Changes to buses make it so tough

This Is Wiltshire: Linda Meadows at Fleming Way Bus stop Picture: Alex Skennerton Linda Meadows at Fleming Way Bus stop Picture: Alex Skennerton

CUTS to bus services around Swindon introduced this week will make people’s journeys to town and the hospital harder, says pensioner Linda Meadows.

The 62-year-old, of Liden, suffers with cancer of the spine and needs to plan her routes around the town centre when shopping.

The changes to the Thames-down 13 and 14 services have made her trips more difficult, as she has to go back to Fleming Way to catch a return bus, rather than catching one from Commercial Road or Regent Circus.

She said: “When you know you are going to have a lot of shopping you want to plan your route, and if you have lots of bags to carry it’s a long way to walk.

“Not everybody has a car but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to go shopping, not just to the town centre but to the big Tesco and Sainsbury’s. We have high unemployment in Swindon but they keep cutting bus services making it harder for people to get to where there is work.”

The changes come on top of a number of cuts that took place throughout 2013 as a result of funding cuts and a need for better time-keeping.

The loss of the number 20 service from Fleming Way to the Great Western Hospital was one such cut which have made attending weekend appointments at the Great Western Hospital difficult.

This is because rather than catching the number 20 to the GWH on weekends – not far from her home in Liden – Linda now must take the 13 or 14 services to Fleming Way before catching the number 12 service.

She said: “I had to cancel my appointment because it was on a Saturday and I couldn’t get there.

“The GWH is trying to have patients come in for appointments at weekends because they are really stretched but they haven’t thought about how people are going to get there.”

Thamesdown managing director Paul Jenkins, said: “The route and timing changes on services 13 and 14 have been introduced to improve timekeeping on the route, however the frequency of the buses stays at every 10 minutes.

“Unfortunately this has meant that Services 13 and 14 no longer stop at Regent Circus. Passengers heading towards Eldene and Liden now need to go to Fleming Way to catch their bus home. “We are sorry for any inconvenience caused, however the time savings that the new route brings will hopefully ensure the services are more punctual and reliable.

“We have had to introduce a number of changes to services in recent months, partly in response to the council’s new bus support strategy, but mainly to ensure they are running efficientl.

“These followed on from the end of NHS funding for the hospital bus services which prompted the changes in January 2013.”

Comments (18)

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8:24am Thu 9 Jan 14

A.Baron-Cohen says...

free buses......
free buses...... A.Baron-Cohen
  • Score: -3

8:37am Thu 9 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

And herein lies the problem with buses (and all public transport): it has never, will never and can never run exactly where people want it to at the times they want it to.

By definition, public transport is inconvenient.
And herein lies the problem with buses (and all public transport): it has never, will never and can never run exactly where people want it to at the times they want it to. By definition, public transport is inconvenient. ChannelX
  • Score: 13

8:44am Thu 9 Jan 14

mandrossian says...

Wow, they've managed to find one woman who is slightly inconvenienced by the changes. Quick, change it all back!
Wow, they've managed to find one woman who is slightly inconvenienced by the changes. Quick, change it all back! mandrossian
  • Score: 6

9:49am Thu 9 Jan 14

Davethered says...

Changes to save time , what a load of cobblers , I used to drive these buses and 9 times out of 10 I used to have to sit and wait for 5 mins at both Eldene and Rodbourne to get back on time because I was ahead .How come Stagecoach doesn't keep having all these cutbacks . I think this bloke at Thamesdown just wants to cut the services so much that eventually it becomes no longer viable to run for big profits, and the council will then sell out to another company , rumours have been going around for years and I can now see Thamesdown Transport going .
Changes to save time , what a load of cobblers , I used to drive these buses and 9 times out of 10 I used to have to sit and wait for 5 mins at both Eldene and Rodbourne to get back on time because I was ahead .How come Stagecoach doesn't keep having all these cutbacks . I think this bloke at Thamesdown just wants to cut the services so much that eventually it becomes no longer viable to run for big profits, and the council will then sell out to another company , rumours have been going around for years and I can now see Thamesdown Transport going . Davethered
  • Score: 1

9:55am Thu 9 Jan 14

Phantom Poster says...

ChannelX wrote:
And herein lies the problem with buses (and all public transport): it has never, will never and can never run exactly where people want it to at the times they want it to.

By definition, public transport is inconvenient.
You've stated to obvious, so what's your point?
[quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: And herein lies the problem with buses (and all public transport): it has never, will never and can never run exactly where people want it to at the times they want it to. By definition, public transport is inconvenient.[/p][/quote]You've stated to obvious, so what's your point? Phantom Poster
  • Score: -10

10:11am Thu 9 Jan 14

Robh says...

