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Author Topic: First Fined ^50k For Bus Timetable Failings  (Read 6618 times)
Lee
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« on: June 29, 2007, 11:18:40 am »

First has been fined more than ^50,000 after a damning report revealed almost one in five of its services in part of the South West either did not arrive on time or failed to turn up at all (link below.)
http://thisisbristol.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=145365&command=displayContent&sourceNode=145191&contentPK=17689949&folderPk=83726&pNodeId=144922

First in Somerset and Avon , a division of transport giant First Group , was hauled before the Western Area Traffic Commissioner to answer an indictment on the reliability of its services.

First Somerset and Avon runs 143 bus routes across Somerset and in the Bath and North East Somerset local authority area.

The Government's Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) monitored the performance of 476 of the firm's buses between July 31 and December 14, 2006.

They said 55 were late , 13 were early and 15 did not arrive at all - although VOSA admitted there were "exceptional circumstances" behind four of the buses that failed to turn up.

That left First in Somerset and Avon's services languishing at 83.3 per cent reliability , compared with the Traffic Commissioner standard of 95 per cent. It led to the firm being hauled before a public inquiry in April this year.

Publishing his findings from the inquiry , Western Area Traffic Commissioner Philip Brown said: "First in Somerset and Avon has failed without a reasonable excuse to operate its registered services in accordance with its timetables."
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Lee
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2007, 10:25:22 am »

Now an investigation has been launched after it was revealed that bus passengers in Bath are being forced to pay more to travel less (link below.)
http://thisisbath.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=180730&command=displayContent&sourceNode=232315&home=yes&more_nodeId1=163047&contentPK=17800313

Park-and-ride user Andrew Allen claimed he was left "embarrassed" after a bus driver demanded he fork out for another ticket when he tried to board a bus in Bath city centre.

Mr Allen buys a ten-journey ticket to cover his week's travelling and has travelled on the service , between the base at Lansdown and Alfred Street , for many years.

The service terminates at Milsom Street but passengers can hop on and off at the Alfred Street stop , as advertised on the website of Bath and North East Somerset Council , which contract the service to First Bus.

However Mr Allen said he was stunned to learn last week that if he wanted to board at the Alfred Street stop he would have to pay ^1.60 for a new ticket.

This is despite the fact the stop is 500 yards nearer to the final destination in Lansdown.

Mr Allen said not only was he confused by the policy but was humiliated after the driver turned off the engine and said he would not move until he coughed up the extra cash.

The Trowbridge resident , who works at the Assembly Rooms , said: "It was terrible. He turned off the engine and folded his arms and said I would have to explain to all the passengers why we were not going anywhere.

"I was so embarrassed. I said I was sorry but I had already bought my ten-journey ticket."

"He said if I wanted to use the Alfred Street stop I would have to pay the cost of a new ticket, which is ridiculous as it is actually nearer to Lansdown."

When Mr Allen pointed out he had always used the stop and had never been charged , the driver said that he should have been.

The bus driver eventually phoned the First depot and was told that he could allow Mr Allen to travel free on this occasion.
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Lee
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2007, 01:14:30 pm »

First Bristol has been fined almost ^50,000 for failing to run its bus services on time.The company was fined by Philip Brown , Bristol's deputy traffic commissioner, ^150 for each of the 325 vehicles it operates in the city (link below.)
http://thisisbristol.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=145365&command=displayContent&sourceNode=145191&contentPK=19163759&folderPk=83726&pNodeId=144922

The total fine , which First Bristol will have to pay by Boxing Day , comes to ^48,750.

The latest inspections took place over 21 days in January , February and March this year. Inspectors found that 344 of 830 journeys - 41 per cent - were more than five minutes late, ran early or failed to turn up. Four drivers face a disciplinary hearing over the early running of services.

But Mr Brown accepted explanations for many of the examples of non-compliance which were offered by First Bristol at a public inquiry in October.

He decided to impose a fine based on a non-compliance figure of just 12 per cent , saying he accepted how hard it is to run bus services in a city as congested as Bristol.
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