Author Topic: Thamesdown Transport cuts routes 2011  (Read 7216 times)

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Offline Muggins

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Thamesdown Transport cuts routes 2011
« on: December 03, 2011, 08:49:29 AM »
We heard yesterday, via the Head of the Swindon Academy and Cllr Andy Harrison that Thamesdwon trasnport is going to cut our No 21 bus AGAIN

I can't beleive all the campaigning that is being thrown back in our faces, on several occasions we have campaigned about this, including (way back) a campaign to get a Valley bus in the first time. 

The reasons for putting a bus down to the Valley is still good after all these years. 

During previous campaigns we have suggested that we sit around a table with them and come up with more viable ideas, to provide this service, redirecting our other very good service for instance. We have been told that the bus is not well used when we know that it is, and we have warned that you don't get more passenger from less buses.

Is it spite because they wanted a road through to Abbey Meads and we did not want a rat run?
They couldn't have had that anyway the roads were too small and bendy on the Abbey Meads side.

Just a bit of info about the Valley, it is a mixed age community, at the bottom of a 2 in 1 hill (and it's the same to get out)  and it's North facing and the first sign of frost walking up and down those hills is an adventure.  It is a fair walk to Penhill drive - uphill and a fair walk into Abbey Meads to catch a bus there.  Some people (grandparents in particular) from Swindon as a whole catch the No 21 to get to Abbey Meads school too. It runs through to Pinehurst and is the only bus from Penhill that gets the kids near enough to the school.  From Cricklade Road they might as well walk all the way. 

There is a facebook page and a petition to sign if you would support us in asking for a rethink.


Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Bassettina

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Re: Thamesdown Transport cuts routes 2011
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2011, 01:43:13 PM »
Still fighting against Stagecoach halving the bus service to Wootton Bassett and cutting the West Swindon/Wootton Bassett link. The last response I got suggested that bus drivers didn't like going over the speed bumps...

Lots of old people in the Wootton Bassett estates now have a 20 minute walk to the nearest bus stop.

Offline Muggins

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Re: Thamesdown Transport cuts routes 2011
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2011, 03:41:58 PM »
Well that's about the strength of it Bass, running a public transport system for the sake of the employees and profit, rather than passengers. 

Now let me think, who is pays??
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline SwindonDave

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Re: Thamesdown Transport cuts routes 2011
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2011, 07:15:05 PM »
I've stumbled across a VOSA website that appears to confirm the end of the 21 (plus a couple of other changes.) It looks like when a bus company wants to make changes it needs to inform VOSA, who in turn put the details on their website?

Anyway, here's what the publically available website says about the service 21 here in Swindon :

Cancellation Accepted: Operating between Swindon (Fleming Way) and Penhill given service number 21/28 effective from 07-Jan-2012

Offline Steve Wakefield

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Re: Thamesdown Transport cuts routes 2011
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2011, 08:15:47 PM »
Welcome SD

Good first post a handy Web site address to have.
All posts on this forum are my own opinion and do not represent the views of any council or any political party.  :banana:

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Thamesdown Transport cuts routes 2011
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2011, 12:47:08 AM »

Does TS need a dedicated Transport forum?

Offline Muggins

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Re: Thamesdown Transport cuts routes 2011
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2011, 07:47:06 AM »
I misread your comment Geoff and read it as 'does TT/SBC need a dedicated Transport' Forum.
Now that might be a step forward. 
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Got Signal

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Re: Thamesdown Transport cuts routes 2011
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2011, 08:00:13 AM »
Here is the link I think I thought the URL was an unusual title Anonymous publication  :santa_grin:? http://www.tan.gov.uk/tanen/Vosa_AnonymousPublicationSearchResults_new.asp

Like the santa smileys  :santa_afro:

Offline Bassettina

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Re: Thamesdown Transport cuts routes 2011
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2011, 06:19:11 AM »
So is the 21 being completely cancelled?

Offline Muggins

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Re: Thamesdown Transport cuts routes 2011
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2011, 07:59:00 AM »
It would appear so.   TT decided to tell the only the Academy,  our Councillors were not alerted directly, but luckily the Academy did.  Cllr Harrison alerted us and put up the facebook page and devised the hard copy petition.

There is now a facebook page and on line petition and I'll be out this morning delivering hard copy petitions  to several places around Penhill and the Secretary of the Pinehurst Forum has agreed to do the same.  Later I will put it out on the Forum email distribution list as will the Pinehurst Sec. on the Pinehurst Forum list.   The Adver will be covering the story.  Someone on Faebook has come up with a really good slogan - so off we go!