For some reason they expect everyone to go into town to catch a bus to their destination. I must agree that Thamesdown don't seem to want to run the buses in Swindon. Before they completely mess up the system why don't they sell out. They seem to be set on making public transport so poor that any new company will take years to get it back to a viable alternative.
For some reason they expect everyone to go into town to catch a bus to their destination. I must agree that Thamesdown don't seem to want to run the buses in Swindon. Before they completely mess up the system why don't they sell out. They seem to be set on making public transport so poor that any new company will take years to get it back to a viable alternative. Robh
  • Score: -1

10:22am Thu 9 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

Phantom Poster wrote:
ChannelX wrote:
And herein lies the problem with buses (and all public transport): it has never, will never and can never run exactly where people want it to at the times they want it to.

By definition, public transport is inconvenient.
You've stated to obvious, so what's your point?
The point is that the Adver have wheeled out an elderly lady with cancer to try and sensationalise a complete non-story.

Buses cannot possibly ever be laid on to take everyone that uses them from where they are to where they want to go at whatever time they want to make the journey.

That's what cars and taxis are for.

You would be far better off asking the Adver what the point of this non-story was.
[quote][p][bold]Phantom Poster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: And herein lies the problem with buses (and all public transport): it has never, will never and can never run exactly where people want it to at the times they want it to. By definition, public transport is inconvenient.[/p][/quote]You've stated to obvious, so what's your point?[/p][/quote]The point is that the Adver have wheeled out an elderly lady with cancer to try and sensationalise a complete non-story. Buses cannot possibly ever be laid on to take everyone that uses them from where they are to where they want to go at whatever time they want to make the journey. That's what cars and taxis are for. You would be far better off asking the Adver what the point of this non-story was. ChannelX
  • Score: 8

10:39am Thu 9 Jan 14

Robh says...

I think the whole point of this story is that TT are inconveniencing more and more customers. I used to use the bus regularly it was close and convenient but now we have to walk along way to catch the bus and it no longer goes where it used to so again the car wins.
I think the whole point of this story is that TT are inconveniencing more and more customers. I used to use the bus regularly it was close and convenient but now we have to walk along way to catch the bus and it no longer goes where it used to so again the car wins. Robh
  • Score: 1

10:45am Thu 9 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

Robh wrote:
I think the whole point of this story is that TT are inconveniencing more and more customers. I used to use the bus regularly it was close and convenient but now we have to walk along way to catch the bus and it no longer goes where it used to so again the car wins.
Well, if they inconvenience enough customers, they'll go bust. If not, they'll continue.

I have a feeling I know which of the two will happen.

Oh, and the car ALWAYS wins... which is why they need to scrap the abysmal Bus Lanes.
[quote][p][bold]Robh[/bold] wrote: I think the whole point of this story is that TT are inconveniencing more and more customers. I used to use the bus regularly it was close and convenient but now we have to walk along way to catch the bus and it no longer goes where it used to so again the car wins.[/p][/quote]Well, if they inconvenience enough customers, they'll go bust. If not, they'll continue. I have a feeling I know which of the two will happen. Oh, and the car ALWAYS wins... which is why they need to scrap the abysmal Bus Lanes. ChannelX
  • Score: 5

11:25am Thu 9 Jan 14

A.Baron-Cohen says...

Davethered wrote:
Changes to save time , what a load of cobblers , I used to drive these buses and 9 times out of 10 I used to have to sit and wait for 5 mins at both Eldene and Rodbourne to get back on time because I was ahead .How come Stagecoach doesn't keep having all these cutbacks . I think this bloke at Thamesdown just wants to cut the services so much that eventually it becomes no longer viable to run for big profits, and the council will then sell out to another company , rumours have been going around for years and I can now see Thamesdown Transport going .
I hope the rumours are true...selling Thamesdown would provide the council with much needed funds.
[quote][p][bold]Davethered[/bold] wrote: Changes to save time , what a load of cobblers , I used to drive these buses and 9 times out of 10 I used to have to sit and wait for 5 mins at both Eldene and Rodbourne to get back on time because I was ahead .How come Stagecoach doesn't keep having all these cutbacks . I think this bloke at Thamesdown just wants to cut the services so much that eventually it becomes no longer viable to run for big profits, and the council will then sell out to another company , rumours have been going around for years and I can now see Thamesdown Transport going .[/p][/quote]I hope the rumours are true...selling Thamesdown would provide the council with much needed funds. A.Baron-Cohen
  • Score: -6

11:49am Thu 9 Jan 14

PJC says...

