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“Please help me persuade Transport for London to provide a better regulated service on the W3 bus route” – Simon Brandon

Description

Simon Brandon

The W3 is an essential and busy service between Finsbury Park and several areas of North London that have no tube access. During the day it has a stated service frequency of 4-6 minutes, however the service normally runs with two or three buses traveling in convoy and then a gap of 12-15 minutes before the next convoy arrives. This leaves passengers waiting double the time they should only for a crowded bus to arrive followed by one or two empty buses. TfL have said in the past that this can be caused by certain traffic bottlenecks on the route, but this happens at all times of the day and therefore TfL clearly need to review the route or increase the vehicle resources on the route.

Problem History

  • 1 Simon Brandon reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 12:01 22 Sep 2011
  • 2 Simon Brandon wrote to Transport for London close 12:01 22 Sep 2011

    Here is the letter that Simon Brandon wrote.

    Poor service pattern on the W3 bus route

    The W3 is an essential and busy service between Finsbury Park and several areas of North London that have no tube access. During the day it has a stated service frequency of 4-6 minutes, however the service normally runs with two or three buses traveling in convoy and then a gap of 12-15 minutes before the next convoy arrives. This leaves passengers waiting double the time they should only for a crowded bus to arrive followed by one or two empty buses. TfL have said in the past that this can be caused by certain traffic bottlenecks on the route, but this happens at all times of the day and therefore TfL clearly need to review the route or increase the vehicle resources on the route.

  • 3 [email address] responded to Simon Brandon close 12:14 22 Sep 2011
    Thank you for your email. We can now confirm that this has been
    received.

    For further information about the Surface Transport Complaints
    and Feedback Policy including timescales, please see
    [1]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tf...

    Problems with roadworks or other street faults? In support of
    the Mayor’s Streetworks Code of Conduct to help cut congestion,
    please report these issues by visiting
    [2]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/reportas...

    show quoted sections

    References

    Visible links
    1. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tf...
    2. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/reportas...
  • 4 PR (Customer Services) responded to Simon Brandon close 10:07 02 Nov 2011
    9* Arriva London

    16 Watsons Road

    Wood Green

    London

    N22 7TZ

    Tel 020 8271 0101

    Fax 020 8271 0120

    www.arriva.co.uk

    By E-Mail to: [provide a better regulated service on the W3 bus route email]        

    02 November 2011

    Ref: 2086448 / LD

    Dear Anonymous

    Thank you for your comments of 22 September relating to the
    operation of bus route W3. We apologise for the delay in
    responding. Without details of specific incidents it is only
    possible to reply in general terms, with some reference to
    recent problems.

    There are a number of factors which can affect the reliable
    operation of a bus service, all of them unpredictable. These
    include road works, (often requiring lane restrictions or
    temporary lights); traffic collisions, demonstrations, fires,
    security alerts and other incidents requiring the emergency
    services; the actions of other drivers, pedestrians and,
    occasionally, passengers as well as isolated vehicle and
    staffing difficulties.

    In recent months route W3 has been affected by major water main
    replacement works at several locations around the Tottenham
    area. This work has resulted in significant traffic congestion,
    the level of which has varied considerably and often on a daily
    basis. As an example, on 22 September the service was being
    delayed by 10-15 minutes for this reason whilst the previous day
    some buses were 20 minutes late. Route W3 is also affected by
    diversions and service curtailments relating to home games at
    Tottenham Hotspur’s ground in White Hart Lane. These are
    controlled by the police and can be extended or varied without
    prior notice according to the size of the crowds and their
    behaviour.

    Delays do not affect individual buses by the same amount of time
    and this is the reason that bunching of journeys occurs. To give
    a simplified example, please assume that three buses are
    approaching road works requiring single alternate line traffic
    controlled by temporary traffic lights at the start of the peak
    period. The first passes through with minimal delay. Traffic may
    then build gradually such that the next bus, five or ten minutes
    later, will be held up for one phase of lights, suffering more
    delay than that in front. It will then spend more time at stops
    – perhaps only a few seconds, but this will mount up – as
    passengers who would have otherwise just missed it and boarded
    the (third) bus now use the delayed second service instead.
    There could be other issues as well – a failed Oyster Card, an
    enquiry from someone unfamiliar with the route, the boarding of
    a wheelchair user – none of these can be foreseen but all cause
    delay. In the meantime the third bus, which might have been
    lucky and again got through the works on a green phase, will be
    doing less work, although still delayed, and will eventually
    catch the second, thus causing the bunching about which you
    complain.

