On The Buses
On The Buses - Update: 10th August 2018
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Diamond Bus fined
Diamond Buses have been hit with a £9,000 penalty for the poor punctuality of their services delivered in the Wyre Forest area. Traffic Commissioner Nick Denton said the fine would be used to compensate affected passengers, especially on the "problematic" No. 3 service operating between Kidderminster and Stourport.
Councillor Rob Lloyd said:
"I am not surprised that the Traffic Commissioner has decided to fine the company rather than revoke the licence. However I am very disappointed that they have been fined only £9075. This is a minimal amount for a company of this size but I do hope that it is a warning to them and that their services in Wyre Forest improve during the coming months"
Public Inquiry into Bus Services Announced 20th May 2018
"In our publications we have featured articles based on the numerous complaints about the standard of local bus services. Now we can announce that there will be a Public Inquiry into the services run by Diamond Buses. It will be held on Thursday 21st June, 10.00-16.30, at Wyre Forest House, the headquarters of Wyre Forest District Council.
The announcement follows two referrals by Stourport Town Council to the relevant authority, the Traffic Commissioner. I am honoured to have been chosen as the council's spokesman at the Inquiry. I thank all of you who have provided me with the evidence which has convinced the Traffic Commissioner that an inquiry is needed.
The Diamond Bus franchise covers all Wyre Forest, not just Stourport. Therefore we will be alerting councils elsewhere in the district, to invite them also to make submissions.
Such inquiries seem to be rare. Certainly, I have not been aware of any in the past. Therefore, through the town council, I will be seeking further information about the format envisaged. One very relevant question concerns members of the public who attend : will they have an opportunity to express a view, or ask questions?
Further details will follow here and on other media.
Local Service Changes 16th April 2018
Kidderminster/Bewdley – Stourport – Walshes - Astley - Worcester
A new contract has been awarded to Coniston Coaches to operate a revised route and timetable. The 295 service has been withdrawn and replaced with a new 296 service between Bewdley, Stourport, Walshes and Worcester at 2-hourly intervals at off-peak times. With an additional peak-time 294 service (via Burlish and Lickhill) to Kidderminster.
Click here for the 294,296 timetable
Kidderminster – Wilden – Stourport – Lickhill – Burlish – Kidderminster
A new contract has been awarded to Coniston Coaches to operate two new circular services. Each route will operate at 2-hourly intervals.
20th March 2018
Councillor Cliff Brewer reports,
"Through Stourport Town Council, my Labour colleagues and I have referred the Diamond Bus Company twice to the Office of the Traffic Commissioner. In common with the vast majority of local bus passengers, we are very dissatisfied with the service provided.
Now we find ourselves dissatisfied with the Traffic Commissioner! Despite the wealth of evidence provided, and the many months since our second referral, no decision on Diamond Bus has been forthcoming.
My colleague,Councillor Rob Lloyd, is leading on this issue for Labour. He will seek fresh authorisation from the Town Council to press the Traffic Commissioner for action.
Councillor Rob Lloyd continues to lead for Labour in our quest to improve the bus services for Stourport.
His evidence about current inadequacies is still being considered by the Traffic Commissioner. Meanwhile, he has responded to another request for his evidence, from Worcestershire County Council.
17th March 2017
This meeting took place thanks to Labour councillors' persistence, after earlier attempts to meet came to nothing. Three of our councillors attended - Cliff Brewer, Vi Higgs and Rob Lloyd.
The Traffic Commissioner’s critical report of November 2016 was discussed with them, in which they were given a warning about services falling short of the required standard expected from a bus operator. Specific routes, breakdowns, punctuality and customer communication were the main subjects considered.
Following the publication of the minutes of the meeting, all town councillors will have the opportunity to address these specific points. The Town Clerk will communicate the views to Diamond Buses and the company's representatives will then send written answers to the Town Council.
Another meeting is to be arranged to discuss the progress being made.
Councillor Cliff Brewer
Upon receiving the Traffic Commissioner's findings, the Labour Group will press for a meeting with Diamond Bus. We are encouraged by recent contact with the company and hope to hammer out and hopefully resolve the problems that exist with its services.
On The Buses
Councillor Cliff Brewer writes,
"I am sure many of you will remember the television farce "On the Buses". Well, we have our own crazy "On the Buses" situation in Stourport, but it's not funny, it's a serious situation concerning our commercial service operator, Diamond Buses.
It would appear that as a commercial operator, this bus company can make its own rules and decisions, with regard to routes, times, number of buses, indeed anything relating to their operating schedules. Back in April of this year, the town council arranged a meeting with the bus company and county council representatives, to address the many concerns about bus services in Stourport. County council officers turned up, Diamond representatives did not.
At the meeting, the county council officers made it clear that the law gave them no powers over commercially run services, only over those relatively-few that are subsidised. It would appear that regulation of commercial services is the responsibility of a Traffic Commissioner, whose role seems primarily one of monitoring.
Since this unsuccessful attempt, your Labour councillors, particularly Councillor Rob Lloyd, have tried to contact Diamond Buses again. Despite some frankly unhelpful feedback from the company, it looks like Councillor Lloyd's efforts will pay off.
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