New bus timetable leaves us stranded

Calling for action – councillors John Beckett  and Lesley Salter with angry      passenger Margaret Webb

Calling for action – councillors John Beckett and Lesley Salter with angry passenger Margaret Webb

First published in News by

ANGRY residents are campaigning against a new bus timetable which is leaving people stranded.

Residents in Belfairs, Leigh, want a newly merged bus service reviewed immediately because drivers are simply not being allowed to complete their routes.

A month ago, bus operator Arriva joined the Number 29 service, between Belgrave Road and Southend Travel Centre, with the Number 13 service, between the travel centre and Garon Park.

However, the problem lies with bus drivers not being given sufficient time to complete the extended journey in the revised timetable.

They have been told by bosses to stick rigidly to these times, so they have ended up missing out some stops or only completing the travel centre to Garon Park section of the journey.

Residents are gearing up to hold a protest.

Margaret Webb, 65, of Woodcutters Avenue, Leigh, said: “It is disgusting.

“It’s affecting young mums with babies’ right up to the very elderly, It has ruined Easter as people cannot plan anything, and it is actually making many ill with the stress and worry.

“I have seen ladies terrified about missing their vital hospital appointments and another in tears as she had left her disabled son with a carer and just could not get home for hours.

“I feel sorry for the drivers as it is not their fault and they are getting so much abuse – but we are all just so mad about this.”

Linda Stedman, 67, of Belgrave Road, Leigh, believes the poor bus service was putting people off moving to the area.

She added: “There used to be seven routes, but now this is the only one that takes me into town. They are supposed to run every 20 minutes, but I have waited up to an hour and a half before. It is all very frustrating and it is affecting a lot of people.”

Lesley Salter, councillor for Belfairs, said: “People in their nineties are being told to get off the bus literally miles from their stop and forced to walk the rest of the way as the vehicle has to turn round and go back in order to keep to the timetable.

“Others have been stranded for literally hours in the centre of Southend, three hours is the worst example I have heard, just waiting for a bus to take them home.”

A spokeswoman for Arriva blamed roadworks at the Victoria Gateway for the delays and said as soon as the phasing of the traffic lights is complete, they will assess the running of the 29 service.

She said: “Some days there are delays in excess of 45 minutes on a stretch of route that is only 300-400 yards. We accept the 29 has been unreliable, but the situation is beyond our control.

“We can only apologise to our customers for the inconvenience this is causing.”

The roadworks were completed three weeks ago and the junction has been at full capacity.

Comments (16)

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8:42am Mon 2 May 11

Alice in Her Own Land :P says...

I have no idea how Arriva get away with running clapped out buses and now this ridiculous merging of 2 routes that run in opposite directions. How did they expect to merge the 13 which runs in central Southend with the 29 that runs to Eastwood? As for the drivers having to stick rigidly to times when they are up against traffic, passengers who have to rush on and off the buses before the driver pulls away - it was doomed to failure and hopefully the service is reviewed and sorted out properly.
I have no idea how Arriva get away with running clapped out buses and now this ridiculous merging of 2 routes that run in opposite directions. How did they expect to merge the 13 which runs in central Southend with the 29 that runs to Eastwood? As for the drivers having to stick rigidly to times when they are up against traffic, passengers who have to rush on and off the buses before the driver pulls away - it was doomed to failure and hopefully the service is reviewed and sorted out properly. Alice in Her Own Land :P
  • Score: 2

10:04am Mon 2 May 11

UKGovnor says...

Quote "They have been told by bosses to stick rigidly to these times, so they have ended up missing out some stops or only completing the travel centre to Garon Park section of the journey."
Why is this? Drivers have to get from their garage to central Southend to take over their buses. They walk from their garage in Short Street up Vale Avenue and catch the 13 (sorry 29) into town. If this connection was late then the drivers would be late taking over their buses. Best let the passengers in Leigh wait an extra hour or so than have all the buses running late.
Quote "They have been told by bosses to stick rigidly to these times, so they have ended up missing out some stops or only completing the travel centre to Garon Park section of the journey." Why is this? Drivers have to get from their garage to central Southend to take over their buses. They walk from their garage in Short Street up Vale Avenue and catch the 13 (sorry 29) into town. If this connection was late then the drivers would be late taking over their buses. Best let the passengers in Leigh wait an extra hour or so than have all the buses running late. UKGovnor
  • Score: 0

10:44am Mon 2 May 11

lemon demon says...

just axe the garon park part of the route, first's number 24 runs down that way so people can catch that instead :-)
just axe the garon park part of the route, first's number 24 runs down that way so people can catch that instead :-) lemon demon
  • Score: 1

10:59am Mon 2 May 11

carnac says...

ummm what an army you have...thought about shanksee's pony?
ummm what an army you have...thought about shanksee's pony? carnac
  • Score: 0

12:11pm Mon 2 May 11

davegreen1986 says...

