Number 22 service
Bus service number 22 must be the worst in Blackpool - and because this is not run by Blackpool Transport it is difficult to register complaints.
Twice in recent weeks I have been at a stop in Watson Road for all of 40 minutes.
When I asked a driver how frequent the service was he told me ‘every half hour’ – so the buses I was waiting for must have been running very late.
It doesn’t help that signs at each bus stop rarely have a timetable – even the ones served by Blackpool Transport – so it is hopeless planning journeys with accuracy.
To make matters worse, the 22 service rarely carries printed timetables, another failing of the service.
Ironically, a previous corporation bus on the old 22 route was regularly totally reliable.
Finally, the current number22 usually travels 80 per cent empty – so its management needs to get its act together pretty quickly!
A spokesman for Oakwood Travel Services Ltd, which runs the number 22 service responded: “We are aware some of the stops where our service operates have no information displayed and we have raised this matter with Blackpool Council which contracts out displays to Blackpool Transport. Our 22 buses do carry timetable leaflets onboard the buses and these are replenished every couple of days.
“We did have problems with bus timekeeping during the half-term holidays due to severe traffic congestion in the town but otherwise we are not aware of 40-minute gaps in our service.
“All our buses are fitted with satellite tracking systems so we can monitor timekeeping not just in real time but historically as well.
“If any of our customers have problems with our service we would encourage them to either write to us or call us directly so that we can deal with their issue on a one to one basis.”
Reassurance for elderly
May I just say a word or three about Vitaline, a service here in Blackpool providing assistance and help mainly for the elderly who suffer falls and mishaps in their homes.
I have required their help several times lately.
When a fall occurs, you are frightened and bewildered but on pressing the pendant (which is glued to me lately) a reassuring voice assures you help is on its way.
The relief one feels that you are not alone is profound. The team arrives shortly and, after assessing whether a doctor or hospital is required, if all is well you are back in your chair or bed safe and sound while these kind and courteous professionals assist in any way required.
It truly is a wonderful service.
Winter Gardens events
I am grateful for the comments of Stephen Pierre (Your Say, November 7) regarding the Winter Gardens and the costs of running the building, one of the many-faceted jewels in Blackpool’s crown.
There are ongoing renovations to the building and the Winter Gardens Trust is currently planning events for the coming season and beyond.
Membership is open to people to join.
We have recently trialled three black and white films: Metropolis, Rebecca and The Innocents in the Opera House and hope to use the smaller rooms for a black and white film festival next year.
The smaller rooms will be used when more renovation is completed and fringe theatre may be something the trust can consider as we plan events.
We want the venue in use for community groups and that is why the trust has organised a Christmas tree festival at the end of this month for local groups.
Over 60 groups and schools have entered their trees to be judged by the public on November 22 and 23.
Free entry for children and a nominal £1 entry for adults.
The trust will also host our first tea dance in the Empress Ballroom on December 7 from noon.
It will celebrate the launch of the restored iconic Winter Gardens Wurlitzer organ, hosted by the Cannock Chase Organ society.
Our last event this year is the open day on Devember 14 when doors will be open to the public to explore the building from 11am.
Our Trust stall will sell heritage books, cards, and our new calendar.
So everyone can play a part in the success of this building by becoming a member and helping to raise some money.
For more info email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 01253318948.
On behalf of the Winter Gardens Trust