Don't miss a story sign up to Weston Mercury's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

First Bus faces criticism from rival company for ‘predatory’ service changes

PUBLISHED: 16:00 08 December 2017

First's changes will come into force on January 14.

First's changes will come into force on January 14.

Archant

The director of a family-owned bus company has hit out at First’s ‘predatory’ actions after the public transport giant revealed it will compete with services in the New Year.

Citistar took over running the 4 and 4A services, which link Hutton and Bleadon to the town centre and Weston General Hospital, from Crosville in September on a six-month contract which is due to expire in April.

It runs an hourly service from Monday to Friday but will face competition from January 14 when First will change its 5 and 5A routes to alternate between stopping at Bleadon and Hutton – with some buses arriving just minutes before Citistar’s.

Citistar managing director Andrew Fear said: “I am truly disappointed in the actions of First to behave in such an unnecessarily predatory manner.

“Had they approached me to discuss a co-operative enhancement to the Hutton and Bleadon services, I would have been happy to discuss the matter with them.

“While we do not have the capacity to provide later or Saturday journeys which First have registered, daytime journeys could have been arranged to provide everyone with a better service.

“We are not on a long-term contract with North Somerset Council and coming to an arrangement to provide better services together would have been an opportunity for us both to improve service stability and our offerings to the public.

“First seem to prefer to neglect its existing services, further cutting the frequency on the existing routes 5 and 7 whilst wasting resources in duplicating the service provided by another operator.”

First says it is reducing the frequency of its number 5 route from a half-hourly to hourly service to reflect customer demand.

A spokesman added: “These changes are designed to ensure the longer-term commercial viability of the service and also to reflect customer demand.

“We are extending a number of journeys to Hutton and Bleadon, which utilises time that buses would otherwise be waiting at Uphill or Weston General Hospital.

“The timing of buses is designed to facilitate school movements and concessionary pass-holders.”

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 15:00

The organisers behind a popular art weekend have shown their support for emerging local talent.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:00

North Somerset Council has apologised for incorrectly charging for a man’s care.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:00

Thousands of people will take on the gruelling London Marathon this weekend and some runners from Weston will race for charities close to their hearts. Here are just a few of those who will take on the challenge on Sunday:

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00

A Weston couple have been sentenced after drugs were found in their house and stuffed in a teddy bear.

Read more
Thu, 20:00

Weston’s first vegan fair will visit the Tropicana, in Marine Parade, this summer.

Read more
Thu, 19:00

A Weston-super-Mare woman with cerebral palsy has found a job after more than eight years of unemployment.

Read more
Thu, 18:00

Hundreds of students lined the streets cheering and waving flags to welcome the Princess Royal to Weston-super-Mare.

Read more
Thu, 17:04

Thousands of parents will be breathing a sigh of relief after more than 90 per cent of children in North Somerset secured their first choice primary school.

Read more
Thu, 16:00

Avon and Somerset police are seeking the views of victims of crime about the support services available.

Read more
Thu, 14:00

A life-saving device has been vandalised in a Somerset village and it is feared its loss could ‘cost someone their life’.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 11°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

Somerset's trusted business finder