Posts Tagged ‘bus’

Lincoln City Bus Station unmitigated disaster

January 31, 2018

This week the new so-called state-of-the-art Lincoln City Bus Station opened. The bus station is an unmitigated disaster.

What are being experienced are not teething problems, these are serious design flaws. Design flaws a first year university student would spot. Begs the question how the plans ever gained approval?

If there was an award for bad design, Lincoln Central Bus Station would be the leading contender, if not outright winner.

The building resembles a regional airport terminal building without the duty free.

Even before it opened, regular bus passengers were expressing their concern in comparison with the temporary bus station. These concerns have proved to be well founded.  The new bus station is far worse than anyone expected.

Journey times into and out of the town centre are now several minutes longer. And that is not rush hour. Rush hour it will be far far longer.

The bus station and 1,000-car car park both feed into the same narrow road.

Two large screens are not displaying all the bus times. Destination displayed, but not the route. Same problem at the bays.

In Hampshire and Surrey, live information linked to GPS showing the route is displayed at bus stops. Also in Prague, A Coruña, Athens, Tenerife.

There needs to be at least three sets of these overhead screens not only one near the entrance. There should be one near the entrance, one half way, one towards the far end.

The one and only set of overhead screens of no use if have arrived on a bus and have to change to another bus.

Where route information displayed it is wrong.

No 2 to Branston display at Bay A from which it departs shown as going via St Giles, Cherry Willingham, Reepham, Sudbrooke, Welton.  The No 2 bus route, Washingborough, Heighington, Branston.

As a consequence of incorrect information displayed passengers are catching the wrong buses.

1640 on a Friday afternoon the Information Office closed.

No timetables displayed as was the case at the temporary bus station.

At bus stops, still old timetables displayed. Why not route number prominently displayed at bus stops? The norm elsewhere.

A new bus fleet introduced by Stagecoach, serious design flaws.  Seats behind the driver, should be used for a buggy bay. Were the bus to suddenly stop, passenger in these two seats would be propelled out of their seats and smash their heads into the partition. USB charging points low down almost on the floor. Have to be a contortionist to access.  On start stop within the city these usb charging points are of little use. Their use is when on a bus city to city. Brand new bus fleet, the video screen displaying no useful information. Why not linked to GPS showing live where are on the route? Why not a display showing next stop? The norm elsewhere

The changed bus routes for Birchwood not acceptable, confusing for passengers, and less frequent, now every fifteen minutes not every ten minutes.

New bus fleet coupled with deteriorated service.

20p to use the toilets.

Floor to ceiling glass walls both sides of the building. One side is south facing. It will function as a greenhouse in the summer with passengers fainting in the heat.

Very congested with passengers. Nigh impossible to walk through the building. And that was mid-afternoon, not rush hour.

At the temporary bus station, a gyrator system. Not at the new bus station. Little room for a bus to manoeuvre. An accident waiting to happen. No 2 Bus to Washingborough, Heighington and Branston from Bay A, had to shunt back and forth to get out. It would be even more difficult for the other bays.

Wednesday morning the bus station log-jammed, no bus could move, none could get out, none could get in. A wait of 5-15 minutes from Pelham Bridge to enter the bus station.

A state-of-the-art bus station that lacks wifi.

The only good thing that could be said, is easy to access the  railway station.

But even this does not withstand close scrutiny.

At the temporary bus station, the train station literally the other side of the red brick wall. An entrance could have been created. Better still, an integrated bus rail station building with shops. Shops pay rent. For example Reading.

Car parking at Lincoln Central Station for pick up and drop off has been drastically reduced, creating an open windswept plaza serving no useful purposes

From Lincoln, no direct train services to anywhere.

There should be an hourly service to London and York.

Open the line Grantham to Lincoln, London Kings Cross, Peterborough, Grantham, Lincoln, Doncaster, York.

Had an integral bus-train station been developed at the temporary bus station, where the new bus station has been built, could have been for delivery lorries and vans to park, to then deliver by hand cart or trolley to shops and other businesses. Not as we have at the moment, lorries driving through the pedestrianised city centre smashing up the surface of the streets.

The bus station has an integral coffee shop, Grand Coffee House.  Excellent design, let down by the coffee. Also not welcoming with a poster on the door telling people it is not a waiting room. Maybe explains why empty, and with that attitude to bus passengers deserves to be. If welcoming, passengers may be tempted to have a coffee whilst waiting. Though if appreciate good coffee unlikely to be tempted again.

