‘It’s not getting better at all’ – Bus misery continues on Stevenage Arriva routes

Queues for the Arriva SB7, SB2 and SB3 route buses at Stevenage bus station about 4.30pm on Monday l

Queues for the Arriva SB7, SB2 and SB3 route buses at Stevenage bus station about 4.30pm on Monday last week. Photo: Dave Lowe - Credit: Archant

Bus operator Arriva apologised following ‘reliability issues’ that have seen Stevenage passengers waiting up to an hour – but its pledged return to normality this week hasn’t yet materialised.

There has been misery for passengers on most routes around the town, with long waits and packed buses when they do arrive.

Arriva last week attributed the problems to an unusual number of faults in a short time and said they expected services to return to normal by this week, adding that vehicles and engineers from elsewhere had been moved to help get things back on track.

But according to Julie Page, who takes the SB4 and SB5 routes through Broadwater and Shephall every day, there’s been no improvement.

“It was 50 minutes to get into town on Tuesday,” she said.

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“It’s not getting better at all. I’ve got to get to work, like loads of other people.”

Julie said that drivers had told her there were as many as 19 buses out of action, and that they’ve been told to ‘only put out every third bus’.

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She added: “To put the prices up and then this – it’s a slap in the face. All I want to do is get to work. Is that too much to ask?”

The Comet contacted Arriva yesterday morning to ask for comment about the continued problems, but has yet to receive a response.

The problems have now been going on for more than three weeks, and Julie is far from alone in saying the situation is beyond the pale.

Fellow passenger Dave Lowe said last week that services had ‘deteriorated to what can only be described as an unacceptable level’.

He said: “Buses that are supposed to run every 10 minutes at peak time are now running down to – the worst I’ve heard of – one bus an hour! I personally have waited for an SB3 from St Nicholas to town for 40 minutes – on four occasions in two weeks.

“Many buses just don’t turn up. When asked, the drivers have basically shrugged and said they don’t have any buses.

“This degradation of services applies to – it seems – the whole Arriva network.

“One afternoon there were no buses in either direction for 40 minutes that I could see.

“For people trying to make connections, attend appointments or just get chilled or frozen shopping home, this service is just not fit for purpose.”

You can contact Arriva at arrivabus.co.uk/contact-us.

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