Shropshire passengers left in dark by missing or misleading bus timetables

Shropshire passengers left in dark by missing or misleading bus timetables

Following passenger complaints about missing or misleading timetables, Bus Users Shropshire has carried out a survey of timetable information across the unitary authority of Shropshire.

5% of timetable cases were inspected in different parts of the county between June and December 2015.

The ‘Secret Services’ report from Bus Users Shropshire reveals that many bus stop timetables were:

  • out of date with incorrect times shown. Recently updated timetables were no more accurate than older ones
  • advertising services or routes that no longer run
  • displaying service information for one operator only, but not all
  • quoting only some of the departure timings, or some of the days of operation
  • positioned where buses do not stop
  • missing from places where buses do stop
  • sometimes at a height that could not easily be read by most people.

Some inaccuracies were also discovered on Traveline in relation to Shropshire bus services.

Unlike many other local authorities, printed and online route maps had been discontinued by Shropshire Council and printed timetables for people to take away were almost non existent, especially at Shropshire Council run information facilities.

The report says that the public is not able to rely on the information published by Shropshire Council on its bus stop timetable cases or on Traveline.

Bus Users Shropshire chair, Peter Gilbert, said, ‘The sporadic implementation of basic Local Transport Authority responsibilities was surprising given the importance placed on marketing and of bus stop timetables in Shropshire Council’s Bus Strategy 2011-16. It makes no sense providing a service and then telling no one about it, or annoying them by providing wrong information which results in long waits or missed journeys. Unfortunately this is the situation we are in after five years of Shropshire Council bus cuts.

‘We believe the Council would serve the public better, and save money, by investing in accurate, up to date timetable information that would boost ticket sales on bus services.’

Shropshire Council have recently announced their intention of cutting a further £470,000 from bus services from April 2016. The Secret Services report highlights an opportunity instead for a ‘virtuous circle’ where additional and much needed spending by Shropshire Council on service information would lead to more journeys, more revenue and less reliance on subsidy. The report says the first priority is for adequate resourcing of the Local Transport Authority’s transport team to undertake basic functions, and for a comprehensive audit of all bus stops with timetable cases to check their accuracy.

The Secret Services report is available on line from ‘Your Local Group’ page, or by emailing Bus Users Shropshire . A copy will also be available on Saturday 12thDecember at the Bus Users ‘Your Bus Matters’ public event outside the Bear Hotel, Northgate, Bridgnorth.

Click here to download a full copy of the report

Notes to Editors

For further information about this release please contact Peter Gilbert on 07773 980094. 

Shropshire Council’s recently launched ‘Big Conversation’ states an intention to cut a further £470,000 from bus services from April 2016.

Click here to find out more 

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