The Arriva spokeswoman, like anybody representing Arriva Southend, is a total liar. They don't give a toss about Southend. The schedules are far too tight (even Mr Bean could write better schedules) and some drivers don't give a toss about passengers – this includes displaying “Not in Service” when they are in service so that passengers don’t get on. I have written to complain before about buses not turning up and they have fobbed me off with total rubbish. I have to pay good money to use buses and I feel that BOTH Arriva AND First don't deserve a penny of my money (or that of anyone else in Essex), and I would rather walk for miles than pay for one of their buses. I urge as many people as possible to write to the Eastern Area Traffic Commissioner as possible (see http://www.dft.gov.u
k/pgr/roads/tpm/traf
ficcommissioners/tra
fficareaofficesconta
ctdetails for details) as this attitude is totally unacceptable.
The Arriva spokeswoman, like anybody representing Arriva Southend, is a total liar. They don't give a toss about Southend. The schedules are far too tight (even Mr Bean could write better schedules) and some drivers don't give a toss about passengers – this includes displaying “Not in Service” when they are in service so that passengers don’t get on. I have written to complain before about buses not turning up and they have fobbed me off with total rubbish. I have to pay good money to use buses and I feel that BOTH Arriva AND First don't deserve a penny of my money (or that of anyone else in Essex), and I would rather walk for miles than pay for one of their buses. I urge as many people as possible to write to the Eastern Area Traffic Commissioner as possible (see http://www.dft.gov.u k/pgr/roads/tpm/traf ficcommissioners/tra fficareaofficesconta ctdetails for details) as this attitude is totally unacceptable. davegreen1986
  • Score: 1

12:45pm Mon 2 May 11

SARFENDMAN says...

All part of the Arriva Charm School good public relations winning hearts and minds of passengers exercise for 2011. Excuse me while I throw up!
All part of the Arriva Charm School good public relations winning hearts and minds of passengers exercise for 2011. Excuse me while I throw up! SARFENDMAN
  • Score: 1

3:37pm Mon 2 May 11

jolllyboy says...

The Belfairs/Coobes Corner area of Leigh is being continuously marginalised. no day route to leigh town either. The 29 is well used and every 20 mins is ridiculous. People are waiting ages for it. It does not run on time. This route was always one to have a bus missed out during the day quite often too. Old buses often used on it and not always wheelchair friendly.
The squaky wheel gets oiled folks - stand up and be counted. Dont accept rubbish treatment by the bus company.
Where are you councillors.
The Belfairs/Coobes Corner area of Leigh is being continuously marginalised. no day route to leigh town either. The 29 is well used and every 20 mins is ridiculous. People are waiting ages for it. It does not run on time. This route was always one to have a bus missed out during the day quite often too. Old buses often used on it and not always wheelchair friendly. The squaky wheel gets oiled folks - stand up and be counted. Dont accept rubbish treatment by the bus company. Where are you councillors. jolllyboy
  • Score: 1

4:11pm Mon 2 May 11

gemlouise1981 says...

i have just complained about the 13 part of the route because its not turning up and i cant get my son to school. The buses dont turn up and have waited an hour before. As for lemon demons comment - the 24 doesnt run all of sutton road and royston ave which alot of the elderly use. Arriva simply blamed the the traffic. They should have left the route as it was and stopped thinking about cutting costs when they just recently put the bus fare prices up!
i have just complained about the 13 part of the route because its not turning up and i cant get my son to school. The buses dont turn up and have waited an hour before. As for lemon demons comment - the 24 doesnt run all of sutton road and royston ave which alot of the elderly use. Arriva simply blamed the the traffic. They should have left the route as it was and stopped thinking about cutting costs when they just recently put the bus fare prices up! gemlouise1981
  • Score: 0

4:52pm Mon 2 May 11

carnac says...

Get a car........stop moaning.............
..and start living
Get a car........stop moaning............. ..and start living carnac
  • Score: -1

5:09pm Mon 2 May 11

firedog says...

Arriva run a bus company to make money,so they have to cut costs.I have allways found the service OK.Any one who drives a car will know the problems with traffic holdups.I see the protesters are playing all the usual cards,the elderly,the disabled,young mums with babies,house prices,where will it all end.
Arriva run a bus company to make money,so they have to cut costs.I have allways found the service OK.Any one who drives a car will know the problems with traffic holdups.I see the protesters are playing all the usual cards,the elderly,the disabled,young mums with babies,house prices,where will it all end. firedog
  • Score: -1

5:19pm Mon 2 May 11

carnac says...

firedog wrote:
Arriva run a bus company to make money,so they have to cut costs.I have allways found the service OK.Any one who drives a car will know the problems with traffic holdups.I see the protesters are playing all the usual cards,the elderly,the disabled,young mums with babies,house prices,where will it all end.
Where will it all end? fewer buses I pray, all that pollution for carrying half a dozen lazy people to a lazy afternoon of nothing.
[quote][p][bold]firedog[/bold] wrote: Arriva run a bus company to make money,so they have to cut costs.I have allways found the service OK.Any one who drives a car will know the problems with traffic holdups.I see the protesters are playing all the usual cards,the elderly,the disabled,young mums with babies,house prices,where will it all end.[/p][/quote]Where will it all end? fewer buses I pray, all that pollution for carrying half a dozen lazy people to a lazy afternoon of nothing. carnac
  • Score: -1

10:41pm Mon 2 May 11

Trainman says...

