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Brewmaster
post Jul 17 2009, 01:15 PM
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Yesterday afternoon I travelled in to Newbury from Great Shefford on the no. 4 service, intending to take advantage of my bus pass to bank a cheque and go straight home again. I arrived in Northbrook Street just before 1600 hrs, did my banking and returned to the bus stop by Robert Dyas intending to catch the 1610 back home, which was scheduled to leave Northbrook Street at 1614.

By about 1625 it hadn't appeared, so I asked the driver of another bus what had happened to it. He told me that this particular service was scheduled to leave the bus station at 10 minutes to 4 and not 10 minutes past, so I had missed it. This was confirmed by two drivers at the bus station, where (inevitably) the office was closed and I was advised to telephone in the morning. A great help. This meant that I had to hang around Newbury for another hour.

The online timetable which I printed out - http://www.reading-buses.co.uk/april09/004MF25.HTML - and the timetable at the Northbrook Street stop both show the service leaving the bus station at 1610, so why does it actually leave at an earlier time? Does Newbury Buses not adhere to its own timetable? What is the point of publishing timetables that are wrong?

To make it worse, the timetable for this service on West Berkshire Council's website shows the departure time as 1600, and also has a different departure time for my journey in. The bus I caught left Great Shefford at 1531, which is the time listed on the first two timetables, but the WBC one - http://www.westberks.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.a...d=16813&p=0 - lists the departure time as 1526. Yet another time table at Travel Line Southeast reveals another Newbury Buses timetable which gives the departure time of the service from Newbury to Lambourn as 1555. So which timetable is the correct one? Why is there this discrepancy?

I have contacted the Cabinet Member for Transport at WBC pointing out that these services are financed in whole or part by the Council, so I assume that the Council has some input to the operating efficiency of the company. I trust that some action will be taken to ensure that accurate and matching timetables are published at all outlets and that Newbury Buses are made to adhere strictly to these timings.

We are all exhorted to cut down on car use to reduce carbon emissions, but yesterday's experience is hardly likely to make me a convert to bus travel.
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JeffG
post Jul 17 2009, 01:32 PM
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I wish you luck in getting this crazy situation sorted out.

Mind you, I'd gladly come and pick you up myself in return for a glass or two of your superb cider! tongue.gif
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GMR
post Jul 17 2009, 01:54 PM
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Any organisation that has a monopoly do as the please.

Bad timetables, they charge too much for fares etc. Not enough cycle racks in town to lock up your bikes and they want us to use alternative transport to the car? Until they get their act together I can't see people rushing to use different transport.
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Branston Pickle
post Jul 17 2009, 02:15 PM
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QUOTE (GMR @ Jul 17 2009, 02:54 PM) *
Any organisation that has a monopoly do as the please.

Bad timetables, they charge too much for fares etc. Not enough cycle racks in town to lock up your bikes and they want us to use alternative transport to the car? Until they get their act together I can't see people rushing to use different transport.


Newbury Buses don't have a complete monopoly in Newbury- I believe they are facing competition on some routes from Weaveaway travel. As for fares, I find they depend on where you go- a return to Reading is only £4.00- presumably to make the service more attractive when compared to the train. On the other hand, however, they also have the cheek to charge 20p more for a single on the Link to Basingstoke than Stagecoach do on their half of the service. The high fares are probably a result of the almost complete fleet renewal that Reading Transport has carried out over the last 4/5 years or so, to get a totally low floor fleet, one of the only operators in the country to have this.
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Brewmaster
post Jul 18 2009, 09:39 AM
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I sent the details of my complaint to David Betts, Executive Member for Transport at West Berks Council. He acknowledged immediately and later that day responded as follows:

I am now in a position to give you a fuller reply.

Officers have looked at the various timetables produced by Newbury Buses and the WBC Transport Service Team and confirmed there are some anomalies between them.

We produce out timetables in accordance with the registrations that bus companies are legally required to submit to the Traffic Commissioner and respective Local Authorities when they change their timetables.

The registered timetable is what Newbury Buses are operating, so we can confirm that on Monday to Friday there is a 1555 departure from the bus station going to Lambourn.

We have contacted Newbury Buses and pointed out that the timetable they are showing on their web site is not in accordance with the registration. They acknowledge and apologise for this and will correct the information as soon as possible.


Needless to say, I have had no response to my communication with Newbury Buses, which was sent at the same time.
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GMR
post Jul 18 2009, 09:44 AM
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QUOTE (Brewmaster @ Jul 18 2009, 10:39 AM) *
I sent the details of my complaint to David Betts, Executive Member for Transport at West Berks Council. He acknowledged immediately and later that day responded as follows:

I am now in a position to give you a fuller reply.