    Where possible our supervisors will ask a driver to hold back
    for two minutes to delay or prevent this situation occurring but
    this is not always possible due to road layout and conditions.

    Whilst the responsibility for route planning rests with London
    Buses and I can also understand your frustration, your
    suggestion of increasing the resources used on the service will
    not resolve these issues and could potentially increase the
    incidents of bunching, since the additional buses and drivers
    will still be caught up in the same situations I have described.

    I can assure you that Arriva London is mindful that the service
    on many bus routes in the Tottenham area has not been reliable
    of late. We are certain that these services will improve once
    the issues relating to the mains replacement and recent civil
    unrest have been resolved. In the meantime our supervisors will
    continue to monitor services on a daily basis with a view to
    minimising the disruption which is occurring.

    Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience you were
    caused.

    Yours sincerely

    Mrs L Saunders

    Customer Services Manager

    show quoted sections
  • 5 Simon Brandon added an update close 13:02 10 Nov 2011

    The reply from Arriva is rather flat in that it seems they are just hoping that traffic conditions will improve and so will the service. If the traffic in Tottenham, why doesn't Arriva start the Finsbury Park services (on which the majority of problems occur) at Alexandra Palace instead?

  • 6 Myf Nixon commented close 13:59 10 Nov 2011

    Hi Simon,
    If you would like to pursue the matter, you can always reply to Arriva using the yellow 'email' button at the top of this page. Thanks!

    anorak
    admin
  • 7 Simon Brandon wrote to Transport for London close 19:02 10 Nov 2011

    Dear Mrs. Saunders,

    Thank you for the detailed reply given to the previous correspondence regarding the poor service on the W3 bus route.

    I appreciate the comments you make regarding the bunching up of services and that putting on extra buses would not solve this, however I wonder if you have considered starting some of the Finsbury Park bound services (where most of the problems occur) at Alexandra Palace so as to avoid the problems in Tottenham that you refer to in your letter.

    This would mean that not every service has to encounter the same problems and will hopefully produce a better regulated service.

    Regards.

  • 8 [email address] responded to Simon Brandon close 19:12 10 Nov 2011
    Thank you for your email. We can now confirm that this has been
    received.

    For further information about the Surface Transport Complaints
    and Feedback Policy including timescales, please see
    [1]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tf...

    Problems with roadworks or other street faults? In support of
    the Mayor’s Streetworks Code of Conduct to help cut congestion,
    please report these issues by visiting
    [2]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/reportas...

    show quoted sections

    References

    Visible links
    1. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tf...
    2. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/reportas...
  • 9 Simon Brandon wrote to Transport for London close 14:11 11 Jan 2012

    Dear Mrs. Saunders,

    I last wrote to just over two months ago with a suggestion for improving the reliability of the W3 bus route. Could you please let me know whether you are considering implementing this suggestion and if not, why it has been dismissed.

    As the service on this route is still very poor, I would also appreciate it if you would set out the measures you are taking to improve the service for passengers on the W3 route.

    Regards,

    Dear Mrs. Saunders,
    Thank you for the detailed reply given to the previous correspondence regarding the poor service on the W3 bus route.
    I appreciate the comments you make regarding the bunching up of services and that putting on extra buses would not solve this, however I wonder if you have considered starting some of the Finsbury Park bound services (where most of the problems occur) at Alexandra Palace so as to avoid the problems in Tottenham that you refer to in your letter.
    This would mean that not every service has to encounter the same problems and will hopefully produce a better regulated service.
    Regards.
    =========
    9* Arriva London

    16 Watsons Road

    Wood Green

    London

    N22 7TZ

    Tel 020 8271 0101

    Fax 020 8271 0120

    www.arriva.co.uk

    By E-Mail to: CAMPAIGN-XS-NTADKV@FIXMYTRANSPORT.COM

    02 November 2011

    Ref: 2086448 / LD

    Dear Anonymous

    Thank you for your comments of 22 September relating to the
    operation of bus route W3. We apologise for the delay in
    responding. Without details of specific incidents it is only
    possible to reply in general terms, with some reference to
    recent problems.

