Bus company axed over 'poor service'
PUBLISHED: 17:00 21 February 2013
NORTH Somerset Council says it is axing a bus company from operating in the Weston area following ‘persistent complaints of poor service’.
The council says it is looking for another company to operate the 4, 83 and 85 services because of what it describes as an absence of supervision that Webberbus has over its drivers.
The authority’s deputy leader Elfan Ap Rees says the company has been given notice of the termination of its contract with effect from July.
When the Mercury contacted Webberbus on Friday, managing director Tim Gardner said he was not aware of any intention to stop Webberbus services in the Weston area and that the Mercury had ‘nothing to check out’.
But Cllr Ap Rees told the Mercury on Friday: “I can confirm that we have given notice on the those three services.
“This follows persistent complaints of poor service.
“They include buses not running to schedule and in some cases not even turning up at all.
“The main cause appears to be a total absence of supervision in Weston in the afternoons, allowing drivers to do as they please.
“Officers have had a number of meetings with the company in an effort to improve the management and reliability, but without success.
“I therefore had no choice but to ask officers to terminate the contract with effect from the end of July.
“This was done last week and we will now re-tender these routes to begin new services when the Webberbus contract expires.
“Meanwhile I apologise to passengers on these routes if they continue to receive a poor service in the meantime.
“It is very disappointing as we are keen to encourage competition in public transport services and Webberbus has provided a good service on its out-of-town route. However, the customer has to come first.”
The number 75 Weston to Bridgwater service is due to remain in place with Webberbus.