Local Transport Today is the authoritative, independent journal for transport decision makers. Analysis, Comment & News on Transport Policy, Planning, Finance and Delivery since 1989.

In Passing

26 June 2020

 

  Reader John Helm writes to voice concern about  bus industry economics after a recent trip aboard a socially-distanced vehicle. “In order to comply with distancing rules my local bus company (Arriva) has started running duplicating buses,” he begins. “The one I travelled home in on Saturday had two passengers including myself on the first one followed by another bus five minutes later on the same route running completely empty. If they are doing this on every route it will cost a bomb and I doubt if they’ve got enough buses to cover. It’s madness. Twice the number of buses chasing less than half the number of regular passengers. You couldn’t make this up.” Where will it all end?


  The Welsh Parliament’s economy, infrastructure and skills committee meeting last week didn’t go quite according to plan. The meeting was a virtual one, of course, and committee members were looking forward to grilling James Price, the chief executive of Transport for Wales, on the topic of public transport. “Can I just welcome James Price, the chief executive of Transport for Wales, to the meeting?,” said chair Russell George as the discussion got underway. “Can you hear me okay, James?” Silence. “He's gone. I've obviously deeply offended James. We'll try and get him back.” Yet try as they might, they couldn’t establish contact. ‘IT problems’ are evidently replacing the old ‘stuck in traffic’ explanation for missed meetings. 


  After face coverings became mandatory on public transport, it didn’t take long for public transport operators to begin adding a touch of humour to the nation’s transport fleets. Here’s Great Western Railway’s version. Keep two metres apart please...

 
 
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