    There are a number of factors which can affect the reliable
    operation of a bus service, all of them unpredictable. These
    include road works, (often requiring lane restrictions or
    temporary lights); traffic collisions, demonstrations, fires,
    security alerts and other incidents requiring the emergency
    services; the actions of other drivers, pedestrians and,
    occasionally, passengers as well as isolated vehicle and
    staffing difficulties.

    In recent months route W3 has been affected by major water main
    replacement works at several locations around the Tottenham
    area. This work has resulted in significant traffic congestion,
    the level of which has varied considerably and often on a daily
    basis. As an example, on 22 September the service was being
    delayed by 10-15 minutes for this reason whilst the previous day
    some buses were 20 minutes late. Route W3 is also affected by
    diversions and service curtailments relating to home games at
    Tottenham Hotspur’s ground in White Hart Lane. These are
    controlled by the police and can be extended or varied without
    prior notice according to the size of the crowds and their
    behaviour.

    Delays do not affect individual buses by the same amount of time
    and this is the reason that bunching of journeys occurs. To give
    a simplified example, please assume that three buses are
    approaching road works requiring single alternate line traffic
    controlled by temporary traffic lights at the start of the peak
    period. The first passes through with minimal delay. Traffic may
    then build gradually such that the next bus, five or ten minutes
    later, will be held up for one phase of lights, suffering more
    delay than that in front. It will then spend more time at stops
    – perhaps only a few seconds, but this will mount up – as
    passengers who would have otherwise just missed it and boarded
    the (third) bus now use the delayed second service instead.
    There could be other issues as well – a failed Oyster Card, an
    enquiry from someone unfamiliar with the route, the boarding of
    a wheelchair user – none of these can be foreseen but all cause
    delay. In the meantime the third bus, which might have been
    lucky and again got through the works on a green phase, will be
    doing less work, although still delayed, and will eventually
    catch the second, thus causing the bunching about which you
    complain.

    Where possible our supervisors will ask a driver to hold back
    for two minutes to delay or prevent this situation occurring but
    this is not always possible due to road layout and conditions.

    Whilst the responsibility for route planning rests with London
    Buses and I can also understand your frustration, your
    suggestion of increasing the resources used on the service will
    not resolve these issues and could potentially increase the
    incidents of bunching, since the additional buses and drivers
    will still be caught up in the same situations I have described.

    I can assure you that Arriva London is mindful that the service
    on many bus routes in the Tottenham area has not been reliable
    of late. We are certain that these services will improve once
    the issues relating to the mains replacement and recent civil
    unrest have been resolved. In the meantime our supervisors will
    continue to monitor services on a daily basis with a view to
    minimising the disruption which is occurring.

    Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience you were
    caused.

    Yours sincerely

    Mrs L Saunders

    Customer Services Manager

  • 10 [email address] responded to Simon Brandon close 14:12 11 Jan 2012
    Thank you for your email. We can now confirm that this has been
    received.

    For further information about the Surface Transport Complaints
    and Feedback Policy including timescales, please see
    [1]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tf...

    Problems with roadworks or other street faults? In support of
    the Mayor’s Streetworks Code of Conduct to help cut congestion,
    please report these issues by visiting
    [2]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/reportas...

    show quoted sections

    References

    Visible links
    1. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tf...
    2. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/reportas...
  • 11 PR (Customer Services) responded to Simon Brandon close 17:35 03 Feb 2012
    Anonymous                           

    By E-Mail to: [email address]

    03 February 2012

    Ref: 2402036 / LD

    Dear Sir/Madam

    I am writing in response to your further comments relating to
    our letter of 2 November 2011.

