AN under-fire bus service has admitted its service ‘requires improvement’, according to a report into its service in East Staffordshire.
Bus company Arriva has also appointed two new area managers to strengthen its management team in, the report into bus services by East Staffordshire Borough Council said.
The review was launched after borough councillor Sonia Andjelkovic raised ‘grave concerns’ about the company’s service.
When she addressed the council in December 2012, she said: “The council notes with concern reductions in Arriva bus services in the borough, which deeply concern our residents.
“The council is gravely concerned by reports from residents of buses being full, of elderly passengers not having a seat and of buses not stopping at bus stops.
“Complaints to Arriva have been answered by standard letters that often do not address the issues raised by our constituents.”
The report identified Arriva as the main operator of bus services in the borough, and consequently the majority of complaints received during the review related to the company.
The review, which has lasted more than a year, involved Arriva representatives meeting with borough and Staffordshire County Council leaders.
Members of the public and parish councillors were invited to raise their concerns with the company and take part in a survey on bus services in the borough.
The results of this will go before the borough council next week and include feedback on all services operating in East Staffordshire.
Of the 265 people who took part in the survey, 48.8 per cent were satisfied with the overall bus service and 34 per cent dissatisfied.
On the back of the review, the county council’s transport commissioner Clive Thomson said he hoped to create a ‘voluntary quality bus partnership’ in Burton.
He said: “I would very much welcome borough council involvement with the partnership.”
EXASPERATED Arriva customers have described the company’s service in East Staffordshire as ‘hit and miss’ its drivers as ‘mostly very dour’.
The comments are included in a review of bus services across East Staffordshire which will go before the borough council next Monday.
In the review, an unidentified customer who used the company’s service between Tutbury and Burton, said: “In my experience it has always been hit and miss with regards to times.
“However, in recent months it has deteriorated to the point where it cannot be described as an acceptable level of service anymore.
“To make matters worse the Arriva driver are mostly very dour and do not respond well to being asked about failures within their service.
“I have firsthand accounts from other people in the area who have suffered as poor a service on other routes.”
Another customer said: “Yet again I was left waiting at my bus stop this morning as the 8.25am Arriva number one failed to turn up.
“It was absolutely freezing and I didn’t appreciate left being stranded.”