Stevenage bus users left in the dark over roadworks disruption

The closure of Six Hills Way in Stevenage has caused disruption to bus routes

The closure of Six Hills Way in Stevenage has caused disruption to bus routes - Credit: Archant

BUS passengers claim they’ve been left in the dark over a roadworks diversion which is causing “a huge amount” of disruption.

A section of Six Hills Way in Stevenage, between Valley Way and Shephall Way, was closed on July 22, but Terry Figg from the Bus Users’ Group for Stevenage told the Comet information about diversion routes for Arriva bus services is still not forthcoming.

The roadworks – which Hertfordshire County Council has said involves building a new bridge due to a concrete beam “badly deteriorating” – will cost £347,000 and are being carried out on the county council’s behalf by Geoffrey Osborne Ltd.

The road is not expected to reopen until September 8 and has caused bus services such as Arriva’s SB1 to Chells and the SB6 to Bedwell to divert.

Mr Figg said the bus users group – which looks after passengers’ interests – met with an Arriva representative a week before the diversion was put in place but said only “scant details” were presented, despite a request for information prior to the meeting.

“The diversion of traffic around a closed part of Six Hills Way due to roadworks is causing a huge amount of disruption and delay to all road users, but particularly bus passengers since they have no alternative,” said Mr Figg, who lives in Stevenage.

“Now over two weeks into the eight-week closure of part of Six Hills Way, services run late, buses run together, services fail to run and passengers are left uncertain whether they can make hospital, doctor or dentist appointments, catch trains or make connections with other bus services.

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“The provision of information from Arriva on buses and at bus stops before the diversion started has been inadequate, sloppy and unprofessional. Even now the diversion information isn’t on all buses or at stops. My email to Arriva outlining much of this remains unanswered.

“On one occasion the SB1 took a different diversion route and when asked about it the driver responded ‘what does it matter? You got to Chells didn’t you?’. I assume this patronising and belligerent response is uncharacteristic of Arriva drivers. My question is whether Arriva is a customer-focused company. I would suggest that it has some way to go.”

A spokesman for Arriva said: “Information about the diversion was posted on buses, at bus stops and at Stevenage Bus Station on July 18, in advance of the road being closed, and our customer services team were informed.

“We did advise customers to allow more time for their journeys but at that stage we did not know how much longer journeys would take as it was not known how busy the alternative route would be until traffic was actually diverted.”

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