I have been critical of the local bus service more than once over the years, but to be fair who hasn’t?
From services being reduced or withdrawn to punctuality and reliability have all been issues I’ve shared with passengers which have led to articles in this newspaper seeking answers and reassurance.
A favourite subject for a moan up until a few years ago at least was the quality of the bus the paying customer was expected to travel on.
To say the majority of the local fleet was past its sell-by date was a bit of an understatement for sure. The shakes and rattles made even the shortest journeys an unpleasant experience for many.
In that regard, operators First have delivered on their promise to make a journey with them better.
The latest additions to the fleet used on all the busiest routes are a vast improvement on the ancient single and double-deckers they have replaced.
They can sink down to pavement level to make it easier to get on and off, boast leather seats and free Wi Fi and have a dedicated space for a wheelchair or mum with a pram.
First Bus now also underline how important passenger comfort and safety is to them by posting notices on the windows of their buses advising what one should do to make sure they can get off without mishap.
When I first saw the notice I was intrigued. It advised: “When you wish to get off the bus, push the bell and remain seated until the bus stops.”
Great idea - but be aware!
The first time I put this idea into practice the bus just kept on going and had to stop in the middle of no-where to let me off which was a bit embarrassing for me and the driver who explained he had not heard the bell!