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“Please help me persuade National Express East Anglia to do a better job of organising replacement bus services” – Tom Hughes

Description

Tom Hughes

I had the misfortune to need to travel into London from Rye House station on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend, while your replacement bus service was in operation.

On Saturday morning I missed the bus I was trying to catch, the 0841 from Rye House, because the bus drivers had been told to stop at the station while the notices and staff at the station were telling passengers to wait down the road at the bus stop. I and a number of other passengers eventually managed to get the 0911 bus by flagging it down in the road.

Returning on Saturday evening I arrived at Waltham Cross only to find that the 2303 bus which was supposed to meet our train had vanished into thin air - it never turned up and your staff member at the bus stop had no idea where it was and no way to find out. Eventually the 2333 bus did arrive (bang on time) and we managed to get that.

On Sunday morning I did manage to get my bus from Rye House but many people may not have done because the 0915 bus arrived (at the bus stop this time) at 0909 and promptly left again without waiting for the scheduled departure time.

Remarkably the return journey on Sunday evening went more or less to plan - there was a brief moment of panic as they tried to work out how to get 18 people onto a 16 seat minibus at Broxbourne but luckily it turned out that two of them actually needed a different bus.

So I think you scored about 1 out of 4 on the "ability to organise a replacement bus service" this weekend.

Images and media

Problem History

  • 1 Tom Hughes reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 10:08 28 Nov 2011
  • 2 Tom Hughes wrote to National Express East Anglia close 10:08 28 Nov 2011

    Here is the letter that Tom Hughes wrote.

    Shambolic Replacement Bus Service

    I had the misfortune to need to travel into London from Rye House station on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend, while your replacement bus service was in operation.

    On Saturday morning I missed the bus I was trying to catch, the 0841 from Rye House, because the bus drivers had been told to stop at the station while the notices and staff at the station were telling passengers to wait down the road at the bus stop. I and a number of other passengers eventually managed to get the 0911 bus by flagging it down in the road.

    Returning on Saturday evening I arrived at Waltham Cross only to find that the 2303 bus which was supposed to meet our train had vanished into thin air - it never turned up and your staff member at the bus stop had no idea where it was and no way to find out. Eventually the 2333 bus did arrive (bang on time) and we managed to get that.

    On Sunday morning I did manage to get my bus from Rye House but many people may not have done because the 0915 bus arrived (at the bus stop this time) at 0909 and promptly left again without waiting for the scheduled departure time.

    Remarkably the return journey on Sunday evening went more or less to plan - there was a brief moment of panic as they tried to work out how to get 18 people onto a 16 seat minibus at Broxbourne but luckily it turned out that two of them actually needed a different bus.

    So I think you scored about 1 out of 4 on the "ability to organise a replacement bus service" this weekend.

  • 3 Tom Hughes commented close 10:14 28 Nov 2011

    I've added a photo of the notice posted at Rye House telling passengers where to wait for the buses.

  • 4 Myf Nixon commented close 10:38 28 Nov 2011

    Well done getting the photographic evidence, Tom. That does sound like a shambles and I hope your message gets things changed for any future incidents.

    anorak
    admin
  • 5 Tom Hughes commented close 12:33 26 Jan 2012

    I'm not sure if this ever actually got sent to NXEA or not, but certainly they don't seem to have replied at all.

  • 6The problem report was resent to National Express East Anglia 19:48 29 Jan 2012
  • 7 Peter Dixon commented close 19:49 29 Jan 2012

    Hello Tom

    We have had an issue with the email address provided to us. We have changed the email address on this system and resent it.

    I am apologetic for the lack of response and I hope that we can get some form of response soon.

    Kind regards

    anorak
    admin
  • 8 Customer Relations responded to Tom Hughes close 20:20 30 Jan 2012
    Link: [1]File-List
    Link: [2]themeData
    Link: [3]colorSchemeMapping

    National Express East Anglia Customer Relations

    [4][National Express East Anglia problem reporting email]

    Case Ref: EA-120130-BBGB

    Date: 30-Jan-12

    To: Mr Hughes

    Email: [5][do a better job of organising replacement bus services email]

    Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….

    Dear Mr Hughes,

    Thank you for your recent email.

    I was very sorry to learn about the problems you had when
    attempting to travel with us recently. I can appreciate the
    obvious distress and inconvenience caused, when you arrived at
    the station, only to find that a replacement coach service had
    been laid on for both parts of your journey.

    Our Control team call round a large number of coach/bus
    operating companies until they can find a company that are able
    to spare a unit. This replacement bus can be any company that
    they are able to find, and wonÂ’t necessarily be a National
    Express Coach.

    Furthermore, I am very sorry that you felt that these
    replacement bus services fell below the standard you (or we)
    would expect. I hope that you can accept my sincere apologies to
    you for any discomfort; you may have felt which led you to feel
    unsafe as a result. I would like to reassure you that the safety
    of passengers is a priority for us. We would never knowingly put
    our passengers at risk either through poor maintenance of our
    replacement bus services, or allowing customers to board when
    there is a lack of seating.

    All operators contracted to supply vehicles to National Express
    East Anglia by our sister company National Express Rail
    Replacement (NXRR) go through a rigorous approval process. This
    involves outside agencies such as the Freight Transport
    Association (FTA) which inspects all engineering records, and
    also inspects a selection of the operatorÂ’s vehicles before
    their use is allowed. This is then continually monitored by the
    NXRR Engineering Team. Within the contract, NXRR has to provide
    us with vehicles that have reached the minimum standard
    required.

    Of course I was concerned to read your comments, and therefore,
    I can confirm that I have passed your correspondence onto our
    Rail Replacement Bus coordinator for his immediate attention. I
    can assure you this matter will be treated with the utmost
    seriousness and the appropriate action taken. Please accept my
    apologies for any distress or caused by this incident, which I
    trust will not deter you from using our services again.

    As we near the end of this rail franchise on 4th Feb 2012, I
    would like to assure you that your feedback will be logged and
    shared with our management team enabling them to, where
    possible, avoid a similar situation in the future.

    Once again my sincerest apologies and thank you for taking the
    time to contact us.

    Yours sincerely,

    Estelle Christie

    Customer Relations Advisor

    National Express East Anglia

    References

    Visible links
    1. file:///tmp/11b02f9b-ae04-4787-8e15-be1ce2fe96a9_files/filelist.xml
    2. file:///tmp/11b02f9b-ae04-4787-8e15-be1ce2fe96a9_files/themedata.thmx
    3. file:///tmp/11b02f9b-ae04-4787-8e15-be1ce2fe96a9_files/colorschememapping.xml
    4. mailto:[National Express East Anglia problem reporting email]
    5. mailto:[do a better job of organising replacement bus services email]
  • 9 Tom Hughes commented close 22:55 30 Jan 2012

    I'm not quite sure what all that stuff about safety inspections and stuff is about... Doesn't seem to relate to my message at all...

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  • started 28 November 2011
  • supporters 1
Train route between Rye House and Tottenham Hale operated by Greater Anglia
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