|Polepark Road – damaged wall|
|Larch Street – road damage|
Back in April, I reported that Stagecoach Strathtay had agreed to my request on behalf of constituents that it slightly extend the 69’s bus route to cover Richmond Terrace and Richmond Court (pictured right) – this will be a boon to elderly residents in the area.
The route revision has yet to be implemented and I have queried this with the City Council. The Council’s Sustainable Transport Team Leader has advised me as follows :
“We’ve got some on-going development work with Stagecoach to improve the bus services into Broughty Ferry. It looks like it will involve the re-registration of the Service 69 and if it does, it may offer the opportunity to address the Richmond Court extension at the same time.
The delay in getting this extension introduced is primarily caused by my desire to keep costs under control. There are significant costs involved in changing a route – staff time / printed material / real time system updates and as previously stated, I was waiting for the right moment to bring the changes in so that additional costs were minimised.
There was also the major ‘diversion’ brought about by the NXD network changes in the summer and this sucked up a lot of staff time.
Hopefully, I will have a positive update for you in the next couple of weeks.”
AsI reported earlier this week, I am meeting with National Express Dundee (along with representatives of the Community Spirit Action Group and fellow councillors) about this issue. The meeting has been arranged for 11th August.
However, I now highlight another couple of bus issues raised recently:
* Firstly, I have raised with the City Council the need for more accessible buses on Stagecoach Strathtay Service 69, following a complaint from a constituent about being unable to assist her elderly mother onto the bus as there was no low-floor access. Given that this service is a City Council subsidised service and serves communities with many elderly folk, the need for accessible buses on the route is important.
* Secondly, the recent National Express Dundee bus service changes have created a problem for early morning users of the 17 service as the first bus does not arrive into Ninewells Hospital until 6.25am – 10 minutes after many staff shifts start. I wrote to National Express Dundee about this and received the following reply :“Dear Fraser
I refer to your recent email to Lawrence regarding some ancillary and domestic staff at Ninewells Hospital who have found the changes in the early morning difficult.
From Whitfield we have a No. 15 service which leaves at 0505 arriving into Whitehall Street at 0541 and currently they can then catch a No. 22 service leaving Whitehall at 0548 which arrives at the Hospital at 0603. An option which we may be able to explore to enable the staff, if there is a demand, would be to alter the timings every so slightly of the 5B which currently arrives in Whitehall at 0540 to sit back for a minute or so until the No. 15 arrives which would mean an arrival time at the Hospital at approx. 0552.
I appreciate that they no longer have a through bus from Whitfield but the decision was taken to withdraw the 17 as we had both the 17 and 22 services both travelling towards the hospital at the same time and we were unable to keep running both.
I hope this gives you enough information to respond to your constituents.”
I have responded :“Thanks; this is helpful & I would certainly suggest that your proposal with the 5B is worth exploring as it may help some, but it doesn’t actually address the issue raised by my constituents who are people west of the city centre on the 17 route who are some distance away from the 22 route and a long way away from the 5B (eg people who live in Lochee Road/Logie Street).
Having spoken with my constituents again, there are potentially 2 solutions – either would work :
a) Is it the case that the very first 15 from Summerfield Avenue (0505) leaves Whitehall Street at 0541 “out of service” in order to become the 17 that leaves Ninewells going back to the City Centre at 0548? My constituents understand this may be the case. If so, if it left Summerfield Avenue just a few minutes earlier, could it not travel to Ninewells as a 17 ‘in service’ the whole way?
b) The alternative would be for the second bus leaving Summerfield Avenue at 0530 (that does run all the way through to Ninewells Hospital) to simply leave ten minutes earlier as it would then reach Ninewells in time for the start of ancillary and domestic staff shifts at 0615.
Either solution would align the buses running with shift patterns of the staff and I’d be grateful if National Express Dundee could consider these suggestions – many thanks. I am happy to discuss these further with Lawrence when we meet re the 11/12 service on the 11th August.”
I have now received good news from the City Council’s Sustainable Transport Team Leader :
At that time, the bus company did not take the suggestion forward, but I recently raised the matter again, following further discussions with residents. I am pleased to advise that the Operations Manager of Stagecoach Strathtay has updated me as follows :
I have been in touch with Stagecoach Strathtay about this and have received the following initial response:“Fraser,
I am conducting a investigation into this complaint with regard to the 69 service.
I do understand that there was a breakdown with the bus on this day but the person who dealt with it is on holiday till next week, so on his return I will ask him about this.
In the meantime I can only a apologise for any inconvenience caused due to this and assure you that we are striving to minimise any inconvenience due to breakdowns.”
I was contacted at the end of last week by constituents concerned to learn that the 72 bus, which provides a limited service to Windsor Street 4 times a day on weekdays, was being withdrawn by Stagecoach Strathtay. There had been absolutely no warning about this – indeed a list of proposed bus changes by the bus company had been circulated to councillors last week and the 72 wasn’t even mentioned on it.
Residents were particularly concerned that this might mean the future of the 69 service. It follows a similar route to Windsor Street but then continues westwards through parts of the West End to Ninewells Hospital and also serves Broughty Ferry. I immediately contacted the City Council’s Head of Transportation, and am relieved to have been informed that the 69 service is to continue as before.
The Council’s Head of Transportation advised me this morning :“I have spoken with colleagues and unfortunately the Service 72 was withdrawn from Friday 29 May 2009, which ties in with the withdrawal of operation by Stagecoach of the Services 138 / 139. The 72 utilised a 20 minute gap in service when the buses sat in the bus station between runs.
“There was a series of Stagecoach service changes planned for today but these were postponed until the 06 July 2009 changes (as circulated last week). However the cancellation of the 138 / 139 was determined by contract changes with Angus Council, resulting in the knock on that the Service 72 vehicle was no longer available and thus withdrawn too.
“The Service 69 remains in operation and I can confirm there are no plans to withdraw this service. Magdalen Yard Road times are available athttp://www.dundeetravelinfo.com/dccmap/pdfs/print_7087904.pdf and www.dundeetravelinfo.com is fully updated, on street timetable displays are being changed today and tomorrow.”
Given that the 72 service has now been withdrawn, I was surprised to see it was still being advertised on the Stagecoach Strathtay website – I have asked the City Council to point this out to the bus company.