A bus service, deemed ‘erratic and unreliable’ by passengers has become worse since its timetable was changed, residents say.
The number 28 service used to run once an hour but now only runs once every hour and 10 minutes.
Marylyn Edwards and Linda Jeal organised a recent meeting for concerned residents.
Marylyn said: “The number 28 bus travels from the town centre and the Conquest Hospital and back. It ran once an hour until around 6pm, was erratic and unreliable, and impossible to be sure of getting to hospital appointments on time or arrange anything that was time dependant. Stagecoach now runs the bus every one hour and 10 minutes. Trying to work out when the bus will arrive is even harder now.
“The people worst affected are those who are disabled, older, those who cannot afford taxis and do not own cars, also hospital staff and those needing to attend the Conquest for appointments or visit patients.”
Tressell ward councillor, Tania Charman, said: “We are all aware this bus is rarely on time and offers a crucial service to the hospital for staff, visitors and patients. I find it strange as the consultation did go out to the bus partnership and councillors were informed, but who did they send it to in the way of customers?
“We are planning a meeting with Stagecoach and councillors in the near future. We are also putting together a petition and questionnaire. If you want to get involved in improving the 28 bus service, email email@example.com.”
A spokesman for Stagecoach said: “We’ve made changes to the route 28 timetable in order to improve reliability and timekeeping. It had become increasingly challenging to keep the service running on schedule and we understand how frustrating this can be for customers.
“We recognise they want confidence that buses will run on time, therefore the new timetable allows an extra 10 minutes for the buses to complete each journey.
“Traffic congestion is the biggest challenge that we face as a bus operator which is why we’re asking local authorities to do more to free up road space for buses and carry out works that improve traffic flow. Faster and more reliable bus journeys, fewer cars, and less pollution is better for everyone in our communities.”
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