By far the worst I have come across

I READ with dismay the last paragraph of the letter from Geoff Malham in the Weston Mercury dated August 27.

I READ with dismay the last paragraph of the letter from Geoff Malham in the Weston Mercury dated August 27.

Does he use buses in any other parts of the country, does he use a First Bus service in Weston that miraculously runs according to the timetable, or is he just repeating the blatant propaganda put about by a few senior First Bus personnel in Weston?

I travel all over the country to attend various events and use local bus services in the towns and cities I stay in and can honestly say that the bus service provided by First Bus in Weston is by far the worst I have come across.

I have been told by one of First's Service Quality Team that their drivers are not allowed to leave 'timed' stops (i.e. those quoted in the timetable) more than one minute before the printed time.

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Last Monday evening I was returning home from visiting a friend and arrived at the nearest bus stop three minutes before the bus was due at the previous stop according to the timetable yet the bus I hoped to catch did not come and I had to wait another half hour for the next one.

When I boarded this bus I asked the driver if he knew whether the previous bus had broken down or been running early. The driver thought about it and then said that he had seen the other bus on the outward part of his journey and it was running ahead of schedule.

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The following morning I went to catch a bus into town (from a 'timed' stop) and while waiting for it saw two buses going in the opposite direction the first of which was nine minutes late and the second was five minutes late.

The bus to town that I was waiting for arrived six minutes late. In 14 hours, during approximately eight of which no buses were running on this route four of the five buses I was aware of did not run according to the timetable.

When I arrived in town practically the first thing I saw was a man in a jacket with Service Quality Team printed on it so I commented to him that First did not seem to provide much in the way of service or quality in Weston.

He replied quite gruffly that the service is "excellent, the best in the country".

I told hold him that, as I used buses all over England I knew different and he replied "If it's so much better why don't you move?" To my reply that it is my choice to live in Weston he said "Well walk then".

Addressing comments like this to a disabled passenger, as I am, is in my opinion hardly an example of good customer relations or service.

I would like to say that although annoying, especially if you have an appointment to keep, late running buses are slightly preferable to ones that run ahead of time, as if you are at the bus stop by the due time a bus that is late will at least turn up eventually.


Uphill Road North, Weston

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