Friday, 22 July 2022

Stagecoach Tweaks Summer Holiday Changes Following Feedback from Bus Users' Group


An extra bus will run from Hala following a request to Stagecoach

The new "summer holiday" timetables on service 100 (University - Morecambe) have been tweaked following an approach from the Bus Users' Group.

Following publication of the revised timings on our website, the Group was approached by passengers who found that the new timetable made it harder for them to get to work.  Specifically, the changes had removed two consecutive journeys in the morning travel-to-work time between Hala, Bowerham and Lancaster, with no buses through Bowerham between 0640 and 0815.

However, when the Group approached Stagecoach, the company swiftly agreed to insert an extra bus into the timetable, leaving Hala Square at 0740, Bowerham Hotel at 0746 and arriving at Lancaster bus station at 0757 in time to make the connection for the 0800 journey on to Morecambe.

This is not the first time that Stagecoach has agreed to make last-minute changes to its timetables in response to requests from our Group and shows that it can be responsive to requests from the public. It would, of course, be better if there were a formal consultation process in place before changes were made and this might well happen under the proposed "Enhanced Partnership" between bus operators and the County Council, but in the meantime the Bus Users' Group is happy to bring any issues to the company's attention, although we can't guarantee success every time!

The revised temporary timetable is here.

Service 18

Stagecoach has also confirmed to us that during the six-week period that Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire will be operating service 18 on its behalf, the full range of Stagecoach tickets will be valid and passengers will be able to buy Day Riders and Mega Riders from KLCH drivers that will be valid on Stagecoach buses within the usual area of validity.

Thursday, 21 July 2022

Back to the future on service 18

Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire will be operating service 18 for first time since 2017

 Passengers on service 18 between the bus station, Williamson Park and Lancaster Farms, would be excused for feeling they had fallen through a time warp when their bus comes along next week. Their usual Stagecoach bus will be replaced by one from Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire, which last operated the route in 2017.

Stagecoach has been forced to introduce reduced "summer holiday" timetables on some of its own services due to a shortage of drivers, made worse by Covid-related sickness and a requirement to supply buses and drivers for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham (read our previous post here). Transferring service 18 to another operator frees-up resources to continue operating the rest of the company's services, whilst Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire can accommodate the extra work due to lack of school services over the holiday. The arrangement will last for the next six weeks until the new school year.

The Bus Users' Group understands that Stagecoach fares will continue to be charged and that all Stagecoach pre-paid tickets will be accepted by the temporary operator.

We are pleased to see that our local bus operators are able to co-operate with one another in this way to ensure a service to the travelling public and that Lancashire County Council is allowing its contract with Stagecoach to be operated by Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire temporarily.

KLCH last ran the 18 in 2017 at a much-reduced level to today's service, which was introduced following a lengthy campaign by the Bus Users' Group and local councillors to persuade Lancashire County Council to spend the money provided by property developers under a planning agreement to improve the service, but which the council appeared to have earmarked for alternative projects.

You can read more about that campaign via this link.