Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Mapping Arriva's "Big Society"

See the funny little rectangle that goes through Donisthorpe on the 9a route? Well, rumour has it that this is going to be cut from Sunday 18th July - more than 500 properties - many of them elderly owner occupiers - denied access to a bus service, despite Leicestershire County Council's policy to provide 95% of residents with a service within 800 metres of their home.

It's an interesting story, for nowhere on the Arriva website can you find confirmation of this. No, the communication is done by word of mouth, scaremongering pensioners and back-footing local residents' and community groups into asking what's going on. "Not enough passengers" is Arriva's reply, without a jot of evidence to support this claim. One soon to be 75 year old is having nightmares about the half mile uphill walk she faces at either end of her road. And all this less than 25 miles from two International Airports and three motorways...

It's an interesting point, because Arriva is the company which, shortly after I blogged about a 6 mile round trip costing £9.70 for an adult and a child last summer, Arriva took over that journey. The 55p child single for a two mile stretch promptly went up to £1.40 and yet, Arriva submitted the most cost effective tender for this subsidised service. A local firm lost the contract...

How many other funny little rectangles are being cut out nationally by a company which clearly bids aggressively for contracts it cannot afford to deliver? Where is the community involvement or "Big Society" in this? How the hell is anyone supposed to get to work, to go to college, the doctors' or do shopping so that our economy stands some chance of recovery?

DO leave a comment. It would be great to map precisely how many cuts are being implemented and to let Arriva know that customer dissatisfaction has well and truly arrived.


16.07.10 latest - Arriva publish a notice and comment

Keith Myatt communications manager of Arriva Midlands said: “Arriva Midlands monitors its services at regular intervals, during recent monitoring the need to revise the route and timetable of several local bus services has been highlighted to ensure reliability is maintained. Following consultation with Staffordshire County Council we’re pleased to introduce buses around Burton’s Queens Hospital Grounds.”

No data or contact details for Keith to explain how denying service to circa 500 households increases reliability for them, though, nor indeed why Staffs CC is consulted and Leics not...

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