“Please help me persuade Strawberry Bus to fix this: 329 Strawberry bus. ” – Sara Raza

Description

Sara Raza

Hi. Please read this and don't ignore it, we are people who pay money to use public transport, which, in most cases, turn out to be disappointing.

I have a problem with the 329 Strawberry bus (St. Helens-Ormskirk/ Ormskirk-St. Helens):

My return ticket for half an hour's journey used to be £3.90. This has now gone up, and is £4.20.
I don't mind too much about the price, BUT it bothers me when the bus isn't on time. This is my first problem.
9 times out of 10 the bus will show up on time. But, very (and i mean 'very') often, it is 15-20 minutes late. It's not nice waiting around, especially in cold weathers, and when we have to catch more than one bus.

Please tell them to improve their timings, and BE on time (make sure they don't make it a habit). I saw on old lady get on the bus, cold and shivering, due to the bus being (15 mins) late, as she was made to wait for it in the pouring rain/wind. This disappointed me, hence why i'm writing this.
The buses come every hour (or, hour and 15/20 minutes if you're one of the unfortunate ones who have to wait) but could we get them to run every half an hour?? This is my second problem. The bus's timetable.
I am a university student, and I know that changing the bus's time to every half an hour will be very helpful to all those students, AND to the people who travel to Ormskirk for their job. (I over heard a women, on the bus, telling her boss, on the phone, that the bus was 15 minutes late.)

I appreciate you reading this. I hope something can be done, because i'm not just doing this for myself.

Hope all you people have a wonderful Christmas, and a fantastic new year.

Sara

Problem History

  • 1 Sara Raza reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 09:37 14 Dec 2011
  • 2 Sara Raza wrote to Arriva Merseyside close 09:37 14 Dec 2011

    Here is the letter that Sara Raza wrote.

    329 Strawberry bus.

    Hi. Please read this and don't ignore it, we are people who pay money to use public transport, which, in most cases, turn out to be disappointing.

    I have a problem with the 329 Strawberry bus (St. Helens-Ormskirk/ Ormskirk-St. Helens):

    My return ticket for half an hour's journey used to be £3.90. This has now gone up, and is £4.20.
    I don't mind too much about the price, BUT it bothers me when the bus isn't on time. This is my first problem.
    9 times out of 10 the bus will show up on time. But, very (and i mean 'very') often, it is 15-20 minutes late. It's not nice waiting around, especially in cold weathers, and when we have to catch more than one bus.

    Please tell them to improve their timings, and BE on time (make sure they don't make it a habit). I saw on old lady get on the bus, cold and shivering, due to the bus being (15 mins) late, as she was made to wait for it in the pouring rain/wind. This disappointed me, hence why i'm writing this.
    The buses come every hour (or, hour and 15/20 minutes if you're one of the unfortunate ones who have to wait) but could we get them to run every half an hour?? This is my second problem. The bus's timetable.
    I am a university student, and I know that changing the bus's time to every half an hour will be very helpful to all those students, AND to the people who travel to Ormskirk for their job. (I over heard a women, on the bus, telling her boss, on the phone, that the bus was 15 minutes late.)

    I appreciate you reading this. I hope something can be done, because i'm not just doing this for myself.

    Hope all you people have a wonderful Christmas, and a fantastic new year.

    Sara

  • 3 James McCollom commented close 10:02 14 Dec 2011

    It's actually the 319 bus that Strawberry operate to Ormskirk - the 329 runs to Warrington by Arriva.

  • 4The problem report was resent to Strawberry Bus 10:19 14 Dec 2011
  • 5 Myf Nixon commented close 10:21 14 Dec 2011

    Thanks for the heads-up James. I have forwarded this message to Strawberry.

    Sara, I advise you to try and gather as much support as you can for your campaign: the more names you have on the page, the more you'll be able to show the need for these imrpovements. if you haven't already, how about spreading the word on Facebook, Twitter, and among friends, family and even fellow passengers?

    This URL is easier to remember and will redirect to this page:

    http://tinyurl.com/329strawberry

    anorak
    admin
  • 6 Customer Services North West responded to Sara Raza close 10:44 14 Dec 2011
    Good Morning

    Thank you for the details below.

    Can you please ask the complainant to contact Arriva direct.

    Kind regards

    Arriva Customer Services

    show quoted sections
  • 7 OLIVER HOWARTH responded to Sara Raza close 11:36 14 Dec 2011
    Hi Sara,

    Thank you very for taking the trouble to write. I am very
    concerned about late running on the 319. Please can you tell me
    which journey is regularly late so I can find out why and fix
    it? I am horrified if our bus is regularly 15 minutes late,
    although I know we had big problems a month ago when we moved
    depot from St Helens to Atherton. Times (and dates) of late
    journeys are what I need and I will be very happy to then tackle
    the issues.

    As for making the bus service half hourly, that is very
    difficult. You see we took over the service in May and we are
    the third operator of the 319 in two years. Stagecoach gave it
    up a uneconomic. Fairway took it over and went bankrupt. We
    picked it up - by then it was only every 90 minutes - and have
    built it back up. But last week the 319 lost money even after
    taking into account the student passes and some financial
    support (£8500 per annum) from Merseytravel. Doubling the
    frequency - and doubling the cost - is clearly not possible.
    Buses cost £100k + each (even 10 year old singledeckers cost
    £35k), drivers have to be paid every minute whether there are
    passengers or not, fuel costs are escalating and the amount we
    get for carrying OAPs is now rather less than cost and still
    being cut by councils. If a bus route doesn't pay its way (ie
    revenue exceeds costs) it will cease to exist. Hence the fare
    rise. And hence also we cannot possibly double the frequency at
    present unless someone produces at least £100,000 more subsidy -
    which I cannot see happening.

