Travellers angry about bus waits

Travellers are fed up with repeated delays and long waits for buses
Travellers are fed up with repeated delays and long waits for buses

Fed-up passengers are growing tired of waiting for late-running buses ... and even angrier about those that fail to turn up at all.

People have been complaining to The Falkirk Herald that they cannot rely on the service.

Would-be passengers claim they have been late for work and missed appointments after being left standing at bus stops for up to an hour.

Some travellers said that when they have complained to drivers, they claimed that they are being told to put ‘Not in service’ signs up when they are running late.

Now operator First Scotland East has promised to monitor the situation closely, while the Traffic Commissioner for Scotland is urging members of the travelling public who have complaints to get in touch.

Services which have been highlighted as problematic include the No.4 and 4A which runs from Ochiltree Terrace, Camelon, to Grangemouth, and the No.3 from the Falkirk Wheel to Grangemouth.

One regular passenger said: “You just can’t rely on them. You see the bus go up Carmuirs Avenue and expect it to come back down, but when they do they’re not in service.

“Last week, one woman said she had been standing for an hour waiting for a bus that never turned up. Someone else said they had been standing at Lock 16 and during that time there should have been three buses, but none showed.

“The bus company don’t care two hoots.”

The Traffic Commissioner’s office, which monitors the bus industry, said there had been no recent complaints about the First service in the Falkirk area.

However, anyone who has information or complaints is urged to send them to Commissioner Joan Aitken at: The Stamp Office, 10 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3EG or e-mail to allow her to investigate.

A spokeswoman said: “Bus services do have what is called a ‘window of tolerance’ as far as sticking to their timetable is concerned. There is flexibility for buses to run up to one minute early and up to five minutes late – this is to take account of issues such as adverse weather, traffic jams, road works etc.

“Buses running earlier or later than that are breaching their licence conditions and this is something the Traffic Commissioner will look into if she is made aware of it.”

Paul Thomas, Scotland East’s managing director, said: “As a company we do whatever we can to ensure that all journeys operate to the registered timetable. There are some occasions when this is not possible due to external factors outwith our control.

“I have arranged for our inspectors to monitor the services closely over the next few weeks.

“We are fully committed to providing a reliable service to all of our customers throughout Falkirk, however, should any passenger have any specific issues they can contact us with full details by calling 08708 72 72 71 and we will investigate these fully.”