Wednesday, 14 December 2011

It's Christmas, where's me bus?

Christmas is always an odd time of the year for any public transport operator, especially bus operators. Passenger numbers can vary so greatly, it can be difficult to decide what level of service to provide.

It is pretty much given that you won't find a bus service running on Christmas Day (unless you happen to be living on the Isle of Wight). It tends to be better on New Years Day, but even then you will find whole towns without a decent bus service. And on Boxing Day it can be as bad as Christmas Day, with some areas not bothering and others providing something.

Ignore whether Christmas occurs on a weekend or not, the most interesting bit is the three working days in between Christmas and New Year. Working is properly a strong word, since it's generally the time that 50% of the workforce take these days off. It at least was the case when i was gainfully employed by a company. Now that I am self employed, the concept of taking time off loses something in translation.

With that many people likely not to be working, it makes sense not to run a full weekday timetable. So in the past it has usually been a Saturday timetable put into place. At least it might be in some places that this would still be the case. In Southampton we have something a little different - First Bus are operating a special timetable - personally can't see the difference between this and a Saturday timetable, other than reduced services on someone them.

But it has been suggested that some villages and parts of some towns will not get a bus from Christmas Eve through to the 2nd of January. Take for example Owslebury and Morestead near Winchester. Normally sees about 3 or 4 services on a weekday, and nothing on a weekend. As Stagecoach will be running a weekday service on these three days, these two villages will see nothing from the 23rd of December through to 3rd of January 2012 - a whole 10 days.

Does anyone else have example of this?

No comments:

Post a Comment