Bus firm seeking people to test ride services

A BUS company is looking for passengers to go undercover and check how its services are running.

Arriva has recently received complaints about changes to the services it runs across Southend, Rayleigh, Castle Point and Basildon.

The company is now seeking undercover testers so it can get a better understanding of any problems.

The services will also be ranked on comfort, convenience and cost. People taking part in the survey will be given a week’s free travel.Passengers have welcomed the news, but warned Arriva that their voices must be listened to.

Hockley is one area where there has been considerable controversy because of a reduction in services on the No 7 and 8 routes between Southend and Shoebury.

Brian Guyett, chairman of the Hockley Residents’ Association, said: “This is the first we have heard of it, but I must say it sounds encouraging. Our past surveys have shown people believe Arriva services are worse than they have constantly claimed.

“As an association, we would be broadly supportive of the initiative. If Arriva takes notice of the comments, then it could be helpful.”

David Hanraham, 71, of Spencer Gardens, Ashingdon, spoke out last week about his concerns about late services and buses terminating before the end of the route.

He said: “If they are really going to do something and take notice of what is said, then it will be a great improvement.

“What we really want is competition. When we had more than one bus company running services around here, the service was brilliant.”

Steve Howson, operations manager for Arriva Southend, said: “We’ve made some significant changes to our network and we are appealing to bus users old and new to test it out for us.

“Whether you are a long-standing bus user who wants to compare the service with what you’re used to, or someone who hasn’t stepped on a bus for years, we want to hear from you.”

Local residents interested in becoming a bus tester should e-mail bustester@arriva.co.uk for more information.

Comments (9)

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8:06pm Tue 24 Feb 09

Soozie says...

I nominate Techno to test these buses and make sure they are driving the speed limit and the buses are stopping at EVERY stop, on time, all the time.


I nominate Techno to test these buses and make sure they are driving the speed limit and the buses are stopping at EVERY stop, on time, all the time. Soozie
  • Score: 0

8:07pm Tue 24 Feb 09

SARFENDMAN says...

Good luck finding a rare "Lesser Spotted" 7 between Hockley and Ashingdon, as this breed has been diminishing some 50% since 8th Feb. Also beware the "Charm School Trained" drivers who rarely utter a word from behind their plastic cell in their vintage cast off buses from more affluent areas of the country. Sure all will be found to be A1 in this "In House" survey. HOLD TIGHT!
Good luck finding a rare "Lesser Spotted" 7 between Hockley and Ashingdon, as this breed has been diminishing some 50% since 8th Feb. Also beware the "Charm School Trained" drivers who rarely utter a word from behind their plastic cell in their vintage cast off buses from more affluent areas of the country. Sure all will be found to be A1 in this "In House" survey. HOLD TIGHT! SARFENDMAN
  • Score: 1

8:43pm Tue 24 Feb 09

AspergerKidJoe says...

I hope they do something about it afterwards,otherwise it'll be very hard to get from Shoeburyness to hockley Spa to go bowling at Cj's where one of my friend's works at. Arriva service number 7 and 8 is by far the most crappest service on the whole network. (Even though I have a special bus pass that allows me free travel.)
I hope they do something about it afterwards,otherwise it'll be very hard to get from Shoeburyness to hockley Spa to go bowling at Cj's where one of my friend's works at. Arriva service number 7 and 8 is by far the most crappest service on the whole network. (Even though I have a special bus pass that allows me free travel.) AspergerKidJoe
  • Score: 0

9:37pm Tue 24 Feb 09

nickbrown says...

I noticed the routes have been adjusted all the wrong ways at present. There are an excess number of buses running through asda in shoebury but very few in Hockley. Also none from Belfairs- belgrave road or Woodcutters towards Southend Hospital. Those in Hockley are still fortunate they do have some buses after 7.30pm. We do not in north Leigh
I noticed the routes have been adjusted all the wrong ways at present. There are an excess number of buses running through asda in shoebury but very few in Hockley. Also none from Belfairs- belgrave road or Woodcutters towards Southend Hospital. Those in Hockley are still fortunate they do have some buses after 7.30pm. We do not in north Leigh nickbrown
  • Score: 1

3:18am Wed 25 Feb 09

Sand-Dancer says...