Officers have looked at the various timetables produced by Newbury Buses and the WBC Transport Service Team and confirmed there are some anomalies between them.

We produce out timetables in accordance with the registrations that bus companies are legally required to submit to the Traffic Commissioner and respective Local Authorities when they change their timetables.

The registered timetable is what Newbury Buses are operating, so we can confirm that on Monday to Friday there is a 1555 departure from the bus station going to Lambourn.

We have contacted Newbury Buses and pointed out that the timetable they are showing on their web site is not in accordance with the registration. They acknowledge and apologise for this and will correct the information as soon as possible.


Needless to say, I have had no response to my communication with Newbury Buses, which was sent at the same time.


Good on you; at least you didn't just moan but did something positive. If more people did what you did then certain companies might think twice.
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Iommi
post Jul 18 2009, 10:39 AM
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QUOTE (Brewmaster @ Jul 18 2009, 10:39 AM) *
...We have contacted Newbury Buses and pointed out that the timetable they are showing on their web site is not in accordance with the registration. They acknowledge and apologise for this and will correct the information as soon as possible. [/i]

The thing is, he hasn't addressed the point that Northbrook Street bus stop also shows or showed the wrong time!

While it is good that there was a swift reply, one would like to think that these issues could be prevented from occurring. Especially if we are to promote bus use.
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Hugh Saskin
post Jul 20 2009, 08:52 AM
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Seems a pretty sloppy way to run a transport business. I'm afraid they think bus users will accept a poor level of service without being able to do anything about it. The chattering classes, certainly outside London, tend not to travel by bus but they do travel by train, was it not Brian Souter of Stagecoach who said that if you upset bus passengers, then they might just go down to the garage and throw a brick through a window, upset rail passengers and they will write to their M.P.?

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GMR
post Jul 20 2009, 09:45 AM
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QUOTE (Hugh Saskin @ Jul 20 2009, 09:52 AM) *
Seems a pretty sloppy way to run a transport business. I'm afraid they think bus users will accept a poor level of service without being able to do anything about it. The chattering classes, certainly outside London, tend not to travel by bus but they do travel by train, was it not Brian Souter of Stagecoach who said that if you upset bus passengers, then they might just go down to the garage and throw a brick through a window, upset rail passengers and they will write to their M.P.?



different classes, different ways wink.gif
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Hugh Saskin
post Jul 20 2009, 01:46 PM
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Something different, certainly
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JeffG
post Jul 20 2009, 02:41 PM
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Are you referring to the spelling?
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Hugh Saskin
post Jul 20 2009, 02:49 PM
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QUOTE (JeffG @ Jul 20 2009, 03:41 PM) *
Are you referring to the spelling?



Yes, never seen it spelt that way before. First time for everything, I suppose
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JeffG
post Jul 20 2009, 03:50 PM
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Perhaps next time it will say BUS'S smile.gif
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GMR
post Jul 20 2009, 06:47 PM
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QUOTE (JeffG @ Jul 20 2009, 04:50 PM) *
Perhaps next time it will say BUS'S smile.gif



Both ways can be used according to the dictionary.

bus·es or bus·ses.
A long motor vehicle for carrying passengers, usually along a fixed route.
Informal. A large or ungainly automobile.
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AmieB
post Jul 20 2009, 07:08 PM
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I had a horrible experience going on a bus so have not used them since. Last year I waited for a bus at the stop opposite St Marys doctors (London Road). At the time they ran every half an hour (i think). So i got there at 3.20pm, and the bus turned up but said it was too full ( i had the pram with me then), i thought fair enough. So I waited for the next one, again it was full and was told to get the one after. So i waited again, this one was quite full but i was allowed on. I had shopping in the pram basket so could not fold it down - not that I could anyway it doesn't fold flat and I didn't feel comfortable holding my 3 month baby while standing. So i wait near the front squidged in keeping out of peoples way, and the bus driver said i was to put the pram away. I said i couldn;t, theres too much shopping and the baggage compartment is full. Also i explained i couldn't stand holding my baby in case i fell, and i'd been waiting over an hour. He said that i should get off. I said why, there is still room for people to get past me and get on and off. Someone shouted to the driver to hurry up and get going, someone else shouted i was fine where i was. In the end he pulled away so fast i fell back into the someone else sitting down which was very embarrasing! Thank god i didn't have my baby in my arms. I said to the driver he didn't need to drive like that, he told me if i didn;t like it to get off - so I did.

I thought b******s after that and walked home. It was freezing cold and i was so p****ed off.
Anyway i would never take the bus after that, so i continue to drive. Too expensive anyway for the service you receive.

