Monday, 10 December 2007

Another unfair rise in fares

So First are putting up their fares yet again. This time last year when they introduced above inflation increases on single/ return fares, and again in July when they hiked up the price of their season tickets, I said that people might be prepared to pay more if they were getting a decent bus service - but despite the fare rises, the service still hasn't improved. (At least not if the regular flow of complaints from my constituents is anything to go by.) You would think that with the Local Transport Bill going through Parliament at the moment, which will give councils potentially more control over local bus services , the bus company might be a bit keener to prove that it is providing a decent service in Bristol.

5 comments:

Chris Thurling said...

Hi Kerry. I run my own business on the Triangle in Clifton and live off Sandy Park Road in Brislington. It would surely make sense for me to take the number 1 bus to work everyday. However, it's so unreliable, so slow and so overcrowded that I rarely bother. Instead I (reluctantly) resort to my car almost every day. I am a Labour Party member, but I have to say that I've been very disappointed by the progress made on public transport in Bristol in the last decade. Cities like Munich and Cologne have got fabulous integrated public transport systems. Surely a wealthy city like Bristol can do better than a few intermittent bus lanes and a fleet of clapped out buses?

Gary said...

I live in Kingswood and the bus route I use has just had £12.1 million spent on it. Yeah, ok, we have some brand new buses but the journey time has not changed (it's still quicker for me to walk to work!), the fare is still extortionate with impending further rises! It's a complete and utter shambles. I did write to Kerry about this but as usual, she didn't reply to me!

Kerry said...

Gary - I reply to all constituents who write to me, even those who just sign petitions or postcard campaigns (which many MPs ignore). I've checked and we have no record of anyone called Gary writing in about buses. I'd appreciate it if you could email with your contact details, and copies of any past correspondence. I would say, however, that if you live in Kingswood you should be contacting your own MP, Roger Berry, rather than me - but if you'd written to me in the past I would have forwarded it to Roger and told you I'd done so. I await hearing from you!

Chris - I agree entirely. I hope the new showcase bus routes being rolled out over the next few years - with £43 million of Government funding - will make a difference, but there are other pieces of the jigsaw puzzle which also need to be put in place - e.g. more park and ride schemes, more support for the Severn Beach line, a Strategic Transport Authority for the Bristol area which will give us a more powerful lobbying voice and a greater sense of strategic direction, and - possibly - invoking the new powers we will get under the Local Transport Bill to exercise greater control over who runs our bus services. I do think the STA is key to all this, and am very disappointed that progress on this seems to have been derailed by a couple of district councillors from outside Bristol voting against it this week. I know the local business community is very disappointed too.

Kerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Thurling said...

Unfortunately the number 1 route isn't earmarked to become a showcase service (as far as I know), so there's little hope of improvement as far as I can see.
I'm moving to Henleaze in January so thankfully I'll be able to walk to work, but I hope you continue to do all you can to put pressure on the powers that be to drag our City's public transport system into the 21st century.