Saturday, January 18, 2014
Passengers commuting from St Neots to Cambridge using Stagecoach’s X5 service have become frustrated after timetable changes led to coaches being too full to cope with demand.
Many people have been left standing at bus stops as the vehicles quickly reach their capacity at peak times, especially in the mornings as commuters try to get to work in the city.
Passengers have told The Hunts Post that this has become a problem since alterations were made to the timetables of long-distance service, which runs between Oxford and Cambridge, stopping towns such as St Neots.
The changes have not seen a reduction in service and have only moved service times by a few minutes, but nevertheless the tweaks seem to have sparked an increase in demand that some of the coaches cannot cope with.
The service currently calls at the Market Square in the morning rush hour at 6.50am, 7.20am and 7.50am.
This compares with July’s time-table which showed it stopped at 6.55am, 7.25am and 7.55am. Meanwhile, in September last year, coaches reach stops at 6.45am, 7.15am and 7.55am,
While Stagecoach confirmed there had been no reduction in the number of vehicles – in fact one more vehicle was on the route – the changes had seen more trying to use the most convenient service – often the 7.25am.
The firm added it had altered the timetables in an attempt to combat traffic congestion.
Eaton Socon Councillor Nick Berry, who uses the service to commute to his job in Cambridge, said: “I catch the X5 every day and it is an absolute nightmare. It makes working in Cambridge impossible if you don’t drive. There are no hand rails so you can’t stand which is a huge annoyance.
“There needs to be a few more buses at about 7am and 6pm, either that or to run some double deckers.”
Andy Campbell, Stagecoach East managing director, said: “We have had a complaint about missing some people at St Neots in the mornings and we are looking to see the best way of trying to resolve that issue.”