Spoke today to John Hammond, Manager at Thames Travel as a result of numerous complaints about buses not turning up.
This state of affairs has existed for some time now and we have heard many reasons for it, relating specifically to new timetables, old buses, non arrival of new buses and maintenance issues.
The County Council can do little about what is going on as the services in question are not subsidised and the routes are not regulated. Apparently this is a free market and anyone can set up a bus company….
Mr Hammond says that the lack of vehicle availability is down to too many “maintenance related issues” and the fact that buses on the Cholsey routes tend to be the last out of the depot. Hence, if buses ahave broken down, there will be none left when it comes to Cholsey.
Things should improve as Mr Hammond has put more resources into engineering and is in the process of finding a further new mechanic.
Mr Hammond went on to say that passengers can ring for a taxi in these circumstances and claim the cost back from Thames Travel. I put it to him very strongly that people do not wait for a bus in order to travel, late, to their destination in a taxi.
He went on to say that he “hopes to see steady improvement going forward”.
Please let me or the Parish Council know if buses do not appear. Mr Hammond can be contacted on 837988. I will continue to monitor this situation.