FirstBus aims to recover following £285k fine

RecoveryThe MEN reports that First Manchester has been fined £285,000 following on from their recent grilling by the Traffic Commissioner over late running services. Beverley Bell (the first female Traffic Commissioner) is reported as saying that she wants to send out a message: “that, without imposing a penalty, First Manchester would not have focused its mind enough to meet the legislation and I still feel it’s being complacent.”

The first steps to improve punctuality were taken this week with timetable tweaks in the Rochdale and Oldham areas. A couple of routes see their frequencies reduced: Halifax Road in Rochdale goes from eight to six First buses per hour as short 457 journeys to Littleborough are withdrawn, whilst the 425 in Oldham is now every 12 minutes. Along with the new livery and new ticket machines, it seems like efforts are being made to improve the service offered. Will it be enough to turn around public perceptions?

Next major round of bus service changes due on 15th April 2012


About James McCollom

Web geek and public transport user
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5 Responses to FirstBus aims to recover following £285k fine

  1. M McNiven says:

    All I can say is I feel a fare increase maybe on the way! bad for anyone in North Manchester really.

  2. Tom Moore says:

    First seem to manage a highly regular and reliable service on route 17 (Rochdale & Sudehill), a route where JPT runs in competition.

  3. Shaun says:

    They’re regular and reliable on the 17 route because they’ve got the competition from JPT/Eurobus. Kept them on their heels a bit.

    However, seeing the reliability of services in Oldham and I can fully understand the stories that have been in the press recently. My local route, the 180/184, does has a regular habit of running late. Also has a regular habit of turning up around 7 minutes late too. I know that they talk about the roadworks in Oldham having an effect but it had been going on for a while before it started. However, in the first few days since the timetable change, it does seem to be a little better with its longer waiting times in Saddleworth and Manchester (about 15 mins turnaround time now compared to about 5 mins before).

    I can see First doing a couple of things in the following months. One is trying to win more tendered services (something they’ve been doing a lot of the last year). They’ll be getting the 512/513 services from Maytree next month to add to the other gains.

    The other will be frequency reductions. Small tweaks here and there as they reduce a service down, for example, from every 10 mins to every 12 mins (e.g. 600 and 425, which they’ve done this year), as they cut down on the running costs of some services.

    I can’t see them increasing fares again this year. It’d be too soon after the last increase and it would upset passengers even more. Chances are, they’ll wait until the start of next year to do that.

  4. Chris Miller says:

    Not sure what excuse First could use on their 540 Bolton Wigan service daytime is a supposed 15 minute service, around 8-00 am they regularly miss one on the Bolton Wigan service, the next is then very late ………… by the time it reaches Westhoughton is then 15 mins late. When my partner contacted First they said he was wrong and they never missed a service ……..obviously his details to the TC helped.

  5. stuart says:

    Don’t like them Wright Buses. They deliberatly do a startling whoopee cushion Hiss at you as you walk past them. What is that? (air brakes/suspension) And why don’t enviros do the same? And they bottom out entering Shudehill. And that pink makes me sick!

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