    However I do want to build up the 319 - we have made changes so
    buses get to Edge Hill those vital 5 minutes earlier and I am
    working with the University to develop bus services. In fact I
    am copying in this e-mail to Julia Dickinson who has
    responsibility for transport use, so she can see your concerns
    as well.

    I look forward to hearing which journeys & dates I need to
    investigate

    Thank you again for getting in touch - if I don't hear about bad
    service I cannot correct it, so I welcome customer feedback.

    kind regards

    Oliver Howarth
    Operations Director, Strawberry &  South Lancs Travel
    From: Sara Raza <[fix this: 329 Strawberry bus. email]>
    To: [Strawberry Bus problem reporting email]
    Sent: Wednesday, 14 December 2011, 10:19
    Subject: 329 Strawberry bus.
        Dear Strawberry Bus,

    Hi. Please read this and don't ignore it, we are people who
    pay
        money to use public transport, which, in most cases, turn
    out to be
        disappointing.

    I have a problem with the 329 Strawberry bus (St.
    Helens-Ormskirk/
        Ormskirk-St. Helens):

    My return ticket for half an hour's journey used to be
    £3.90. This
        has now gone up, and is £4.20. I don't mind too much about
    the
        price, BUT it bothers me when the bus isn't on time. This is
    my
        first problem. 9 times out of 10 the bus will show up on
    time. But,
        very (and i mean 'very') often, it is 15-20 minutes late.
    It's not
        nice waiting around, especially in cold weathers, and when
    we have
        to catch more than one bus.

    Please tell them to improve their timings, and BE on time
    (make
        sure they don't make it a habit). I saw on old lady get on
    the bus,
        cold and shivering, due to the bus being (15 mins) late, as
    she was
        made to wait for it in the pouring rain/wind. This
    disappointed me,
        hence why i'm writing this. The buses come every hour (or,
    hour and
        15/20 minutes if you're one of the unfortunate ones who have
    to
        wait) but could we get them to run every half an hour?? This
    is my
        second problem. The bus's timetable. I am a university
    student, and
        I know that changing the bus's time to every half an hour
    will be
        very helpful to all those students, AND to the people who
    travel to
        Ormskirk for their job. (I over heard a women, on the bus,
    telling
        her boss, on the phone, that the bus was 15 minutes late.)

    I appreciate you reading this. I hope something can be done,
        because i'm not just doing this for myself.

    Hope all you people have a wonderful Christmas, and a
    fantastic new
        year.

    Sara

    ------------------

    Here is some information from FixMyTransport about the
    location of
        this issue:

    Location name: Number 329 bus route

    Area: In St Helens

    ----------

    To view a map of the precise location of this problem, or to
        provide an update on the problem, please visit the following
    link:

    [1]http://www.fixmytransport.com/campaigns/...

    [ PLEASE NOTE: Your replies to this problem report will be
    sent to
        Sara Raza and will be published online. This message was
    sent via
        FixMyTransport.com - a not-for-profit service dedicated to
    helping
        people get public transport problems resolved. If there is a
    more
        appropriate email address for messages about this type of
    problem,
        please let us know by visiting
        <[2]http://www.fixmytransport.com/feedback>. This will help
    improve
        the service for people travelling. We also welcome any other
        feedback you may have. ]

    References

    Visible links
    1. http://www.fixmytransport.com/campaigns/...
    2. http://www.fixmytransport.com/feedback
  • 8 Myf Nixon commented close 14:57 14 Dec 2011

    What a great response from Oliver - using FixMyTransport to its full in order to not only help the customer, but also to inform anyone else who sees this page. Well done Strawberry.

    Sara, if you would like to provide the details requested, you can do so like this:

    - Find the 'new message' email FixMyTransport sent you when the email from Strawberry arrived.

    - Click on the link in that email, which will take you to the page with just the response on it

    - click 'reply' - this will ensure that the previous correspondence is copied in and will also keep a record of all correspondence on this page. Good luck!

    anorak
    admin
  • 9 Dave H commented close 15:40 14 Dec 2011

    One detail is to look at how the bus service might be speeded up as has been done in Lincolnshire. Instead of a circuitous route 'chasing passengers' a faster direct route was set up delivering a journey time that was competitive with driving and finding a parking space, and the focus moved to getting passnegres to the bus rather than the 'big' bus to the passengers.

    Is there a way that delivering this reduces the journey time and perhaps reduces the cost of a vehicle in using fewer buses to run the service, a route near Reading has a 16 minute penalty for serving a location that delivers barely 6 fares/day and costs one bus at around £100,000/year (amortising purchase, drivers' wages, fuel, & paperwork)

    The nice story about Lincolnshire is that within 3 years a subsidised service went fully commercial, and now the hourly service which now has new buses is about to double in frequency. The subsidy that previously propped up the main route is put towards taxi-bus and other connections.

    Have you considered working with a local bus susers group, or evemn setting up one for this route? I visit a cafe in Anstey Leics regularly, and with the bus stop outside they have regular use from bus passengers, could you co-ordinate with a nearby shop or cafe to have a view of the approaching buses and option to shelter under their porch or inside perhaps encouraging Merseytravel to put up timetable boards and support shops and cafe's who provide the equivalent of a bus shelter (saving the cost of providing bus shelters).

    Real time information is also useful - i suspect that the Bus operators' Traffic offices know that the bus is late, and a system to text in for information or otherwise know this might be possible.

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