Following numerous reports on social media channels that the reliability of Bradley Stoke’s bus services has deteriorated in recent months, The Journal is today launching a survey of readers’ travel experiences, with the intention of building up an evidence base that can be presented to service operators, local councils and regulators.
We are asking users of the 73, X73 and X74 services to record punctuality, actual journey times and “no show” events, either here on our website (by leaving a comment on this article), on The Journal’s Facebook page (by sending a message or leaving a comment on this post), via The Journal’s Twitter feed or by texting The Journal on 01454 300 400.
Please be sure to tell us which service you were using, direction (e.g. to/from city centre or Cribbs Causeway), where you got on and off and the timetabled/actual times of departure and arrival (if known).
You will be able to leave comments on this story for 60 days, but the initial findings will be sent to service operator First after a week or so.
It is acknowledged that some delays may be due to circumstances outside the control of the operator, such as unusually heavy traffic conditions, roadworks and severe weather, so we will also be monitoring other reporting channels such as First’s Twitter feed and BBC Travel so that any mitigating circumstances are also recorded.
Here is a small sample of the damning comments left on our Facebook page over the last two weeks:
Matt W: “It’s gotten terrible (more so than usual) recently. Buses don’t turn up & when they do (always late) there are generally two of them. Not good enough.”
Gareth C: “This isn’t new. The busses to the Centre aren’t too bad but the busses from the Centre have been getting progressively worse for some time.”
Anya B: “Waited for nearly an hour last tuesday evening there should have two buses within that time one finally turned up at some random time which is becoming more typical recently.”
Naomi D: “This morning, no 73 turned up for 40 mins, missing two timetabled services. 2hrs after I left my house I finally arrived in town!”
Rachel H: “The x73 service is always late. I have to get the 7.15 from parkway which regularly turns up at 7.30 to start work at 8.30 in town because the so called 7.45 that should get me into town by 8,10 usually gets in after 8.30. Not good when you have to open your building up!! And don’t get me started on coming home!! If the bus is at the stop within 15 minutes of its expected time it’s good!!! It just isn’t good enough. Something has to be done.”
Steve H: “I get the train as of today, after 5 years of unreliable buses, x73, 73 etc… Had enough!!”
Nick B: “Left work at 20.00 at the mall last week 21.00 still no bus and was told it didn’t show up till 21.30.”
Claire D “16:25 X73 is ALWAYS late now it has changed times. Assuming that it bothers to turn up that is.”
Paula G: “I work in an office in the city centre near the 73 stop and finish at 5pm. Since the commencement of the X74 service you never know when the X73 will arrive or depart if at all! Service has gone downhill. The x74 adds 20 mins on to my journey time. Get a grip First bosses or may be time for a change in operator!”
Matt W: “The 73 service has fallen off a cliff recently. Buses are ALWAYS late, if they turn up at all. Five Cribbs buses through Willow Brook this morning before one for the Centre turned up. It’s pitiful.”
Elaine M: “X73 bus was listed on digital display at Haymarket stop as 5mins, 3 mins, 1 min, due….then a 73 goes past with ‘out of service’ on it. X73 details suddenly disappear from digital display.”
Margaret W: “This 73 service is a joke. Last Wednesday me and a lot of people where on the bus stop from 9 30 and a bus did not turn up till 10 20 when 2 turned up at the same time it’s a joke and they want people to use public transport.”
If you’re unsure about when your bus was due to depart or arrive, you can check the official timetables here:
Smartphone users can download the following apps which provide timetable and real-time information:
According to First’s website, their Customer Promise offers customers who hold a valid travel ticket or pass, the opportunity to make a claim for free travel in the following instances*:
- A service departs from a scheduled timing point more than one minute early
- A service departs from a boarding stop more than 20 minutes late
- We fail to operate an advertised service for reasons within our control
* The arrangements for compensation are only available for First services in the West of England and do not apply to certain delays that are outside our control for example vandalism, security alerts, industrial action, severe weather, heavy traffic conditions, road works and road closures.
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