Monday, June 04, 2007

A Fist Bus apologist writes

Reply number two comes in regarding First Bus's atrocious new timetabling; it seems that County Hall really don't want to play ball and think this is the best they can do!

Here's the response I've received from a Stephen Nicholson, some of you might like to send him an email of your own to :

"Dear Mr Roberts

Thank you for your e-mail to the Passenger Transport Unit

As regards the connections at Cremyll, for much of the day the pattern is:-

Bus arrives Cremyll 56 minutes past the hour - Ferries depart 00 and 30 minutes past the hour
Ferries arrive Cremyll 22 and 52 minutes past the hour – Bus departs 15 minutes past the hour

The connection into the ferry is usually 4 minutes which is ideal. The connection from the ferry is 23 minutes which is less than ideal.

What stops it being made better is that the bus itself travels on the Torpoint Ferry which runs every 10 or 15 minutes depending on the time of day. Running the bus from Cremyll 15 minutes earlier at 00 past the hour sounds a good idea until one factors in that the bus will only have 4 minutes stay time at Cremyll, which isn’t enough for the driver or to recover from unforeseen events (traffic, accidents, late Torpoint Ferry etc). If one altered the pattern of bus times better to make connections out of the Cremyll ferry it would of necessity make the connections worse into the Cremyll ferry. Regrettably, in this case, the ideal is not practicable.

The timetable was compiled jointly by First Devon & Cornwall, Plymouth City council and Cornwall County Council and is a compromise between the various limitations inherent on the route because of the two ferries.

Yours sincerely

Stephen Nicholson
Principal Transport Officer"

Perhaps if First had bought new buses that actually fitted the route they were intended to serve, the journey time would be quicker and it would be possible to provide a proper service rather the second rate fob-off apparently championed by Mr Nicholson. I think he's rather defensive, don't you boys and girls?

What is more, this is a word-for-word identical letter/email that was sent by the Mr Nicholson over a week ago in response to a completely differently worded mesage from Mrs The Millbrooker. So, no attempt to actually address an individual complaint or concern - merely an attempt to defend something rather indefensible. After all, First Bus managed to meet the Cremyll ferry inbound and outbound right through the winter months, and through last summer; again I suspect something nefarious is afoot and we are in danger of losing the service altogether with the collusion of County Hall and Mr Nicholson.

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