On leaving  the bus or train station walk into Sincil Street, a once thriving bustling street of independent traders, now turned into a wasteland by the local council in bed with the Coop.

To see what could be, Hull Old Town, reported by Look North as one of the hipster places to be in the country, indie local businesses, not a chain in sight. Further afield, North Laine in Brighton.

This bus station is an appalling waste of public money. How much public money squandered the local council jobsworths manning the Information Office did not know.

The officials responsible should be fired, the councillors who granted approval should apologise and resign. Is it too much to expect of local councillors to actually scrutinise what is placed before them?

According to Lincoln City Council, to highlight design flaws, of which there are many, is to express negativity.

Lincoln City Council claim

Feedback from users of the facility have been incredibly positive so far, with very few issues raised.

This is not the view of bus drivers, it is not the view of the many complaints from passengers.

But then Lincoln City Council would claim the new bus station a success, wouldn’t they?

Lincoln City Council call this a Transport Hub.

No, it is a Transport Farce.  They have made the City of Lincoln a National Laughing Stock.

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Lincoln City Bus Station

January 20, 2018

What is claimed to be a state-of-the-art bus station, it has automatic doors and a few display screens, part of a so-called Transport Hub linked to Lincoln Central Station.

A very cold day, barely above freezing and yet colder inside the bus station than outside.

The new bus station resembles a regional airport terminal building, absent the Duty Free and same shops find in any shopping centre.

Two Jobsworth from Lincoln City Council manning an Information Desk, did not know the cost of the bus station. Figures of £12 million have been bandied about. Although after several minutes looking on-line,  they were able to give a figure of £30 million for bus station, car park and cosmetic changes to the railway station.  This figure has been widely reported in the media, why did they not know?

A new road currently runs between bus and train station. Work having been done, this will be paved over and made pedestrian between bus and train station.

Pedestrianised as the farce in the town centre, where heavy lorries are allowed through after four in the afternoon, but take no notice of any restrictions and drive through before four as no enforcement?

The empty windswept plaza outside the train station has far less parking spots for pick up and drop off than before, probably less than a quarter.  Our helpful jobsworth could see nothing wrong with this.

There was no information at the Information Desk. Not even timetables.

The only bus timetable information was in a cardboard box by one of the bays, no one had troubled to place in racks.  This information was a simple leaflet telling what routes if any had timetable changes, but no actual timetables.

Automatic doors open to allow passenger to board or disembark from their bus. This is going to be fun when it goes wrong.

A barrier acts as a deterrent to terrorists hijacking a bus and driving into the terminal building. Or maybe a safeguard if a driver goes crazy.

A state-of-the art bus station that lacks wifi.

Elsewhere in the country, not only do the buses have wifi, they have usb charging points.

Toilets on the first floor. Cheap and tacky. Will not withstand the wear and tear of a bus station.

It is not acceptable to have to pay 20p to use the toilet.

A so-called Transport Hub that lacks direct trains to either London or York. There should be direct trains on the hour every hour.

This is claimed to be part of a  regeneration project. Why is it that local Town Halls always claim urban destruction to be regeneration?  The same number of people will be travelling every day by bus and train. How is this regeneration?

The City Council in bed with the Coop, has destroyed Sincil Street, a once thriving street of independent thriving local family business.

Integral to the bus station a coffee shop, Grand Coffee House.

Work is still ongoing, heavy machinery at work.

The old bus station was a disgrace, demolition a step in the right direction.

Easier access between bus and train also an improvement.

All we now need is a reliable bus services, buses that run on time.

The irony is most passengers seem to prefer the temporary bus station the other side of the railway tracks. Quick access into and out of town, quick access into the High Street through a narrow alleyway or over the railway bridge into Sincil Street.

Dysfunctional Stagecoach

November 22, 2017

A bus pass is a bus pass, it is valid across the country no matter where issued, but try telling that to the bus drivers.

Today a bus driver caused great distress to an elderly lady, refusing to allow her to board a bus, claiming, falsely, that her bus pass was not valid.

The bus was in Hampshire, the bus pass issued in Bristol.

The driver claimed the bus pass had expired. This was simply not true, it was a valid bus pass.

He held up the bus for several minutes arguing with the lady, even though she had a valid bus pass.

The driver was clueless how to even use the bus pass.

If placed on the machine, it will fail, it has to be held above the machine.

The lady when asked, said she had not had a problem before using her bus pass.

But even if there was a fault with either the bus pass or machine, all the driver had to do was issue a paper ticket for the journey.