I've used buses in many other towns and cities, and I must say that the bus services in Swindon are the worst I have ever experienced!
I've used buses in many other towns and cities, and I must say that the bus services in Swindon are the worst I have ever experienced! PJC
  • Score: 1

12:21pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Kelliz says...

My partner is a care worker on shifts
First the cancelled the 20 on a saturday so he could not get to work (Liden to Upper Stratton) unless he caught a bus into town and then one out of town . Then they stopped the early am bus out of town so now he gets a bus to the Country Ground and then has to walk the rest of the way otherwise he cannot get there on time.
Now they have changed the times again and we ahve to hope he can walk fast otherwise he will be late
Sundays he just has to get a taxi
Being a care worker he is not well paid and the extra he earns on a Sunday just about pays for the taxi to work
He does not drive and does not feel it would be safe to cycle.
He is always referring the bus service as a joke.
My partner is a care worker on shifts First the cancelled the 20 on a saturday so he could not get to work (Liden to Upper Stratton) unless he caught a bus into town and then one out of town . Then they stopped the early am bus out of town so now he gets a bus to the Country Ground and then has to walk the rest of the way otherwise he cannot get there on time. Now they have changed the times again and we ahve to hope he can walk fast otherwise he will be late Sundays he just has to get a taxi Being a care worker he is not well paid and the extra he earns on a Sunday just about pays for the taxi to work He does not drive and does not feel it would be safe to cycle. He is always referring the bus service as a joke. Kelliz
  • Score: -1

12:54pm Thu 9 Jan 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

Kelliz wrote:
My partner is a care worker on shifts
First the cancelled the 20 on a saturday so he could not get to work (Liden to Upper Stratton) unless he caught a bus into town and then one out of town . Then they stopped the early am bus out of town so now he gets a bus to the Country Ground and then has to walk the rest of the way otherwise he cannot get there on time.
Now they have changed the times again and we ahve to hope he can walk fast otherwise he will be late
Sundays he just has to get a taxi
Being a care worker he is not well paid and the extra he earns on a Sunday just about pays for the taxi to work
He does not drive and does not feel it would be safe to cycle.
He is always referring the bus service as a joke.
Irrelevant to the story but why does he feel it would not be safe to cycle? There's perfectly good off-road cycle routes throughout Swindon, including Liden to Upper Stratton... It's about 4-5 miles which is about 20-25 minutes on a bicycle - I doubt it would be much quicker than that on a direct bus!

http://www.swindontr
avelchoices.co.uk/me
dia/30333/cycleleafl
et_swindontown.pdf
[quote][p][bold]Kelliz[/bold] wrote: My partner is a care worker on shifts First the cancelled the 20 on a saturday so he could not get to work (Liden to Upper Stratton) unless he caught a bus into town and then one out of town . Then they stopped the early am bus out of town so now he gets a bus to the Country Ground and then has to walk the rest of the way otherwise he cannot get there on time. Now they have changed the times again and we ahve to hope he can walk fast otherwise he will be late Sundays he just has to get a taxi Being a care worker he is not well paid and the extra he earns on a Sunday just about pays for the taxi to work He does not drive and does not feel it would be safe to cycle. He is always referring the bus service as a joke.[/p][/quote]Irrelevant to the story but why does he feel it would not be safe to cycle? There's perfectly good off-road cycle routes throughout Swindon, including Liden to Upper Stratton... It's about 4-5 miles which is about 20-25 minutes on a bicycle - I doubt it would be much quicker than that on a direct bus! http://www.swindontr avelchoices.co.uk/me dia/30333/cycleleafl et_swindontown.pdf The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: -1

1:12pm Thu 9 Jan 14

BCDR99 says...

