27 February 2008


Angry Face©Piez

More than 150 angry residents packed a Plympton hall to hear why a Citybus route has been unexpectedly changed. The meeting at St Mary's church hall, arranged by Plympton Erle councillors Terri Beer and John Lock, often descended into shouts and accusations as Citybus commercial manager Peter Oliver attempted to defend his company's decision to re-route the number 22 service. Whilst insisting the service had not been cancelled, he had to repeatedly explain to the furious - and predominantly elderly residents - how parking issues along the Underwood Road route had caused the company to effectively give up on it. The larger-style buses had frequently become stuck in the narrow road after cars were found to either illegally park on double yellow lines or caused obstruction by parking on pavements, he said. He said: "All we've done is move from one road we were finding it difficult to go through to another - we've not stopped the service."

Bus managers must dread attending public meetings these days as any change seems to bring out crowds of people who are really angry at the changes to their bus service. Often more people protest than actually use the service in the first place. In this case its just a re-routing of the service due to traffic issues. The press too will make a lot more of any sections of bus route that gets cut back than they ever will of any additional services, or increased frequency on any section. Bad news is always good news as far as the media is concerned.

Expect more of the same when FDC route changes become more public knowledge!

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