Arriva to invest £200K in bus service under continued pressure from MP and campaigners
PUBLISHED: 14:33 17 April 2019
supplied by Grant Shapps
Bus users, campaigners and Welwyn Hatfield's MP have extracted a promise of a £200,000 investment in the 300/301 service after pushing Arriva hard over recent failings.
Months of cancelled and late services, particularly on the 300 and 301 route, have prompted complaints from users.
Hatfield mum and catering assistant Jayde Shadbolt told the Welwyn Hatfield Times that the service has improved recently, but says that for weeks prior she and her five-year-old daughter were frequently left standing out in the cold.
“It was lots of them just not turning up, or not on time, and seemed to be each day, each week,” said Jayde, who often uses the 300/301 to get her daughter to nursery in Welwyn Garden City.
Buying an £18 weekly pass from Arriva, numerous times she said she's had to board another company's bus, at a cost of around an extra £3.
She is five months pregnant and worries about the service later in the year, when she'll have a newborn in tow.
The issue has preoccupied numerous campaigners, including Liberal Democrat councillor Siobhán Elam, who met with Arriva executives recently.
MP Grant Shapps slammed the service as “unacceptable”, and along with local Conservative councillors Patricia Mabbott and Harry Bower also met with Arriva bosses on March 22.
Mr Shapps said: “Arriva directors were left in no uncertain terms over how unacceptable the service has been of late.”
Since the meetings, Arriva boss for Hertfordshire and Essex Gavin Hunter confirmed that £200,000 has now been set aside for investment in the 300/301 services, as well as plans for an overhaul of the timetable this September.
Mr Hunter told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “At Arriva our passengers and their travel experience is of utmost important to us and we recognise that the service needs improving to meet our standards.
“As a result of increasing traffic pressures over previous years, we have seen an impact on the services.
“However, we are still asking and encouraging passengers to share their views on how we can improve the service.”
Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to The Marketing Team, Arriva Head Office, Invicta House, Armstrong Road, Maidstone Kent, ME15 6TX.