Letter to FirstBus Leeds

Firstly:

The 99. Last night both myself and many other people waited more than 2 hours for a bus from Leeds to Wetherby: apparently this was due to Metro cancelling the service while the Xmas lights were switched on. What I want to know is why wasn’t this advertised and why didn’t FirstBus offer an alternate route to us who commute daily to and from Leeds to Wetherby. To expect us to casually wait in the hope of a bus arriving soon is appalling. I was stood waiting from 8:30pm until 10:30pm.

Secondly:

X98. At the stop in Deighton Road next to Benfield Ford: driver didn’t stop when I waved him down. Had to desperately wave him down. When I stepped on the bus and said there is a bus stop there: he said sarcastically ‘is there really!’ why wasn’t he going to stop even though I flagged him down well in advance and why was he so arrogant?

I have just timed his departure from Wetherby Bus Station at 09:13: isn’t the time of departure 09:19?

Thirdly:

The new Hybrid buses. Why have these slow, unreliable, expensive and completely environmentally unfriendly buses in your fleet at all? The whole interior of the bus is made of plastics: derived from fossil fuels. The 4% saving on emissions is really a pathetic gimmick to assure some government funding.

Our Ref: CID/119983

22 November 2011

Dear Mr Sherburn

I write in regards to your comments, received by e-mail on 11 November in
reference to problems on services 99 and X98 in Leeds.

May I firstly apologise for the inconvenience on 10 November, and the
‘near-problem’ of 11 November.

In respect of the issue faced on 10 November, I can advise that no planned
service cancellation was made, but because of the extreme volumes of
traffic that evening, a number of services were late operating. In this
instance, the driver due to takeover the service had been delayed prior to
his break and due to legal drivers hours restrictions was unable to take
the service to Wetherby.

The conduct of the driver on 11 November was poor and whilst noting that he
did ultimately stop, I acknowledge the concern caused and the demonstration
of a poor attitude when challenged. The individual has been traced and the
matter placed on the drivers file.

In regards the operation of the new hybrid buses, whilst acknowledging the
high level of moulding used on the vehicles, this is largely industry
standard and is part of a project to use lighter materials to improve fuel
consumption.

Although the buses have been partially sponsored by the government, this
relates to the ‘premium’ applied over a conventional diesel and in fact the
price paid is the equivalent of a normal bus. Whilst the contribution is
considerable, this is in the context of a bus costing £300,000 and is a
drive by the government to increase the number of environmentally friendly
buses in operation nationally to achieve air quality targets.

I hope this answers the points made and apologise again for the problems
you have experienced.

Yours sincerely

Andy Metcalfe
Customer Services Manager – Yorkshire

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