Stevenage bus passengers ‘failed’ by Arriva - claims driver

An Arriva bus driver has criticised the management of diversion routes in place due to roadworks in

An Arriva bus driver has criticised the management of diversion routes in place due to roadworks in Six Hills Way, Stevenage - Credit: Archant

BUS passengers have been “failed” according to a driver of a route affected by ongoing roadworks.

A bus driver for Arriva has criticised the transport company over the management of diversion routes which are in place due to the closure of a section of Six Hills Way in Stevenage, between Valley Way and Shephall Way.

The road was closed on July 22 and is not expected to reopen until September 8, while roadworks – which cost £347,000 and involve building a new bridge – are carried out on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council.

While the road has been shut Arriva bus services such as the SB1 to Chells have had to be diverted.

“The current detour on the SB1 bus route adds a significant amount of time to the journey,” said an Arriva bus driver, who has asked to remain anonymous.

“When it becomes impossible to make up this time, the driver is forced to lose part or all of a journey to put the bus back on time.

“Arriva has failed bus passengers by not putting in place a temporary and more accurate timetable for the duration of the roadworks. Simply warning customers about the inconvenience with an insincere apology on the bus stops is completely unacceptable.

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“I’m sure it is just as frustrating for the drivers as it is for the passengers. The bad news is that it will become even worse when the kids go back to school.”

The driver’s comments follow criticism earlier this month from Terry Figg, a member of the Bus Users’ Group for Stevenage, who raised concerns over a lack of information for passengers.

Peter Baggallay, secretary of the group, said the committee did not share Mr Figg’s views and believes Arriva has “gone above and beyond the call of duty to minimise the effects of the diversions”.

A spokesman for Arriva said: “Although buses are subject to longer journey times as a result of the lengthy diversion, we are maintaining a 10-minute service on the SB1. We will, however, be monitoring the situation when the schools return, in case it is necessary to make any adjustments if delays increase when additional cars use the diversion route at school opening and closing times.”