Change to Local Bus Services
- Meeting of Preceded by an informal surgery at 4:30pm, Heworth Ward Committee, Monday, 18th June, 2012 6.00 pm (Item 3.)
Nigel Eggleton from Veolia Transdev will update residents on changes to local bus services.
Mark Ellis of Veolia Transdev attended the meeting to update residents on changes to local bus services. He acknowledged that he had only been with the company since April 2012 so many of the changes in service had been made prior to his joining. He did however make the following points:
· Agreement that there had been issues with the A44 service from York station and city centre to the University
· The Coastliner service from Leeds, calling at Heworth, did not receive public funding so required sufficient passengers to cover costs
· He confirmed that there had been a steep rise in costs, government cuts resulting in the bus operators grant being cut by 20% and fuel increases which all had a knock on effect for passengers
· A decision was required on how to make the A44 service more profitable to operate.
The following points were made by members and residents:
· Some residents pointed out that punctuality appeared to be non-existent for these services and a number of specific issues were reported
· It was questioned whether the service might be improved if the route was split in the city centre, particularly on race days, to ensure that a service was provided
· The A44 and Coastliner services often ran together, and on Bank Holidays/Sundays there was no service
· Concerns had been raised by a number of residents that, over Christmas and the Jubilee Bank Holidays there had been no bus service to the city centre
· The issue appeared to be delays from one side of the city to the other particularly on race days, during city events and in bad weather. It was suggested that the route could be split with each service running into the city and returning back to Heworth to maintain a more reliable service
· Even if the service was, at the very least, split on race days there would at least be a service
· Residents made suggestions of the service looping and returning via Dundas Street/Stonebow and not progressing into the city centre
· It appeared that the Park and Ride service was ‘cherry picking’ from busy bus stops resulting in commercial routes being unable to provide viable services
· Reference was made to a public meeting held in March 2012 with Hugh Bayley, MP and the Cabinet Member for City Strategy when residents had raised their concerns regarding services in the area however there had been no feedback or follow up
· Difficulties in influencing the priority of services, however pressure on providers needed to be maintained
· Confirmed that York did not have the volume of traffic to attract the level of funding referred to with the Bradford initiatives
· Need to encourage increased bus travel to remove traffic from the city and gain Sustainable Transport Fund monies for improvements to services
· Reference to the imminent launch in August/September of new cross city bus tickets, which could be used on any bus journey with any company in the city. Details were given of the special day tickets offer which would shortly be released to residents.
· The introduction of smart ticketing had slowed boarding times.
In answer to a number of the points the Veolia Transdev representative referred to operational issues and network planning together with difficulties encountered in turning vehicles in the city centre.