At the last Crosspool Forum Open Meeting, residents raised the issue of the frequency and reliability of the 51 bus service. Our local councillor Geoff Smith has contacted First and asked us to publish the response he received.
He appreciates that it does not take us any further but thought our readers should know what was said. He has also contacted Stagecoach about running a service on the 51 route as well but has not received a reply yet.
South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive has a role in keeping bus companies to their advertised timetables. However, they need specific examples to take any action. If you have a specific example you wish to bring to their attention then you can do so by using firstname.lastname@example.org or 0114 221 1452.
Response from First to Councillor Smith’s email:
Dear Councillor Smith,
Thank you for your email in relation to the problems passengers are receiving in Crosspool on Service 51.
Firstly, I am sorry to hear that passengers are unhappy with the service being received. There have been a number of timetable changes in recent times all with the objective of improving punctuality.
I have received feedback from our Scheduling Department as follows;
We have been analysing data for each journey over a period of a typical month and adjusting the timetable to account for known and predictable delays. For example, the slow queue up to Broomhill at the afternoon peak period, delays at school start and finish times etc. This has resulted at certain times in scheduled and published breaks in the timetable of slightly longer than the general frequency of 10 minutes. It’s the unexpected that can cause unscheduled breaks and there can be a variety of factors outside of our control.
There should be the facility for passengers to text “Your Next Bus” at the bus stop, if they have a mobile phone and this should provide the customer with an estimated arrival time of the next bus.
We can’t really draw comparisons between different services. It was always the case that different areas merit different frequencies and solutions. The population density along the 52 route is much stronger and so are passenger numbers. And another bus company has chosen to operate alongside First on the 52 route.
I hope the information provided is of assistance to you, however if you have any further questions then please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Lead Customer Service Advisor
Subject: Update – 51 Bus Service