    We did not receive your comments of 2 November, neither did we
    receive directly your follow-up of 11 January. I am advised that
    this is probably because of the coded e-mail address, which
    Arriva plc’s spam filters have probably quarantined. As these
    are group-wide settings we cannot change them. We are only now
    aware of your comments because you sent or copied your latest
    correspondence to London Buses, whose spam setting will,
    obviously, be different.

    I would like to refer you to the sixth paragraph of our letter
    of 2 November, in which we explained that route planning is the
    responsibility of London Buses. They state that we must schedule
    every journey to operate from one end of the route to the other
    and only make ad hoc alterations to cover events on the day of
    operation as they occur. Very clear records of each alteration
    must also be made by law, together with the reason for each and
    we are rigorously audited. Pre-planned scheduling of short
    journeys is not permitted, neither is Arriva London, or any
    other contractor, permitted to make such changes unilaterally.
    You will, therefore, have to take these comments up with London
    Buses as a general matter.

    Some timetable alternations were made to a number of Arriva
    London services in north London in late October and early
    November. Although aware of these when we wrote to you those
    affecting route W3 had only been in place a few days and it was
    too early to gauge their effect, which is why we did not refer
    to them. Some of the alterations were at our request whilst
    others, most notably the conversion of route 29 from articulated
    buses to double-deckers, were to a schedule set out by London
    Buses. All, however, were inter-linked. Central to this was the
    delivery of a large number of new buses from two of the leading
    bus manufacturers in UK and, indeed, Europe. Unfortunately we
    were advised some weeks before delivery that some of these,
    including a batch for route W3, would be delayed. As the
    conversion of route 29 in particular could not be postponed this
    led to Arriva London having to put some slightly older and,
    admittedly, less powerful and therefore slower, vehicles on the
    route for about three months. We accept that this was not ideal
    but with the other changes which were ongoing at the same time,
    some of them outside our control, it was the only course of
    action available to us.

    The new buses are now in the process of delivery, however they
    are radically different to handle than those which were on the
    route four months ago. Some type-familiarisation training is
    therefore necessary for our staff, however once this has been
    carried out we will be introducing these new vehicles into
    service at the earliest opportunity, and certainly within a
    matter of a few weeks. In addition, experience of operating the
    new timetable has shown areas where there is still some concern
    on weekdays and some minor revisions were undertaken from 30
    January with a view to addressing these.

    I would like to clarify, however, that these changes, whilst
    bringing about a significant improvement in the travelling
    experience, can never be expected to cope with the disruption to
    which we referred in our correspondence of 2 November and the
    fluctuating delays of between 10 and 30 minutes which resulted.

    We understand that the service has not been as reliable as we
    would wish for users of route W3 in recent months. Whilst some
    of the issues affecting the service are beyond our control I
    would like to assure you that we are actively addressing those
    over which we do have some influence. In the meantime I would
    like to apologise for the inconvenience you have been caused.

    Yours sincerely

    Mrs L Saunders

    Customer Services Manager

    show quoted sections
  • 12 Al London commented close 00:43 02 Aug 2013

    So how is the W3 service now?

  • 13 Jason & Paul responded to Simon Brandon close 02:21 27 Feb 2015
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    These changes came with an explicit ‘health warning’; George
    Osborne clearly underlined in his speech the need for expert
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    More choice means more better thinking, but comes with more
    responsibility - it is important to make the right decisions for
    your financial future.

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    [1]More Information >>

    Pensions are crucial to your retirement. 

    Understanding your savings and the income yield.

    Planning for your future is the best course of action.

    Almost a quarter of all people over 30 have not considered how
    they will survive financially when they retire, and of the
    people that have considered there future, the majority will have
    pensions that are not working for them as well as they should
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    * ·         Are you aware of the fees and charges associated
    with your different pensions? (They are often higher than
    you may think, especially if you have more than one plan)
    * ·         Do you know how much income your current pensions
    will give you in your retirement? Will it be enough to
    sustain your current standard of living?

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    About Building The Nest Egg

    Building The Nest Egg seeks to deliver institutional level
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    professional to set up and maintain a portfolio that can be
    personalised to meet individual needs. A dedicated broker is
    assigned to each client and serves as the primary point of
    contact throughout the relationship. This approach allows
    clients to reap the benefits of BTNE’s overall investment
    philosophy whilst retaining specific goals.

