Buses turned up late or simply failed to arrive
WHEN First changed its timetables on November 4 it stated that it was to "Improve the punctuality and reliability of services", as usual with First, it has not proved the case!
I live at Longwell Green and use services 45 and 332 on a daily basis, since November 4, the 332 service after 3.25pm from Bristol bus station into the evening has never run on time, as far as I am concerned. The longest wait (ignoring the flood problems) was 35 minutes before I gave up and sought a different bus.
Bear in mind this is supposed to be more or less an hourly return service.
As for service 45, can First explain why early morning buses frequently fail to arrive at stops in Longwell Green at scheduled times or at all (there is no rush hour at 7am)? Also can First explain why I waited on Bristol City Centre from 6.45pm until 8.23pm for either a 44 or 45 on December 14 and no bus turned up?
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According to the timetable there should have been at least four buses and then the 45 arrived at 20.23 (according to the timetable this should have been a 44).
I have written to First asking for an explanation but I expect them to respond with no reasons – this seems to be their usual response.
Fed up bus passenger
First replies: We would like to offer our sincere apologises to Lynn for the problems she has experienced recently on our buses.
We are aware of two instances where early morning Service 45 buses have been delayed through Longwell Green; both issues were related to mechanical problems, one of which was resolved on the spot but which meant the service was delayed slightly, and one which led to the bus being replaced – causing a bigger delay.
On 14 December, Service 45 buses were operating, but the combination of prolonged heavy rain in Bristol and significant congestion caused by a pre-Christmas shopping surge brought much of the city to a standstill and meant that there were delays to many services across the network, in worse cases of up to two hours.
We share the frustration felt by our customers when things like that happen, but sadly there was nothing that we were able to do at the time to resolve it.
In relation to Service 332, again we would like to offer Lynn our apologies.
The service was altered on November 4. Since then we have encountered a number of problems: the service was affected by flooding along the route; two serious road traffic accidents; and increased levels of traffic congestion linked to the fact that more traffic was using the route of Service 332 as a way of avoiding roadworks in Hanham throughout November.
We similarly had some internal issues which contributed to the problems, as some drivers new to the route were unfamiliar with it.
Our team is 100 per cent committed to resolving this though, and it remains a priority for us.
The route is currently being monitored closely and if necessary further changes to the timetable will be made to ensure it is accurate and best reflects the time it takes to travel from A to B.
Jenny MacLeod and Carol Groves
General Managers, First in Bristol, Somerset and Avon