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Bus Service Not Far Off

An update that went to the Thames Board on Tuesday revealed that tenders for the service will close on 8 October, with the service due to commence on Monday 30 October.

 "The contract is for an initial six month trial with a possible 39 month extension, performance reviewed annually, if the patronage levels meet expectations. Variations to the route or frequency of trips will only take place after the six month trial period. The minimum vehicle size permitted for the trial service is 14 seats."

The actual vehicle  may already be here - I sighted a new 14 seater Izuzu type bus painted green on Tuesday, and emblazoned with 'Thames Bus Service Ltd' - it was parked in Cochrane St. That is fairly mysterious in view of fact that the contract has not even been let at this point - is someone jumping the gun? 

Council will need to provide a number of facilities - bus shelters in particular will need to be provided long term, but existing infrastructure will have to suffice in the meantime.

Another important issue concerns the ability to use the Gold Card free during the six momnth course of the trial. The paper suggests that the Trial needs the free Gold Card travel to truely test its viability. And the paper suggests that Denis Tegg be invited to join a 'steering committee' to oversee the Trial. 

All good - let's just see it up and running, and get on with it.




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Reader Comments (1)

Great to read that the trial service is soon to be available. The issue of whether or not the service will be free to Gold Card holders, will be very important. I could well be wrong, but I would suggest that the service will not be very well supported unless Gold Card holders are really encouraged to use it - as is the case with such services in other areas.
In regard to the proposed routes, it is of course very difficult to plan bus routes that will provide the best practicable service to everyone. Let's hope that the existing taxi service continues to be a viable complementary service, without the patronage that the bus service could take away.
The one significant area of town that I suggest the bus service as proposed may not serve well, is the 'hillside' area involving the proposed southern route - Sealey Street - Hill Street - through to say Harvey Crescent. Most potential bus passengers are likely to have as their most frequent trip, getting to the range of facilities and services in the centre of town. Will people from the above areas be prepared to spend 20 minutes or so of their time, each trip, going via a circuitous route to Bupa The Booms and then back - albeit somewhat more directly - to reach their destination?
I hope that sufficient comprehensive data will be gathered during the trial, to analyse how the service could be improved - including attracting increased patronage - if it is to become a permanent one.

October 19, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTim

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