Until my Dear Late Dad died last year, IF I wanted to visit him using the local bus service, I would need to pack a suitcase for a week, as the bus went there one Friday, only NOT to return until the next and just 15 miles between us, so the need for me to have a car to run, or simply pay through the nose for a taxi, and they already overcharge now. I have been told that to go from where I live to the nearest Railway Station was £8 for just one and half miles, almost 4 years ago, so what it is now, I have NO idea, anymore than I will use them.

I too have a Bus Pass, but the way most of the local buses here are driven, I'd rather WALK first. At least I KNOW it would take longer, but 100% safer as far as I'm concerned. VERY few bus drivers use their mirrors, or even indicators, almost causing Numerous accidents, then blame the Car driver, as I know from PERSONAL experience when some have pulled away from bus-stops when I have been alongside them, whether driving, OR a passenger in my mates car.
Until my Dear Late Dad died last year, IF I wanted to visit him using the local bus service, I would need to pack a suitcase for a week, as the bus went there one Friday, only NOT to return until the next and just 15 miles between us, so the need for me to have a car to run, or simply pay through the nose for a taxi, and they already overcharge now. I have been told that to go from where I live to the nearest Railway Station was £8 for just one and half miles, almost 4 years ago, so what it is now, I have NO idea, anymore than I will use them. I too have a Bus Pass, but the way most of the local buses here are driven, I'd rather WALK first. At least I KNOW it would take longer, but 100% safer as far as I'm concerned. VERY few bus drivers use their mirrors, or even indicators, almost causing Numerous accidents, then blame the Car driver, as I know from PERSONAL experience when some have pulled away from bus-stops when I have been alongside them, whether driving, OR a passenger in my mates car. Trainman
  • Score: 0

1:55am Tue 3 May 11

UKGovnor says...

Trainman, this article is all about the bus timings for residents in the Leigh area who are having major problems regarding the timings of the local bus service. It has nothing to do with why you do not use the bus service nor has it anything to do with the way certain people drive, be they car, hgv or bus drivers.
Trainman, this article is all about the bus timings for residents in the Leigh area who are having major problems regarding the timings of the local bus service. It has nothing to do with why you do not use the bus service nor has it anything to do with the way certain people drive, be they car, hgv or bus drivers. UKGovnor
  • Score: 0

6:41am Tue 3 May 11

siddymint says...

its election time and the buses of belfairs are a good subject. The 29 has been revised to give a better overal service to north leigh this area is one of the best served area for buses and the service extends to give access to all the important parts of Southend. Don't believe simply buy a bus timetable. the 29 has been revised the first time since 1968 there are going to be teething problems . Mr Beckett and miss Webb are well known. who regulaly stand for election
They have proberbly got bored protesting about the airport.
its election time and the buses of belfairs are a good subject. The 29 has been revised to give a better overal service to north leigh this area is one of the best served area for buses and the service extends to give access to all the important parts of Southend. Don't believe simply buy a bus timetable. the 29 has been revised the first time since 1968 there are going to be teething problems . Mr Beckett and miss Webb are well known. who regulaly stand for election They have proberbly got bored protesting about the airport. siddymint
  • Score: 0

9:56am Tue 3 May 11

lemon demon says...

routes in southend seem to take it in turns to be un-reliable. 5 years ago or so it was the number 1 that never turned up on time, then it was the numbers 7 & 8. now it looks like it's the number 29's turn.
routes in southend seem to take it in turns to be un-reliable. 5 years ago or so it was the number 1 that never turned up on time, then it was the numbers 7 & 8. now it looks like it's the number 29's turn. lemon demon
  • Score: 1

1:26pm Tue 3 May 11

sjreynolds143 says...

Buses must legally run no later that one minute ahead of or five minutes behind published times (typically major bus stops like the travel centre and the ends of the routes at Belgrave Road and Garons). If they don't, the Traffic Commissioner has the power to investigate and fine them.

davegreen1986 above has already provided the link to the website.
Buses must legally run no later that one minute ahead of or five minutes behind published times (typically major bus stops like the travel centre and the ends of the routes at Belgrave Road and Garons). If they don't, the Traffic Commissioner has the power to investigate and fine them. davegreen1986 above has already provided the link to the website. sjreynolds143
  • Score: 0

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