insulting. Customers deserve a meaningful response from a team that actually knows what is happening, and what is being done about it. I think satisfaction could be enormously improved if at least the information given out on social media, and on the real time screens, was relevant and insightful.

    Finally, I would expect another morning of chaos, given that the traffic level in Bristol is currently 91%, compared with a typical morning of 46%!
     
  20. carlberry

    carlberry Established Member

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    The problem is if the team really know and understand what's happening they'd be diverted to dealing with the issue (if they can drive get them on the road, if they cant help the control room) not dealing with tweets. I've always found the Bristol real time screens to be fairly helpful (except when somebody forgets to update the timetables properly) and they're at least real time and not based on the timetable like a lot of other systems. However their sign off message yesterday 'We hope you have had a great day.' might have been ill advised!
    The problem is the article generally just attacks First instead of offering even a bit of understanding of what could be done to fix the issues which just encourages the idiots that suggest that other companies/the council/the mayor/aliens could run the service better when they'd all have the same issues with traffic (other than the aliens of course).
    Expect lots more of the same from the Post next week when the minimum fare in Bristol goes up 20% and Bristol becomes the first city anywhere with a flat fare that's got two levels!
     
  21. swifty

    swifty Established Member

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    I honestly don’t understand what the public expect buses to do when faced with gridlock? The P&R I was on the morning for example took 20 minutes to go from Arnos Vale to Temple Meads and there’s nothing First can do to counter that.

    I don’t think people can grasp that a bus stuck in traffic like that on the way in will then be 20 minutes, if not more, late coming back out and returning.

    Then of course there’s on the next trip back into town there’s no delay - so the late running bus must be because First are useless (because the Bristol Post says so!).
     
  22. carlberry

    carlberry Established Member

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    Plus the next 2 or 3 have now bunched straight behind them so (without a controller can step in) they'll spend the next few hours chasing each other around with the first in the queue being overloaded and the driver getting later and later as each passengers explains how long they've been waiting, how much they spend to get this poor service and how it's all the driver's fault!
     
  23. WelshBluebird

    WelshBluebird Established Member

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    When it works and is accurate, it is great.

    The problem is so often they are not accurate and not intuitive. For example it may say a bus 5 minutes but that actually means 5 minutes away at the "normal" timetabled speed, so if it is stuck in barely moving traffic it will be a lot longer than 5 minutes away. And quite often you will get buses that just disappear from the system, so despite saying 5 minutes away the bus just disappears and then either does turn up at some point, or just doesn't turn up at all. And that is for the buses that actually appear as real time, some do not and just default to showing the timetabled time. You can also get the live bus apps (including First's own site (https://www.firstgroup.com/next-bus) disagreeing with the live boards at bus stops - which begs the question where is the "live" data coming from, which one is actually correct (if either) and why is there a disagreement in it!

    I think there are a few things there:
    1. Because of the routes the buses take and the pinch points on those routes, a service may get significantly delayed on one section but traffic elsewhere may be totally fine. So a passenger waiting may just think that as the traffic is totally fine there, why on earth is the bus late. I think First could do a lot better at explaining the pinch points of certain routes (especially around Temple Meads right now!) and maybe making temporary timetable changes where it makes sense (because taking that Temple Meads example, it is obvious, especially during rush hour, that the timetable no longer has enough time in it for that section of a route).
    2. The buses often have problems even on a normal day (partly because of the general levels of traffic in the city, and partly because of the near constant areas of roadworks), let alone days when you get multiple incidents affecting several important routes. Kind of linked to the above really!
    3. Information given out to passengers and communication from First bus is pretty poor. I mention unreliable "live" bus times above in my reply to carlberry, but you also have things like them taking ages to reply to customer service messages / tweets (or just plain ignoring you), them simply not giving out information related to diversions (the 5 in Bath was diverted every night for a week a month ago due to roadworks, and despite me pestering First on a daily basis they still refused to put out diversion information online - in the end it took a councillor posting on local Facebook group the route for me to know where to get the bus from), the reasons given can be pretty useless (e.g. a month or two ago they were tweeting things like "due to unforeseen circumstances the number x will be delayed" - ok great, but what are those "unforeseen circumstances" - most of those "circumstances" will mean a specific thing when it comes to how long someone will have to wait for their bus), the fact it took a near meltdown of services for them to come out and actually be honest about the fact there is a driver and bus shortage at the minute, etc.
    4. The fares for many people are going up yet again. Regardless of who is the cause, what is perceived as a worsening service combined with what is perceived as a fare rise is never a good combination.
    5. The fact they are trying to push the m-tickets app (to the point of making tickets cheaper on there), despite the app itself being pretty poor and buggy.
    Basically, it comes down to the fact that a lot of people have lost trust in First bus for one reason or another (or more likely a combination of reasons) and so when they then come out and say "sorry but not our fault", people do not trust that answer (and it also feels like a bit of a slap in the face for those who are having to deal with what feels like a worsening service).

    ps - Didn't mean for this to turn into what probably sounds like a rant. I just wanted to explain that it just isn't as simple as First being the victims of the general road issues in Bristol!
     
    Last edited: 8 Nov 2018
  24. Dhassell

    Dhassell Member

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    Another day... Another news article slating First Bus...
    https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/2-flat-fare-bristols-buses-2199640
     
  25. vicbury

    vicbury Member

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  26. vicbury

    vicbury Member

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  27. Jordan Adam

    Jordan Adam Member

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    It hadn't jackknifed at all, not even close to it!
     
  28. Man of Kent

    Man of Kent Member

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    No, the law essentially is restricted to not charging extra for using a credit or debit card (see https://www.gov.uk/government/news/card-surcharge-ban-means-no-more-nasty-surprises-for-shoppers). Booking fees (i.e. transaction fees) are applied by Megabus and National Express, for example, as well as many entertainment venues.
    It's perfectly normal practice for a single unit (e.g. a tin of baked beans) to cost more than when purchased in bulk (like four tins of baked beans). The ticket prices absolutely reflect this.
     
  29. swifty

    swifty Established Member

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    After the Streetlite in use for the past few days, 37602 is helping out on the A1 this afternoon.
     
  30. Whiteway215

    Whiteway215 Member

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    I apologise. You are quite right Jordan it was not the correct description. Also thank you for the information you provided about which bendis were coming to Bath a couple of months ago.
     

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