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Author Topic: First Set To Axe Several Bristol Bus Services  (Read 4904 times)
Lee
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« on: July 28, 2007, 11:18:47 am »

First is set to axe four Bristol bus services when a new timetable comes into effect (link below.)
http://thisisbristol.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=144913&command=displayContent&sourceNode=231190&home=yes&more_nodeId1=144922&contentPK=17948420

First had also planned to cancel the popular X62 service from Mangotsfield to the city centre via the M32.

But an influx of customer complaints from passengers who had heard rumours the service was being withdrawn caused First to reconsider.

The rush-hour commuter services will continue for now but are set to be reviewed in six months' time.

Three of the services which will be lost - the 54A , the 55 and the 57 - link the city centre to north Bristol areas including Southmead , Henbury , Blaise , Shirehampton , Lawrence Weston and Henleaze.

The X67 is a commuter service linking Willsbridge , Cadbury Heath and Hanham to the city centre during the morning and evening rush hours.

There will also be timetabling modifications to the services 5 , 20 , 21 , 75 , 76 and 77 in a raft of changes which First said were a necessary part of modernising Bristol's struggling bus network.

Louise Taylor works in financial services and lives with her husband Chris in Emerson's Green , from where she catches the service every day.

She said: "First are saying people don't use it, but I am not sure where they have got that from."

"The buses running in the morning and late afternoon are full - even the doubledecker buses which people have come to rely on to take them to and from work each day."

"There are a lot of very angry people in north Bristol at the moment."

"We are being held to ransom and we don't really have any other choice. It's all very well keeping the peak services but it looks like they're going to go eventually and it's going to make the services out to where I live even worse."

Quotes from First :

"The X62 is economically unviable by a long way but we have taken on board a lot of the comments we have had since people found out about this."

"To put it bluntly, the service is unlikely ever to make a profit but if there's something that I can do with the resources we have got I will look at some direct services. At the end of the day we are a commercial organisation."

"To run those services which are not used well enough to provide a profit means that we are neglecting the other parts of the network."

"We work extremely closely with the local authorities to try and alleviate congestion so that people can get to their destinations on time."

"The network in Bristol hasn't really been properly looked at for 20 years and we need to provide a bus system for the next 25 years or so."

"That's going to take some difficult decisions, some of which may be unpopular, but we are confident that we will eventually deliver services which everyone can rely on."

"Some people are going to have some extra walking to do, but by-and-large there will be an adequate service provision."

Also , agents across the Bristol area who sell tickets for First Bus are set to see their commissions cut by half to just five per cent. From the start of next month the transport giant is changing its arrangements with its agents , who sell tickets from privately - run shops around the area (link below.)
http://thisisbristol.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=145365&command=displayContent&sourceNode=145191&contentPK=17948056&folderPk=83726&pNodeId=144922

The company has blamed a down-turn in sales for the move , which will see agents now having to pay for the tickets within 30 days of delivery , whether they have been sold or not.

Currently , agents only pay First for the tickets - which are usually weekly or monthly season tickets - when they have been sold to members of the public.

Dont you just love these people?

There are also fears that the way the Showcase Bus Route scheme is being implemented could be the death knell for some small companies (link below.)
http://thisisbristol.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=145365&command=displayContent&sourceNode=145191&contentPK=17948053&folderPk=83726&pNodeId=144922
« Last Edit: July 28, 2007, 11:31:30 am by Lee Fletcher » Logged

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Timmer
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2007, 12:19:43 pm »

Well someone has to pay so First can rake the money together to pay its premiums to Dft for running FGW. Transforming travel, thats First for you. Is there a more less popular transport company I ask myself. I know Stagecoach are doing their best to catch up with First for this accolade. All the while the Dft plays the 'not down to me guv' card whilst the fares, travel restrictions and cuts to services increase. Its going to be very interesting to see how the three new franchises go when they start at the end of the year. Arriva in particular are going to have their work cut out with Cross Country. Sorry for going a bit off topic here.
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Lee
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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2007, 03:35:38 pm »

A petition has been launched demanding that the cuts be shelved (link below.)
http://thisisbristol.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=145365&command=displayContent&sourceNode=145191&contentPK=17995096&folderPk=83726&pNodeId=144922
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Lee
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2007, 12:23:53 pm »

Still...there is good news for the drivers (link below.)
http://thisisbristol.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=145365&command=displayContent&sourceNode=145191&contentPK=18060228&folderPk=83726&pNodeId=144922

Bus drivers are set to be given prizes worth hundreds of pounds as part of a scheme to reward the best in the Bristol area.

First Bus is running in-house and public competitions to find the best drivers in the city.

Passengers and First employees can nominate drivers for the monthly Superstars competition , which started in June and sees the winner receiving ^400.

Each monthly winner goes forward to a grand final where they have a chance to win a five-star holiday.

Passengers who nominate drivers can win a month's free bus travel if their chosen driver is picked as the winner.

Each monthly winner goes forward to a grand final where they have a chance to win a five-star holiday.

The other competition being run by First is a national Bus Driver Of The Year contest which has seen two winners from the Bristol area picked to join 400 others at the national final in Blackpool in December.
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Lee
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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2007, 06:23:47 pm »

First Bus has admitted it should have consulted passengers over service changes which will come into force next month (link below.)
http://thisisbristol.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=145365&command=displayContent&sourceNode=145191&contentPK=18192606&folderPk=83726&pNodeId=144922

I found the following quotes interesting :

"Meanwhile Mark Bradshaw, the city council's executive member for transport, took the opportunity of the meeting to explain the council's relationship with First.

He said the city council has no control over First Bus's operations and that subsidising more routes would mean a massive increase in council taxes.

But he did say that the creation of a strategic transport authority for the area, possible under new government legislation, would give greater Bristol authorities more power over fares, routes and timetabling."

Also , here is an article on the new bus Customer Panel (link below.)
http://thisisbristol.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=145365&command=displayContent&sourceNode=145191&contentPK=18189918&folderPk=83726&pNodeId=144922
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