    Mission Statement

    We strive to be the acknowledged global and preferred partners
    in helping our clients succeed in the world's rapidly evolving
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    Building The Nest Egg Limited

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    OX26 4LD
    Email: [3][email address]

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    >[4]Unsubscribe - Click Here < >Unsubscribe - Click Here <

    [5]Powered by Interspire

    References

    Visible links
    1. http://em.buildingthenestegg.com/em/link...
    2. http://em.buildingthenestegg.com/em/link...
    3. mailto:[email address]
    4. http://em.buildingthenestegg.com/em/link...
    5. http://em.buildingthenestegg.com/em/link...
  • 14 Jason & Paul responded to Simon Brandon close 23:05 03 Mar 2015
    Confused about your pension?

    You are not alone - over 80% are currently underperforming.

    Various options for improved performance.  

    A Pension Review can find out if yours is one of them, as well
    as uncovering any old pensions you may have forgotten about with
    no obligation. With Pension Fund returns and Annuity pay-outs at
    all-time lows, it is more important than ever to ensure your
    money is working as well as it can for you.

    Call one of our friendly consultants or alternatively use the
    contact us form - To see more.

    Download the new pension rules factsheet for April 2015

    Understanding the new pension rules for April 2015 and how they can
    benefit your pension today.

    In his March 2014 Budget, Chancellor George Osborne introduced
    the most radical shake-up of the pension industry for almost a
    century. The new measures have far-reaching implications for an
    estimated 18 million people in the UK who have pension plans.

    These changes came with an explicit ‘health warning’; George
    Osborne clearly underlined in his speech the need for expert
    advice to make the most of the new choices available.

    More choice means more better thinking, but comes with more
    responsibility - it is important to make the right decisions for
    your financial future.

    Download our PDF on the new pension rules click here

    [1]More Information >>

    Pensions are crucial to your retirement. 

    Understanding your savings and the income yield.

    Planning for your future is the best course of action.

    Almost a quarter of all people over 30 have not considered how
    they will survive financially when they retire, and of the
    people that have considered there future, the majority will have
    pensions that are not working for them as well as they should
    be.

    Now is the time to act to ensure you are prepared for the
    relaxing retirement you deserve.

    These are some questions to ask yourself to see if you could
    benefit from our Pension Review service:

    * ·         Do you know exactly how much money you have saved
    in all of your pensions?
    * ·         Are you sure of what returns you are getting from
    your current pension plan?
    * ·         Do you know where your money is being invested?
    * ·         Are you aware of the fees and charges associated
    with your different pensions? (They are often higher than
    you may think, especially if you have more than one plan)
    * ·         Do you know how much income your current pensions
    will give you in your retirement? Will it be enough to
    sustain your current standard of living?

    Knowing the answers will deliver piece of mind.

    Call today or use the contact form provided.

    [2]More Information >>

    About Building The Nest Egg Limited  

    About Building The Nest Egg

    Building The Nest Egg seeks to deliver institutional level
    investment services to sophisticated medium and high net worth
    individuals. Each client works exclusively with a of
    professional to set up and maintain a portfolio that can be
    personalised to meet individual needs. A dedicated broker is
    assigned to each client and serves as the primary point of
    contact throughout the relationship. This approach allows
    clients to reap the benefits of BTNE’s overall investment
    philosophy whilst retaining specific goals.

    Mission Statement

    We strive to be the acknowledged global and preferred partners
    in helping our clients succeed in the world's rapidly evolving
    financial markets.

    Building The Nest Egg Limited

    Telford Road
    Bicester
    Oxfordshire
    OX26 4LD
    Email: [3][email address]

    Company No: 09357517

    >[4]Unsubscribe - Click Here < >Unsubscribe - Click Here <

    [5]Powered by Interspire

    References

    Visible links
    1. http://em.buildingthenestegg.com/em/link...
    2. http://em.buildingthenestegg.com/em/link...
    3. mailto:[email address]
    4. http://em.buildingthenestegg.com/em/link...
    5. http://em.buildingthenestegg.com/em/link...
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