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Jamoza
post Jul 20 2009, 07:29 PM
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QUOTE (AmieB @ Jul 20 2009, 08:08 PM) *
I had a horrible experience going on a bus so have not used them since. Last year I waited for a bus at the stop opposite St Marys doctors (London Road). At the time they ran every half an hour (i think). So i got there at 3.20pm, and the bus turned up but said it was too full ( i had the pram with me then), i thought fair enough. So I waited for the next one, again it was full and was told to get the one after. So i waited again, this one was quite full but i was allowed on. I had shopping in the pram basket so could not fold it down - not that I could anyway it doesn't fold flat and I didn't feel comfortable holding my 3 month baby while standing. So i wait near the front squidged in keeping out of peoples way, and the bus driver said i was to put the pram away. I said i couldn;t, theres too much shopping and the baggage compartment is full. Also i explained i couldn't stand holding my baby in case i fell, and i'd been waiting over an hour. He said that i should get off. I said why, there is still room for people to get past me and get on and off. Someone shouted to the driver to hurry up and get going, someone else shouted i was fine where i was. In the end he pulled away so fast i fell back into the someone else sitting down which was very embarrasing! Thank god i didn't have my baby in my arms. I said to the driver he didn't need to drive like that, he told me if i didn;t like it to get off - so I did.

I thought b******s after that and walked home. It was freezing cold and i was so p****ed off.
Anyway i would never take the bus after that, so i continue to drive. Too expensive anyway for the service you receive.


Did you get your money back & complain to the bus company?


--------------------
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AmieB
post Jul 20 2009, 07:40 PM
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QUOTE (Jamoza @ Jul 20 2009, 08:29 PM) *
Did you get your money back & complain to the bus company?


No i didn't i just got off the next stop and went home. Didn't bother complaining as nothing would of come of it. I just decided i wont use them again, unless i really need to.
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GMR
post Jul 20 2009, 08:28 PM
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QUOTE (AmieB @ Jul 20 2009, 08:08 PM) *
I had a horrible experience going on a bus so have not used them since. Last year I waited for a bus at the stop opposite St Marys doctors (London Road). At the time they ran every half an hour (i think). So i got there at 3.20pm, and the bus turned up but said it was too full ( i had the pram with me then), i thought fair enough. So I waited for the next one, again it was full and was told to get the one after. So i waited again, this one was quite full but i was allowed on. I had shopping in the pram basket so could not fold it down - not that I could anyway it doesn't fold flat and I didn't feel comfortable holding my 3 month baby while standing. So i wait near the front squidged in keeping out of peoples way, and the bus driver said i was to put the pram away. I said i couldn;t, theres too much shopping and the baggage compartment is full. Also i explained i couldn't stand holding my baby in case i fell, and i'd been waiting over an hour. He said that i should get off. I said why, there is still room for people to get past me and get on and off. Someone shouted to the driver to hurry up and get going, someone else shouted i was fine where i was. In the end he pulled away so fast i fell back into the someone else sitting down which was very embarrasing! Thank god i didn't have my baby in my arms. I said to the driver he didn't need to drive like that, he told me if i didn;t like it to get off - so I did.

I thought b******s after that and walked home. It was freezing cold and i was so p****ed off.
Anyway i would never take the bus after that, so i continue to drive. Too expensive anyway for the service you receive.



I wouldn't recommend buses to anybody. They are too expensive, people are never polite nor show respect, most of the time certain routes buses don't turn up. The only good thing I can say about them is that they are an evil necessity for some; i.e. people who have no choice.
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James_Trinder
post Jul 20 2009, 09:40 PM
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QUOTE (GMR @ Jul 20 2009, 09:28 PM) *
I wouldn't recommend buses to anybody. They are too expensive, people are never polite nor show respect, most of the time certain routes buses don't turn up. The only good thing I can say about them is that they are an evil necessity for some; i.e. people who have no choice.


The only place that buses work well is in London, precisely because there are a large amount of people who have no choice. Therefore buses are not too expensive (£3.80 will get you an All London one day bus pass), drivers are relatively polite and buses always turn up, albeit slightly late. However, the local situation is exactly as you describe, if not slightly worse.
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Iommi
post Jul 20 2009, 09:44 PM
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QUOTE (James_Trinder @ Jul 20 2009, 10:40 PM) *
The only place that buses work well is in London, precisely because there are a large amount of people who have no choice. Therefore buses are not too expensive (£3.80 will get you an All London one day bus pass), drivers are relatively polite and buses always turn up, albeit slightly late. However, the local situation is exactly as you describe, if not slightly worse.

Oxford is also good.

This day and age we should be having electronic time tables giving the the expected arrival time, or some kind of online sat nav view so one could see where it is and decide for them selves, but buses are an old solution to an old problem. Nobody wants them other than those with no choice.
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