Bus operators have seen a deluge of complaints from angry elderly bus passengers who have no idea when their bus will come.
Pensioners across Lancashire who rely on buses every day, claim they have been forced to endure waits of up to 50 minutes, because they have no idea when buses are coming.
Lancashire County Council recently scrapped 4,000 of the 5,000 bus timetables it provided across the county to save £100,000 as well as turning off its real-time information boards.
The problem on the Preston Bus Orbital route has been exacerbated by a reduction in the frequency of the service and a series of roadworks.
But County Hall bosses today revealed bus timetables are set to be re-introduced across the county funded by the bus operators.
William Bretherton, 81, from Fulwood, who has not been able to drive for a decade, said going anywhere in the city has become a major ordeal for him and his 76-year-old wife Olive.
He said: “We went to the Royal Preston Hospital the other week, we came out the hospital and we were in the queue by a quarter past two, and at five to three the bus came.
“A lady had been in the queue since 2pm.
“There is no timetable and you don’t know when the bus is coming unless you have got something you can get in touch with.
“Older people like me, we have got no idea when buses are coming. I should say it is not the worst service in the county but it is not so far off.”
Preston Coun Pauline Brown, who is registered disabled and relies on buses, said she has been forced to start taking taxis if she needs to get connecting buses.
She said: “A lot of people are having to get taxis, two or three will share a taxi down into town. I have started to do that myself.”
A spokesman for Age Concern Central Lancashire, said: “While we understand that savings have to be made, we would like to think that the sort of people we work with every day, are given some protection from the worst of the cuts.”
Preston Bus operations manager, John Asquith, said the Orbital Bus service had been reduced from four services per hour to three, with an increase in the busy stretch between Larches and the city centre.
But since the changes were made in May, the service had been further hit by roadworks on Strand Road delays in the 20mph zones and congestion, leaving passengers stranded.
He admitted the problems have been compounded by a lack of timetables and real time information.
He said: “There is no doubt that for whatever reason over the last two months the number of complaints made to us about a lack of timetable information has increased dramatically.”
Lancashire County Coun Tim Ashton, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We are nearing a conclusion to negotiations for us to print them at cost and they will put them up, so they will be returned at bus stops, which is good news.”
Coun Ashton added it was ‘right of him’ to take on the bus companies to make them pay for the timetables.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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