TfL saying no reported bus disruption when it's been reported

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by infobleep, 7 Dec 2017.

  1. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    I'm going to have to log a complaint to TfL, what are the chances of them listening or will they simply ignore me?

    Are the issues I'm about to raise due to funding cuts?

    On Monday I was using the K3 bus route, a route with 16 minute frequency, at a point where there would be a 30 minute walk to another TfL bus route. After 15 minutes two buses turned up. This was around 8.55. Had I arrived 30 minutes earlier I'd have been OK.

    On Wednesday I was 30 minutes earlier and I had to wait 15 minutes for again two buses to show up. The only app I use only showed one bus but further along the route it showed it as being two.

    I tweeted @TfLbusalerts yesterday and they said there was a burst water mains and works due to complete on Friday.

    Today I was there around the same time as Monday. Bus due at 8.55 but that then vanished. I asked @TfLBusAlerts who said they were having radio problems. I decided to wait. Then I decided to start walking as the times kept changing or disappearing.

    Eventuallt a bus went passed and I ran for it. I got on. The driver said buses were o diversion dud to roadworks.

    So I went onto the TfL Web Site today and it says no reported disruptions. That is clearly false so I think a complaint is in order. What do others think?

    If they want to encourage bus usage this isn't the way to do it. An hours walk would have been faster today, assuming I didn't stop to take photographs on route.

    Apparently the works are on going until further notice as I skated the bus driver when we finally arrived.
     
    Last edited: 7 Dec 2017
  2. talltim

    talltim Established Member

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    Sureley waiting 15 minutes on a 16 minute service frequency is within spec?
     
  3. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    I don't know. But waiting 40 minutes can't be. And surely saying there are no reported disruptions 4 days after disruptions first occurred and have been reported at least since Wednesday if not Monday,, is surely not in spec.

    It's not the first time they had said there are no reported disruption when there is but this is the longest period I've seen them claim this!

    I've not complained yet but I did tweet a photo of the disruptions page and asked if they could do something.

    Aa for yet nothing has been done, more than an hour after a tweeted. Why is it so difficult to put up disruption information when they have been informed of it?

    Is there just so much disruption they can't keep up? Train Operatorating Companies seem to be able to enter this information, abet some companies are better than others at this.
     
  4. AndyW33

    AndyW33 Member

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    Could it be that they want to confirm the extent and duration of the disruption with whichever utility company is causing it first? They have no way of knowing whether a random member of the public contacting them via Twitter has supplied them with accurate information or not. Or would you rather they displayed "there's some disruption, we don't know exactly what is causing it, or how long it will continue for"?
    That would be nearly as useless as saying nothing at all.
    The comparison to Train Operating Companies is pointless - Thames Water can't just turn up and dig a hole in the track without getting agreement from Network Rail or LUL depending on whose track it is. They can and will dig a hole in the road at a moments notice if they suspect a water main or sewer has burst.
     
  5. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    That is exactly what I'd like them to do and no I don't consider it to be useless either as it warms people there could be problems but we aren't entirely certain.

    Train companies put up disruption advice for bad weather and some tea the bad weather takes a different route. Should they not put up the warning as it might not occur?

    In an emergency the police might tweet don't go to x we have an on going situation. More information will be provided when we can.

    Besides once a member of the public has contacted TfL and TfL have confirmed with the public what the issue is, there is no excuse for not putting it up. It's not like I was reporting the burst watermain. I didn't know about it. Just that there was no buses. They know there is a problem as they told me so.

    I didn't know what the problem was so I asked TfL. I also spoke with a bus driver.

    The issue lasted 4 days. No diversion today but the watermain is still being dealt with.

    Today I ended up on the same bus route and I got to my destination 45 minutes earlier!
     
  6. plcd1

    plcd1 Member

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    A few comments.

    I am afraid that the linkage between TfL being informed about works and it then ending up on their website as "real time" info has been poor for years and is worse now than ever before. I think it is worse because staffing levels have been cut and it is simply is not a great enough priority to ensure a wholly consistent service. That's not a good place to be but that's my reading of things from the outside. I sometimes see other info and it simply does not include all the road works info that is on the TfL Roads Status Page or the Streetworks register (also run by TfL). The respective systems clearly can't talk to each other so are reliant on human effort to transfer info - sometimes it works, other times it's a mess. It is also worse when there are emergency works which may be what you encountered.

    I-Bus cannot cope with emergency diversions. Buses do vanish off tracking or appear to be "stuck" at a stop before the point where the diversion starts. If you know there are road works you can sort of make allowances but I agree it is not something the average person would understand. I don't see how TfL can make I-Bus cope with emergency diversions given the constraints in the system and the need to "plot" the roads and stops that would be served on a diversion. That's a big job as I've been shown some of the systems that link together to feed I-Bus. You also need amended schedules and clearly, with emergency road works, those are not available and are not cost effective to create. Controllers just manage the impact.

    You can, of course, complain but I fear it will do no good. The financial pressure on TfL and especially jobs is severe and will worsen. I am afraid your experience is just one of endless examples where things are not as they should really be but there's no momentum to improve them.
     
  7. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    The entire department that looks after iBus has been subsumed into the IM (IT) department with huge job losses. They used to keep messages on signs updated during the day (as one of their more minor tasks) with Centrecomm taking over at night and on Sundays. They did need to be passed manually from other departments - with one insisting on trying to fax them despite a dedicated e-mail address having been set up years ago. I don't know whose responsibility it is now, but I've noticed a lot more errors in the data appearing on signs.

    The same department were responsible for various projects including providing WiFi on board buses, providing seat availability upstairs on a screen downstairs, using electronic ink for bus stop timetables. Progress seems to have stopped on all of these, unless anyone knows different.

    I used to work in the department, with one of my roles involving investigating recurring problems with predictions. When I left I was not replaced.

    iBus *can* cope with emergency diversions, but it needs the route controller to let the system know what the diversion is. Unfortunately, at this time, they're likely to be at their busiest and it almost never happens. By the time I left, even planned diversions of less than 6 weeks were not put into the system.
     
  8. plcd1

    plcd1 Member

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    Interesting. Thank you for that update. Confirms my suspicions as to what has happened. I can't see that a former "operational" role concerning the bus network fits very well into a stressed IM department but hey what do I know?
     

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