Kelliz wrote:
My partner is a care worker on shifts First the cancelled the 20 on a saturday so he could not get to work (Liden to Upper Stratton) unless he caught a bus into town and then one out of town . Then they stopped the early am bus out of town so now he gets a bus to the Country Ground and then has to walk the rest of the way otherwise he cannot get there on time. Now they have changed the times again and we ahve to hope he can walk fast otherwise he will be late Sundays he just has to get a taxi Being a care worker he is not well paid and the extra he earns on a Sunday just about pays for the taxi to work He does not drive and does not feel it would be safe to cycle. He is always referring the bus service as a joke.
It is safe to cycle. Don't believe the hype. It's also better for you. If you can get your bit of exercise on your journey to and from work you don't have to go to the gym or go for a walk.
Liden to Upper Stratton would be about a 10-15 minute cycle at a reasonably easy pace. And there are decent cycle paths around as well on that route.
[quote][p][bold]Kelliz[/bold] wrote: My partner is a care worker on shifts First the cancelled the 20 on a saturday so he could not get to work (Liden to Upper Stratton) unless he caught a bus into town and then one out of town . Then they stopped the early am bus out of town so now he gets a bus to the Country Ground and then has to walk the rest of the way otherwise he cannot get there on time. Now they have changed the times again and we ahve to hope he can walk fast otherwise he will be late Sundays he just has to get a taxi Being a care worker he is not well paid and the extra he earns on a Sunday just about pays for the taxi to work He does not drive and does not feel it would be safe to cycle. He is always referring the bus service as a joke.[/p][/quote]It is safe to cycle. Don't believe the hype. It's also better for you. If you can get your bit of exercise on your journey to and from work you don't have to go to the gym or go for a walk. Liden to Upper Stratton would be about a 10-15 minute cycle at a reasonably easy pace. And there are decent cycle paths around as well on that route. BCDR99
  • Score: 1

1:30pm Thu 9 Jan 14

house on the hill says...

A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
Davethered wrote:
Changes to save time , what a load of cobblers , I used to drive these buses and 9 times out of 10 I used to have to sit and wait for 5 mins at both Eldene and Rodbourne to get back on time because I was ahead .How come Stagecoach doesn't keep having all these cutbacks . I think this bloke at Thamesdown just wants to cut the services so much that eventually it becomes no longer viable to run for big profits, and the council will then sell out to another company , rumours have been going around for years and I can now see Thamesdown Transport going .
I hope the rumours are true...selling Thamesdown would provide the council with much needed funds.
which they will promptly then waste!
[quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Davethered[/bold] wrote: Changes to save time , what a load of cobblers , I used to drive these buses and 9 times out of 10 I used to have to sit and wait for 5 mins at both Eldene and Rodbourne to get back on time because I was ahead .How come Stagecoach doesn't keep having all these cutbacks . I think this bloke at Thamesdown just wants to cut the services so much that eventually it becomes no longer viable to run for big profits, and the council will then sell out to another company , rumours have been going around for years and I can now see Thamesdown Transport going .[/p][/quote]I hope the rumours are true...selling Thamesdown would provide the council with much needed funds.[/p][/quote]which they will promptly then waste! house on the hill
  • Score: 0

1:31pm Thu 9 Jan 14

house on the hill says...

PJC wrote:
I've used buses in many other towns and cities, and I must say that the bus services in Swindon are the worst I have ever experienced!
I think that can be said of a lot of public services in this town.
[quote][p][bold]PJC[/bold] wrote: I've used buses in many other towns and cities, and I must say that the bus services in Swindon are the worst I have ever experienced![/p][/quote]I think that can be said of a lot of public services in this town. house on the hill
  • Score: -1

1:33pm Thu 9 Jan 14

back_to_reality says...

PJC wrote:
I've used buses in many other towns and cities, and I must say that the bus services in Swindon are the worst I have ever experienced!
Absolutely agree.

I hope the comments above are true and Thamesdown do sell up. Swindon needs a proper bus service and these idiots clearly are incapable of providing it.
[quote][p][bold]PJC[/bold] wrote: I've used buses in many other towns and cities, and I must say that the bus services in Swindon are the worst I have ever experienced![/p][/quote]Absolutely agree. I hope the comments above are true and Thamesdown do sell up. Swindon needs a proper bus service and these idiots clearly are incapable of providing it. back_to_reality
  • Score: -1

3:08pm Thu 9 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

back_to_reality wrote:
PJC wrote:
I've used buses in many other towns and cities, and I must say that the bus services in Swindon are the worst I have ever experienced!
Absolutely agree.

I hope the comments above are true and Thamesdown do sell up. Swindon needs a proper bus service and these idiots clearly are incapable of providing it.
Define 'proper'.

One where the buses run where and when you want them to?
[quote][p][bold]back_to_reality[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PJC[/bold] wrote: I've used buses in many other towns and cities, and I must say that the bus services in Swindon are the worst I have ever experienced![/p][/quote]Absolutely agree. I hope the comments above are true and Thamesdown do sell up. Swindon needs a proper bus service and these idiots clearly are incapable of providing it.[/p][/quote]Define 'proper'. One where the buses run where and when you want them to? ChannelX
  • Score: 6

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