Making buses run on time

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A new task force set up to help make sure buses run on time has been welcomed by passenger groups.

The Punctuality Improvement Partnership (PIP), set up by Blackpool Council, will identify hotspots which prevent buses running on time.

One of passengers’ main gripes is late buses, with roadworks largely blamed for the delays in recent times.

Stephen Brookes, of the Blackpool Transport Passenger User Panel, said: “We welcome this because people do depend on the buses running on time.

“You want to go out and know there is a 10-minute service, not have to wait half an hour and then four buses come along at once.

“Figures presented to our last meeting show there are fewer complaints so things are improving but everyone working together will help.”

The latest figures given to the passenger user panel show the number of complaints to Blackpool Transport, covering all issues not just punctuality, stood at 13 per 100,000 passenger journeys in 2013, compared to 18 per 100,000 in 2012.

Angela Patchett, of Fleetwood Bus Watch, said: “If a bus is cancelled it can make life very difficult, especially for elderly people.

“They need a reliable service, for example, if they have a hospital appointment, so this is a good idea.”

Similar partnerships have worked effectively in other areas of the country.

Coun John Jones, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Ensuring that buses run consistently, reliably and on time is the number one priority for bus users.

“Developing a task force to pro-actively identify hotspots is great news for passengers and for the town in general.

“Creating a high quality transport service is a key priority for growth too and this will help us to do so.

“The PIP group will meet regularly and will also be a key forum for listening to public feedback and discussing how to improve the service for customers.”

Bob Mason from Blackpool Transport, said: “Punctuality, reliability and safety are the most important part of any public transport operation and we hope, by working together more effectively, we can continue to improve on all these important issues.

“We look forward to seeing some positive results which will assist in getting buses moving from A to B in a more timely manner in Blackpool.”