DIAMOND Buses bosses at Rotala have apologised for their poor service after meeting with local MP Karen Lumley and passengers.
Mrs Lumley hosted a meeting between managers and directors of Rotala and three bus users on Friday (October 23) after they had to complained about the level of service since a new timetable was introduced on September 1, 2015.
The Redditch Standard has been at the forefront of giving passengers a place to voice their complaints and bus users Donna Parry from Abbeydale, Alison Crellin from Feckenham and Jan Dyer from Church Hill North all described incidents of buses being cancelled, running late and breaking down, while there were bus drivers who didn’t know their routes and who were rude to passengers. Late and cancelled buses to schools had also caused pupils to be late for school, including on exam days.
Rotala director David Squire and Redditch operations manager Andrew Fish faced the trio across the table and apologised for their company’s poor service since the start of the school term.
Mr Squire promised that eight additional buses would be operating in Redditch from December 1, with more coming next year, while the number of bus inspectors would be increased to monitor performance. A route trainer had also been taken on to ensure bus drivers were fully conversant with their journeys.
He also said it was being investigated whether pupil numbers had increased across the town this academic year, contributing to the problems of crowded buses, and offered to set up a bus users’ panel to monitor performance of the services.
Mrs Lumley said: “I was anxious to try and knock these problems on the head. Obviously things are not going to improve overnight, but I would like to think they will improve quickly as the people of Redditch deserve and want better.
“I am also looking to arrange a bus surgery in the next few weeks where residents can talk directly to bus managers about how the services can be improved.”