I have come to the conclusion that the people responsible for the bus debacle have revisited the children’s fairy story The Emperor’s New Clothes. They told us that we were to get a new improved service across the city and an improved fare structure.
Firstly, the new ‘improved’ service. We live on the 20 bus route, and formerly the 20A, (alas no more). We had three 20 buses and three 20A buses per hour, so in theory heading back from the city centre we had six buses per hour.
When the 20A was axed we were told that we would get four 20s per hour, (a vast improvement you will agree), what they failed to tell us was that they will all arrive at once in convoy, well three of them. I don’t know where the fourth went – this has happened more than once.
This morning waiting at Norton Lees for a bus into the city we were there long enough for three buses to have been due, someone was tracking them and kept saying, one due in two minutes and another in three. They didn’t arrive and then the tracking site went down.
Eventually we spotted two heading toward us. Both went past with people packed on like sardines. We ended up walking down to Heeley to get a bus. An hour after I left home, I managed to get a 24 bus.
Now the improved fare structure. Passengers only gain from this if they are lucky enough to live or work where both First and Stagecoach operate routes. I think these are the only folk who will have no axe to grind. Pre-changes the daily First fare was £3.90, it still is, but if you have both running on your route, for another 10 pence you can catch either bus.The First weekly ticket still costs £12.50, but for another £1.50 per week again you can get both buses.
If you don’t have a Stagecoach bus where you live or work, tough! Oh look, I think I just missed the Emperor’s Coach!
Cliffefield Road, S8