What you do not do is hold up a  bus for several minutes arguing over a fare of a  few pence.

The lady apologised to passengers for holding up the bus.

It was not for the lady to apologise, it was for the driver to apologise.

No apology from the driver.

No 64 bus route Alton to Winchester

November 19, 2017

A new fleet of buses on the No 64 route Alton came into service last week.

Officially came into service today with the introduction of a new timetable.

The last couple of years has seen new buses introduced on this route.

Now a dedicated fleet.

Free wifi and usb charging points.

Very bad design of the usb charging points, low down between the seats making access very difficult. Though not as bad the new Goldline introduced on the Aldershot-Farnborough-Camberley route a few months ago where the usb charging points are even lower, and ideal for passengers to kick with their feet or rest their feet on. Same bus, internally different seats. On the No 1 Goldline, the usb charging points are almost on the floor.

A power bank, indicating full, charged a couple of weeks ago and only used as occasional torch, to fully charge, what I thought would be a few minutes, from leaving Alton Station until approaching Winchester before indicating fully charged. Either low output or high capacity power bank. Power bank new and have not used before.

I would not risk charging a phone or tablet, but quite happy to use to charge a power bank.

Depressing to see an ignorant female with dirty feet on the seats of a brand new bus. This problem not restricted to this route, also on the Goldline route, passengers putting their dirty feet on the seats of new buses.

On the trains, can be fined for feet on seats.

Timetable improvements that should be made on this route, cut out the detour around Alresford, better connection with trains at Alton.

On the new timetable, the buses are running an hourly late night service.

Surly Stagecoach bus driver refuses to accept Bus Pass

July 27, 2016

Today at a little before 1650, a surly Stagecoach driver refused to accept a valid Bus Pass and ordered the passenger off the bus.  Driver when asked, refused to give his name.

Stagecoach Goldline, route No 1, location Farnbrough Tech, bus No 22744  heading towards Farnborough town centre.

Passenger forced to get off bus and walk.

Two bus drivers confirmed Bus Pass was valid.

At Queensmead bus interchange, driver of No 1 bus heading towards Aldershot, was shown Bus Pass, asked was it a valid Bus Pass, driver said yes.

Bus Pass was used on return journey, no problem. On alighting from bus, driver was asked was Bus Pass valid, driver said yes.

Refusal to accept a Bus Pas, whilst rare, is not uncommon, drivers finding bogus reasons not to accept.

This uncouth driver, claimed use of bus passes was costing the company money.  His comment only serves to illustrate his depth of ignorance. Whilst it may be true, passengers using a Bus Pass are contributing less than ordinary fare paying passengers, they are contributing an extra revenue stream, which may make all the difference between a bus route being profitable or not, a revenue stream that would not otherwise exist.

There are also other advantages to wider society. Fewer car journeys, less congestion, less air pollution, lower emission of greenhouse gases. It gets people who would otherwise be housebound out and about, increasing their social interaction and mobility, delays dementia. The only disadvantage, makes people lazy, they may hop on a bus when they would have otherwise walked.

Anyone who deals with the public, be it in a supermarket or a bank, displays a name badge. The same should apply to bus drivers.

Once upon a time bus drivers used to have to display their licence. Why is this no longer a requirement?

Indicator at bus stop

November 7, 2015
bus stop display

bus stop display

Unbelievable, a new indicator is installed at a bus stop and it is not displaying live information.

What use is an indicator that is simply displaying what is on the printed timetable at the bus stop?

An appalling waste of public money.

The buses are equipped with GPS. Why therefore not displaying live information?

No 19 bus, the destination is Haslemere (where it changes to No 71 to Godalming and Guildford).

At 1530, No 18 bus due at 1525, had not yet arrived and yet not shown.

The screen should show, time due and when it will actually arrive, if running late.

Let us assume £1,000 per display, three bus stops. Rolled out to other bus stops …

An appalling waste of public money by Hampshire County Council.

No 64 Bus Winchester to Alton

September 3, 2015
Alton Station bus stop

Alton Station bus stop

This week a new timetable came into force on this route, though you would not notice, as no timetables on the buses

For some years, the 64 has been timed to leave Alton Station at the same time the train arrives, guaranteeing most people miss the bus and have to wait half an hour for the next bus.

The good news on the revised timetable, is the bus has been re-timed to leave five minutes later, meaning connection with the train, assuming of course the train on time and not delayed.

That is the good news. The bad news the ongoing journey to Guildford.

