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'Bus delays keep making me late'
A BASINGSTOKE dad has complained that he is constantly late for work because the bus he catches is rarely on time.
Stephen Dorey catches the Number 1 bus to and from Beggarwood each day, to his work in a warehouse, in Wade Road.
But the 45-year-old said he regularly has to wait 20 minutes for the bus to arrive – only for two to then turn up at the same time.
He said: “For the last two years, it’s been getting really bad. I have been getting late into work. I have complained so many times. People are always complaining.”
Mr Dorey is angry that the prices continuously rise, when he believes the service is poor. The father-of-two, who pays £12.50 a week for a Megarider ticket, said when he complained to Stagecoach about the service, he was told to catch an earlier bus.
He said: “Why should I get the earlier bus and stand outside work for 20 minutes? Stagecoach aren’t delivering the service they are meant to. They are rubbish.”
Mr Dorey’s latest complaint was sent to Andrew Dyer, managing director of Stagecoach. But so far, he has not received a reply.
Mr Dorey called The Gazette while he was on the bus home, and said it had taken an hour-and-a-half to reach Beggarwood, when it should have been a 55-minute journey.
Mr Dyer told The Gazette: “There clearly have been some individual difficulties where we have owed Mr Dorey an apology because his journey has been disrupted. But the suggestion that the Number 1 bus is always late, we would say, is not true.
“We changed the Number 1 timetable earlier this year, specifically to try and improve punctuality in the morning rush hour. We are planning some timetable reviews in the New Year.”
Stagecoach will consult with the borough and county council on any proposed changes, which Mr Dyer said he hopes will “address any remaining issues with punctuality.”
He added: “I would like to assure Mr Dorey, and any other users, that whilst we believe the problems are not large scale, we are treating them seriously.”
Mr Dyer said that it is not always possible to guarantee exact times for buses, because their arrival can depend on traffic conditions.
However, he added: “Our own monitoring suggests that over 90 per cent of buses in Basingstoke run within five minutes of the advertised time. So punctuality levels are pretty good, but there’s always room for improvement.”
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