Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Have YOU had problems getting the bus from Cabot Circus? An apology from First.

Have YOU been left standing at the bus stop opposite Cabot Circus, near the Spectrum Building, while a Yate or Chipping Sodbury bus drives straight past?

After our recent story "Save the hassle, take the bus to town", one of our readers commented:
"Having just read your article I would like to bring to your attention a few facts that you may be interested in concerning the Spectrum building designated pick up point for Yate, Chipping Sodbury. I work in Cabot Circus and have tried to use this Stop on a number of occasions as it should enable me to catch a bus that I would otherwise miss if I had to run to the bus station"

"Unfortunately this is not very often the case as the majority of bus drivers(x342 / x42) and their unions have taken it upon themselves to decide whether or not they stop at this designated stop. This is because they are disputing whether it is a safe place for them to stop to pick up. This I find laughable as the bus stop is big enough to accommodate 6 parked cars and if they were in their correct lane when coming off the roundabout it would be no more dangerous than any other bus stop"

"Unfortunately whilst this dispute still goes on the general public are the one's being forced to suffer the consequences of their actions. Resulting in the bus drivers ignoring the waving arms and cries of stop as these unfortunate victims try without success to get these buses to stop. So I ask you does this sound to you like a hassle free bus service from town or a humiliating experience for anyone who dares to use the designated stop?"

As soon as we got this, we contacted the manager at South Gloucestershire Council who deals with negotiations with the bus company, and he got straight on to First.

Alan Willoughby, the Assistant Operations Director for First Bristol, said
"I am sorry to hear that we remain with drivers not observing Stop C in Bond Street. The stop has been agreed, drivers and inspectors have been informed of the stop. Any individuals not observing the stop will be seen. My apologies to any passengers left behind, if they have details then we can identify and deal with individual drivers"

So if this happens to you because a particular driver isn't following instructions, please contact First's customer services by phoning 0845 606 4446 or emailing with the details - day, time and bus service number should be enough (Yes, their Bath customer services deal with these routes) You might care to tell them "Mr Willoughby asked for details of any incidents like this".

South Glos has also told Bristol City Council about the problem because the services affect them as well.

Well done South Glos for very prompt action on this one!

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