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Timetable changes bring bus confusion
“THE one on the left is on the right and the one on the right is on the left” – no these are not the words from a Johnny Cash song, but the latest confusion from First bus timetables.
I felt sorry for the bus driver who beat his forehead with anguish as he drove down the wrong street and there was a comment from another driver that: “I hope the passengers know where they are going.”
All this goes to show what little consultation or thought the pen-pushers at First offices in Leeds gave to drivers or passengers before going ahead with their latest change.
A far simpler timetable system for York would be if it was based on a “daisy wheel” network approach.
Those buses entering from the north would terminate at Rougier Street and from the south at the railway station. All buses therefore would have shorter journey times thus not suffering the inconsistency of traffic jams both sides of the city.
A proper bus station, too, would not go amiss.
One thing that is certain however is that the long-suffering First bus traveller deserves better service than this.
Phil Shepherdson, Chantry Close, Woodthorpe, York.
• THE letter headlined “Did they read it?” in The Press of October 11 asked why the ministry ignored warnings of the unrealistic bid of First Group to the West Coast rail franchise, potentially costing us millions in expenses.
First Group rail division told the Transport Select Committee on September 10 that First Keolis Transpennine Ltd’s operation of our local Transpennine Express TPE service is an example of the way a rail service should be operated; not surprising as it receives millions of pounds (last year £107 million) plus millions more from West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executives, but most importantly assisting the Department of Transport in avoiding heavy financial penalties by accepting the aborted southern franchise train order from Siemens, the ex-electric converted 185 Desiro dmu’s noted throughout the rail industry for notorious poor ride, noise and vibration problems.
Those of you who recall 1980s sitcom Yes Minister will see who runs the Government. What next for York Station, we ask?
First Group running the East Coast main line or their French equivalent Keolis maybe – hope we have another Richard Branson with legal team to ride to the rescue and keep our station and its staff safe.
Lisa Dunster, Appleton Roebuck, York
• IT IS a standard cliché to accuse governments of concentrating on one hand while ignoring the other. Nowhere is this more evident than in the matter of transport.
We are planning a new express line from London to the Midlands, and have been bargaining with interested companies to provide a better West Coast mainline; all dramatic high-speed stuff. At the same time, new statistics show a disturbing rise in the number of accidents on rural roads, and now recently on many other roads.
We closed so many rural lines, foolishly, without foresight, not least in North Yorkshire. It’s now time to start reopening them to save lives. Some rural lines and some of the secondary lines, if not abandoned, have been cut within a few miles of a main line to prevent connections. How cynical can you get?
Increased fares will not help, discouraging rail travel. Again, Whitehall policy is two-handed. And now we have inadequately discussed proposals for the closure of ticket offices and for fewer (if any) staff on trains on stations. The disabled, and those needing travel advice, will be left with little help.
Do I detect in all this the shadow of Dr Beeching?
Roy Stevens, Willow Bank, New Earswick.
• REFERENCE the letter from Hazel Henderson of October 9, First are not interested in the needs of passengers.
The number 12 was extended to Foxwood Lane, which took an extra 20 minutes. We had buses running late and not turning up; because we complained about this we have had the 12 taken away from us, which has run for many years.
The hourly number 13 bus has not taken in the fact that people going to work have had the bus they took to work taken away.
The elderly and disabled find it difficult to stand about waiting an hour to get a bus returned.
It says on every bus “Quality Bus”; that is not true. We need a change in bus company.
J Nicholls, Brecks Close, Wigginton, York.