From the 1st April 2012 First Bus in Bristol, Somerset & Avon will offer refunds to passengers if their service leaves a minute or more early, 20 or more minutes late or fails to show up at all. Only when the fault lies with the bus company though and refunds will be given in the form of free travel up to the value of the affected journey.
From First - Bristol, Bath and the West
First to offer refunds for late journeys as part of new customer charter / Fares in Bristol also being reviewed from 1 April
Thursday 08 March 2012
In a move that reflects its increasing confidence in its ability to operate buses more punctually and reliably than ever before, First in Bristol, Somerset and Avon is introducing a new customer promise from 1 April, as part of a new customer charter.
The customer promise enables bus users to claim against First if one of its buses leaves a defined timing point more than one minute early, more than 20 minutes late or if it fails to operate a journey at all, and the company is found to be at fault.
To support the launch of the customer promise and to make it easier for customers who wish to make a claim, First has produced Travel Claim Forms, which will be available from Travel Shops and bus stations in the region, as well as from its website, www.firstgroup.com/bristol
(from 1 April).
Talking about the promise and the new customer charter, Regional Commercial and Business Growth Director, Marc Reddy, says: "This marks a natural progression for our business. In recent years we have seen increasing investment in transport in Bristol and the surrounding areas not least in projects such as the Greater Bristol Bus Network, which officially launches on 15 March. The improvements in bus priority measures, among other things, have meant we have been able to improve our service delivery and while we expect to see things improve even more as we feel the real benefits of the Greater Bristol Bus Network, were already starting to see the impact on travel patterns in Bristol with more people now willing to use the bus."
<snip>Regarding the Customer Promise:
- Money back will be in the form of free travel up to the value of the original journey. The refund only applies to fare paying passengers, concessionary pass holders are not able to claim through the scheme.
- Examples of when First would be at fault include, if a bus failed to operate because of a driver did not report for work or if a vehicle suffered a mechanical failure. NB First would not be liable for delays caused by any of the following: vandalism, security alerts, industrial action, severe weather, heavy traffic conditions, road works or road closures.
- A defined timing point is a place on the route where the bus cannot legally be more than one minute early, or five minutes late more than 90% of the time. They are usually, but not always, the places marked on the official timetable. Information at the roadside usually states whether a specific bus stop is a timing point or not, in some cases bus stop information will state that the times given at the roadside are estimated based on the time taken for the bus to travel from the previous official timing point.
I've quoted the relevant parts of First's press release. Also included via the link above are details of fare increases from 1st April 2012 as a result of the cuts made by central Government to the Bus Service Operators Grant. Further notes also provide facts and figures about First's bus operations in Bristol, Somerset and the former Avon area.