If Chav was about we'd have a marching song by now, too.

(You can tell we've done this before, can't you?)    :fence:

Remember to date there has been no direct information coming to the councillors or community.  I bet the first we would have known was when the buses didn't turn up.

As an extra miff, it's not too many years, since the put up bus shelters and raised kerbs at the stops - and it is a matter of 4 stops, three really as there is a another very close on Penhill Drive.  3 stops to a whole different quality of life for some. 
 


Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: Thamesdown Transport cuts routes 2011
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2011, 09:35:06 AM »

Does TS need a dedicated Transport forum?

Yes please and then I can go to town on Traffic Lights!!

Turn em off!!!!!!!!!!!!
All my posts are my own opinion and do not represent any political organization or group

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: Thamesdown Transport cuts routes 2011
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2011, 09:40:17 AM »
Muggins what you appear to have missed is that the Chairman of Thamesdown Transport is Keith Willliams and who is Keith Williams?

Yes first he is a Cabinet Member can't remember what for because he is so quiet, but he is also Councillor for Shaw and Nine Elms and I think West Swindon is well served for buses, so are you being penalised because you have a greater need in Penhill and despite Andy Harrison are likely to return Labour Councillors next May?

I want Labour to state they will govern impartially if they obtain power next May, because that cannot be said now?
All my posts are my own opinion and do not represent any political organization or group

Offline the gorgon

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Re: Thamesdown Transport cuts routes 2011
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2011, 12:26:03 PM »
Couldn't they just extend the 21 route to go up to the Orbital retail park?  That would get bums on seats surely?

This strikes me a classic contrived cut of services, make something more difficult to use, less people use it,  because fewer people use it the service is no longer financially viable so gets cut.

 

Offline Muggins

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Re: Thamesdown Transport cuts routes 2011
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2011, 12:56:58 PM »
Bit of history - the community - way back fought and got a route to the valley, over the years, we've fought off the closure of it several times.  There have been all sort of reasons given for it's intended demise, usually the money one, but other things too, like length of buses on sharp corners etc. which was funny, because the miute they had to replace all buses not fit for the discabled, the longer buses were used. I've been told this morning that there are even longer buses now (two years on), someone else told me that if anyone parks illegally at the bottom of Minety Road the bus can't get around and now I've been told that the bollards, placed along on the pavement, means the drivers can't swing the bus round by overlapping the pavement.  Seems to me these are problems that can be overcome if the will is there. 

When Northern Development was built, ASDA paid for a free bus several times a week to get shoppers there, I think that was negotiated to sweeten the planning application. The minute they didn't have to pay for it or subsidise it, it was stopped.  I can't remember if that went to the valley or not, probably not.     

They simply will not discuss any other idea, and of course we have had the idea of combining it with an ASDA trip, which could also take in the smaller shopping centre at Abbey Meads and the dentists and the other part of our Doctors surgery.  Service along the Thamsdown Drive can't pick up or drop off passengers, so it's pretty pointless unless it dips down into the housing.

It was supposed to serve the Academy too, and it's our only bus that stops anywhere a supermarket - Tesco's at Ocotal Way.  We can get into discussion about healthy eating too if we need to - access to fresh food etc.

Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Bassettina

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Re: Thamesdown Transport cuts routes 2011
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2011, 05:27:19 PM »

As an extra miff, it's not too many years, since the put up bus shelters and raised kerbs at the stops - and it is a matter of 4 stops, three really as there is a another very close on Penhill Drive.  3 stops to a whole different quality of life for some.

They cut buses in Bassett shortly after the council installed about 20 nice new covered bus stops, with seats and raised kerbs. Bloomin' Stagecoach.

Still, you'd expect in from stagecoach. Didn't Thamesdown Transport win awards for its amazingness recently? You'd think that between accepting the prizes they'd have time to tell people their bus services are being cut.

And there's a sort of umbilical/parasytical/Laurel'n'Hardy relationship between Thamesdown and Swindon Council. The council owns the bus company. The bus company complains the council reduces its finanicial support. The bus service's profits go into the council's general slush fund. Shouldn't it be able to break even and expand, if it really is an arms' length commercial org?

