Boosting bus services: my experiences in Cheshire
Always an interesting experience when you tip off a train somewhere new and you have not quite done your door-to-door planning when the mobile signal starts to fade!
Getting off at Greenbank station in Cheshire recently, and needing to get a mile up the road to Weaverham, my sister and I stood in glorious sunshine and silence as the train roared away.
Not quite clear from the National Rail Enquires site if there was a taxi rank but, as ever, a local stepped in and pointed us to the bus stop. Bus services provided by two companies, GHA Coaches and Arriva. The bus stop information (with shelter provided!) was helpful and we worked out we needed the Arriva number 1. No real time information, no phone signal I could find so we peered up the road waiting for the 1647. It rolled up a couple of minutes late.
Modern bus, clean, very helpful pleasant driver. Adult single cash fares always a bit of a shock £2.70 each but no complaints about the service. However, only three people on board. Just how do you get more people using these services? The local roads were full of fast traffic with one person in every car.
The Buses Bill has sparked strong debate. Measures on information and data may help but you sense it will take more than that to get more people using buses – better frequencies and better, more extensive networks might help but the challenge is clear.