Arriva should consider the views above without the need to get people to go undercover, in other words, the service is crap!
Arriva should consider the views above without the need to get people to go undercover, in other words, the service is crap! Sand-Dancer
  • Score: 1

9:27am Wed 25 Feb 09

Ray Von says...

The only reason the 7's were cut between Ashingdon and Hockley was because no one uses them there, except the "oldies" with free passes who go one or two stops at the max, how can they make money this way?!
And maybe the drivers wouldn't be so quiet behind their screens if passengers didn't always ask stupid questions or start to moan about something or other.
The only reason the 7's were cut between Ashingdon and Hockley was because no one uses them there, except the "oldies" with free passes who go one or two stops at the max, how can they make money this way?! And maybe the drivers wouldn't be so quiet behind their screens if passengers didn't always ask stupid questions or start to moan about something or other. Ray Von
  • Score: 0

9:29am Wed 25 Feb 09

Ray Von says...

Still, i'm not complaining, thanks to the improvements to the number 1, i get a bus down my road every 10 minutes, and it deserves it with usually busy loads all day with paying passengers, rather than the oldies in Hockley.
Still, i'm not complaining, thanks to the improvements to the number 1, i get a bus down my road every 10 minutes, and it deserves it with usually busy loads all day with paying passengers, rather than the oldies in Hockley. Ray Von
  • Score: -1

6:23pm Wed 25 Feb 09

UKGovnor says...

All these amendments to running times and routes were implemented by Arriva Head Office in Maidstone and NOT by Arriva Southend. How can someone who does not know the area, does not know where there are inevitable delays etc publish a local timetable. Undercover snoopers - why pay an inspector £400/500 a week to conduct a survey when you can pay 10 people £13.20p (price of a weekly ticket) to do the same job with no guarantee their findings will be acted upon.
Why don't drivers talk to passengers, most do but even they get fed up with stupid questions like "where was the one in front of you" answer "still in front of me I suppose" or "How long is the next No 7" answer "About the same length as this one" Drivers are drivers not mobile information offices, they do not have radio contact with each other or with their control. They are in the dark just as much as the public are. As for the condition of the buses. Why should Arriva (or any other company come to that) pay millions of pounds for a new fleet of buses just to have a handfull of yobs cover the seats/windows etc with graffiti.
All these amendments to running times and routes were implemented by Arriva Head Office in Maidstone and NOT by Arriva Southend. How can someone who does not know the area, does not know where there are inevitable delays etc publish a local timetable. Undercover snoopers - why pay an inspector £400/500 a week to conduct a survey when you can pay 10 people £13.20p (price of a weekly ticket) to do the same job with no guarantee their findings will be acted upon. Why don't drivers talk to passengers, most do but even they get fed up with stupid questions like "where was the one in front of you" answer "still in front of me I suppose" or "How long is the next No 7" answer "About the same length as this one" Drivers are drivers not mobile information offices, they do not have radio contact with each other or with their control. They are in the dark just as much as the public are. As for the condition of the buses. Why should Arriva (or any other company come to that) pay millions of pounds for a new fleet of buses just to have a handfull of yobs cover the seats/windows etc with graffiti. UKGovnor
  • Score: -1

7:50pm Wed 25 Feb 09

stewie griffin says...

It looks like we're not alone!

http://www.wrexhamch
ronicle.co.uk/wrexha
m-news/local-wrexham
-news/2009/01/15/cal
l-to-test-out-new-bu
s-fleet-88713-226853
03/
It looks like we're not alone! http://www.wrexhamch ronicle.co.uk/wrexha m-news/local-wrexham -news/2009/01/15/cal l-to-test-out-new-bu s-fleet-88713-226853 03/ stewie griffin
  • Score: 1

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