Offline Brian V Cockbill

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Re: Thamesdown Transport cuts routes 2011
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2011, 05:51:23 PM »
One must assume that if Thamesdown Transport Director Dale Heenan was unaware of the withdraw of the services until Friday (SA 5/12) those granting the awards were not informed either.   Unless the Chairman of the Awards Committee John Owen, who one might think would have local knowledge, can tell us otherwise.
Brian V Cockbill

Offline Muggins

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Re: Thamesdown Transport cuts routes 2011
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2011, 08:43:53 AM »
Ahh, John Owen, I could not think of his name yesterday - yes a lot of the the awards that arrive in SBC and it's off shoots are 'internal'.   Sort of awarding it to themsleves.

Paul Jenkins has just been on the radio, saying the same things as they always say.  And I want to point out to him, that the bus passes and subsidised fares were given to keep routes running, not as excuses to close them down.
They are using all the same excuses to do it,  although things have changes, so they are using the new changes rather than the old ones.  i.e. length of bus.  Under - use, sorry don't beleive that - neither do I beleive that re-directing two buses an hour to 3 more small, bus stops would lead to any detriment to the use of the main route.

Own up - the will is just not there, and you need your annual power dose to keep going and perhaps re-inforce your control over your flagging staff. (No double meaning intended)

Let me re-iterate that it was agreed to run the No21 (as it is now)

To reduce isolation for the elderly, the unfit and young mums.
To enable easier access to fresh food - it stops at Tesco's
To get children to school - when we warned that this might happen did they listen to putting the Academy away from main bus routes - no they flipping didn't.
To help people get to work - many young women work at Tesco's and points on that route.

Although they have largely been forgotten it was only a couple of years ago, the Government was talkign about super output areas, and was the Valley one, yes, the top one!

Should they have ever built the valley with it's built in valley/hill/frost problems - not they shoudn't.

Will they ever sit around a table and talk these things out - no they won't. 

they make a 3% profit - well make it a 2% then and keep the routes.
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline the gorgon

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Re: Thamesdown Transport cuts routes 2011
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2012, 11:11:44 AM »
TT pocket nearly £80k a year because of the exact fare policy http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9479238.Bus_passengers_overpay___78k_in_exact_fare/

Couldn't the thieving toerags (in my eyes refusing to give change is just theft) use this money to support loss making routes?

Offline Muggins

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Re: Thamesdown Transport cuts routes 2011
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2012, 01:37:42 PM »
That thought crossed my mind this morning Gorgon, effectively cheating passengers and then cutting routes because they can't afford to keep them running.  £80K aye?  Wonder how many bus drivers that buys a year?   How many gallons at the extra 19% which is the excuse for cutting routes.  I bet there are not many charities get that donated to them every year.
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Brian V Cockbill

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Re: Thamesdown Transport cuts routes 2011
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2012, 01:01:02 PM »
Thamesdown Transport Ltd., which is wholly-owned by Swindon Borough Council (SBC), withdrew a number of services from 8 January without any form of consultation. The decision was taken on 26 October 2011 and SBC Officer(s) were informed of this on 28 October. This decision was concealed from SBC Ward Members and the public until 2 and 6 December respectively. The administration, embarrassed by the public reaction, have cobbled together a new partly-subsidised route for Penhill (5 buses per day) and Coleview (4 buses per day) for a maximum of 12 months.
Already some local politicians are claiming this as a great achievement. However, although the £14,994 grant for the revised route has been secured it is only "for a maximum period of twelve months". The Council's Budget approved on Thursday evening for the year commencing in April 2012 contains an item "Saving - Work with Members Group and Bus Operators to identify routes where Council subsidy could be removed or reduced " requiring a saving of £147,000 in the coming fianacial year.
So one must wonder if their revised bus route will survive after the May elections. No market research was carried out to establish local users’ views on their proposal. The new section of this route along Drakes Way, Slade Drive and the western Oxford Road of this route, cannot legally receive a Council subsidy as it will be in competition with an existing commercial 30 minute service.
The whole Borough/Thamesdown route is therefore very unlikely to be financially viable or to survive.
However, thanks to initiative of the SBC's Chief Executive and local Parish Councillor Peter Watts it is hoped that some consultation might at last take place with interested parties, who know the need, and hopefully produce an acceptable alternative solution.
At least Coleview residents are being consulted in good time by Stratton St Margaret Parish Council over proposals for a new play area. How different this could have been if Thamesdown Transport and the Borough Council had acted similarly.
Brian V Cockbill