The 64 bus, would at Alton station, continue onwards to Guildford as the No 65. And likewise the No 65 from Guildford, continues onwards from Alton Station to Winchester as the No 64.

Not any more. Buses go as far as Alton Station, then return from whence they came, the passengers having to change buses at Alton Station.

No timetables on the buses. No announcement that necessary to change buses at Alton Station.

The 65 passes by Alton Station, through Alton, then back to Alton Station to pick up passengers for Guildford.

Drivers are under no instruction to wait for the connecting bus.

These buses, or at least this route, was to have been cut. It has been granted a temporary reprieve until July 2016, with the passengers numbers being evaluated in March.

No 72 bus yellow Buzz Aldershot to Reading‏

November 21, 2013

Bus stops, are places where buses stop, though it is a good idea to stick your hand out, though not it seems, if you are the driver of the No 72 bus Aldershot to Reading.

1520 Half a dozen people (most of them elderly), stood at the bus stop back of M&S, they clearly signalled for the bus to stop, even leaping out into the road when it looked like the bus was not going to stop. The bus sailed by without stopping. The bus was almost empty.

The bus runs once an hour. Elderly people left in the cold for an hour, with a biting cold wind blowing. I suggested they went to the local coffee shop, then returned.

One man called the bus company. The best they could offer was that he took a taxi, got a receipt and sent it to the bus company (with no guarantee he would be reimbursed). The bus company refused to arrange a taxi, even though they were at fault, failing to pick up passengers.

Bus passengers left stranded for one and a half hours

July 16, 2012
stagecoach gold diversion passing the Swan

stagecoach gold diversion passing the Swan

But for the grace of God I was not left stranded, but I could have been.

I was on the main Farnborough Road (A325) when a No 1 bus came by.

Strange, thought I, must be on its way to the depot. Only I noticed passengers on board. Maybe a one off. Then along came another, then another. Must be a diversion.

Had I not diverted to the main road and walked instead to a bus stop, I would be waiting for a non-existent bus, left wondering why no buses.

I walked into Farnborough to catch a bus. I saw one coming and picked it up outside the Farnborough Technical College, only to be told by the bus driver I was lucky to be picked up as it was not a bus stop. If it looks like a bus stop, it is reasonable to assume it is a bus stop but apparently we have fake bus stops.

The driver told me the bus was non-stop to Aldershot.

I asked what would have happened if I had tried to catch the bus part way along its route. Apparently it was my fault for not knowing the road was blocked either end.

I pointed out to the driver there had been nothing at the bus stops to say no buses running nothing on the buses.

The driver told me it was not the responsibility of the bus company to inform its passengers.

On my way back that night, I asked a more cooperative driver what was going on. I was told that contrary to what I had been told earlier it had not been known all week the road would be blocked and the buses taking an alternative route. The driver had only been told to take an alternative route on leaving the bus station.

Some passengers I learnt had been waiting an hour and a half for a bus!

Whilst it may well have been the council or police diverting the buses as a result of the Farnborough International Airshow, if there was advance notice of this, the bus company should have informed the passengers of the diversion and that the buses would not be running along their normal route.

I had travelled the route several times during the week and seen no information on a diversion. Had I not been on the main Farnborough Road and seen the diverted buses, I too would have been left stranded.

Top Story in The Digital Mission Daily (17 July 2012).

Loss of Stagecoach Gold bus service to London Olympics

July 6, 2012
Goldline luxury bus service ...

Goldline luxury bus service …

... but not during London 2012 Olympics

… but not during London 2012 Olympics

The No 1 bus Aldershot – Farnborough – Camberley the Goldline, boasts a luxury coach.

Not though during the London 2012 Olympics. Whilst the Olympics are on, July to September, the coaches used on the No 1 bus route are to be taken up to London and used to transport athletes and the world’s media. Clapped out buses will serve as replacements.

But it is not only Aldershot – Farnborough – Camberley, across Hampshire buses are being withdrawn to service the Olympics.

This is completely unacceptable. Will the bus companies be receiving their public transport subsidy during this period when the public will be receiving an inferior service?

Passengers will be paying for what is claimed to be a premium service, Stagecoach Gold, only that is not what they will be getting.

Not surprising passengers are none too happy.

Will there be a less frequent service? Do passengers get a fare reduction?

This is something individual councillors and councils must be raising with the bus companies.

It is yet another example of the costs of the unwanted London 2012 Olympics.

Top Story in The Digital Mission Daily (Friday 6 July 2012).