Bus changes not for the better
UNTIL August 24 there was a quick, direct Stagecoach bus service from Somersham to St Ives, about two-hourly. Seemingly, this did not get enough use to be economic, and Stagecoach has withdrawn it in favour of an hourly service through Colne, Earith and N
UNTIL August 24 there was a quick, direct Stagecoach bus service from Somersham to St Ives, about two-hourly. Seemingly, this did not get enough use to be economic, and Stagecoach has withdrawn it in favour of an hourly service through Colne, Earith and Needingworth, taking about twice as long, with three or four buses daily coming from Manea and Chatteris. Does this look likely to attract more passengers overall?
On Friday August 29 many people waited for a bus leaving St Ives at 10.55, which should have gone through Pidley, Warboys, Chatteris and Manea after leaving Somersham. It did not come at all, and the bus an hour later did not go beyond Somersham, so possible users would have been waiting two hours.
The timetables were not easily available before the date of change and proved to be inaccurate.
I understand that the drivers did not know the routes, which include stops off the main routes among the housing. Good managers should have ensured the drivers had a training drive beforehand or at least had a very detailed map.
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This high-handed attitude to its passengers does not suggest Stagecoach had their needs in mind, and I suspect it will not be long before the routes are declared uneconomic and must be closed.
In addition, Whippet buses run at about the same times on the same routes as the Somersham buses. Is this a scheme for the national company to push a local company off the roads?
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I understand the bus from Huntingdon station to Somersham is now scheduled to leave two minutes before the London train is due in the evening, when previously it allowed time for a connection - and even an extra 15 minutes if the train were late.
It seems impossible to speak to anyone at the local Stagecoach customer services office, as its telephone is either engaged or unanswered.
P M SPENCER