Thursday, 12 March 2009

Another outrage from First Bus

It doesn't seem many weeks ago that we had to launch a campaign to stop First Bus scrapping the 'express' bus services that it ran from South Gloucestershire down the M32 into the centre of Bristol.

Hot on the heels of that attempt to undermine local bus services, the company has now announced a new round of cuts with no consultation - simply presented as a fait accompli.

From 10th May the X27 will no longer operate. The X42 will only run at peak times and will be replaced by the (slower) 342 off peak. Incredibly, areas such as Winterbourne High Street, Iron Acton (or actually the by-pass, as the buses had already stopped going through the High Street), and North Yate will be without daytime bus services from First. In addition, the 482 Sunday service between Chipping Sodbury and Cribbs Causeway is to be cancelled.

The company claim that they can't possibly be expected to go on running these services given the economic downturn, despite the millions in profits that FirstGroup made last year.

You do sometimes wonder why First bother to run buses at all - it must be such an inconvenience to them.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

The trip had recently inflated to well above £6 return. THE most expensive bus journey that I have ever to my knowledge encountered penny-to-minute.

How was it not profitable again?

James said...

I agree this is ridiculous. I suspect this a result of the virtual monopoloy that First enjoy at the moment. Have you any ideas about how can we encourage a little local competition?

Keith said...

I use the X27 at least four times a week at peak times. I can only assume that First are trying to emulate GWR on how many people thay can pack into commuter transport. At peak times the 327 will be standing room only and may not be able to accommodate all that want to use it. The net result is that people will use their cars and abandon public tranpsort.

The cost is also outrageous having just come back from Germany where up to five people can use public transport all day for 10 Euros.

Anonymous said...

I have just returned from Holiday to learn of the cut back in service. How are we expected to leave our cars in home when there is no viable public transport service. Bristol has always suffered from high bus fares and now they plan to cut the route completely. Surely this is against government council and governmentt green transport policy. Why is the public transport so poor in Bristol when other cities seem to mamage it well, having reliable and cheaper transport. No wonder we are forced to drive our cars and clog up the city and roads. How else are we expected to get to work, visit family, do the shopping etc!!!

I hope they will listen to public opinion and pressure since this is clearly a decision not taken with the residents of south Glos interests in mind.

Bill Pritchard said...

When my wife and I left Edinburgh for Yate we expected to have a reduced bus service but did not expect this sort of thing; but perhaps we should have! In Edinburgh First were not allowed to take over the transport system as the original company stayed and despite all efforts First were not able to force Lothian Buses to put up their fares or to drop routes. I, with many other, will stand at a Bus Stop and waved past a First Bus and wait for the Lothian Bus. Get on a bus in the centre of Edinburgh and travel to Dalkeith (this is equal to getting a bus to Yate from the centre of Bristol) and the cost was £1! Although this has no doubt increased in the last two years it will still be nowhere near the fare charged by First. Whenever you have a monopoly which is not watched over by the local councils you will be treated like this. Before anyone thinks that I am just extolling the virtues of Edinburgh, no! I am just pointing out what can be done when people have a choice and the local authority work on behalf of the people.

Anonymous said...

Greedy sods wont ever do anything thats right and the Gov let them get away with it, I mean any sane person would realise that you must have a return fare before 9am and that a single journey should be half price, if this was the case I suspect more people would use the service as long as the price is reasonable in the first place.

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