St Albans bus firm promises to look into service complaints

Uno bus

Uno bus - Credit: Archant

As complaints about a newly-revised bus service continue, the company that runs it has promised to correct some of the problems.

At the beginning of September, Uno withdrew the S2, S3 and 603 services and replaced them with the new 653 service which runs from New Greens to Welwyn Garden City via different parts of St Albans including the hospital, city centre and station, Fleetville, Marshalswick and Jersey Farm.

But the changes have come under fire from many passengers with concerns ranging from lack of information about the new route and number to long delays in its arrival.

One concerned passenger, Jean Turner, said it was not unknown for people to wait 40 minutes before it arrived and she was concerned about similar problems with health appointments.

She went on: “The trouble is that most of us who get on at Beechwood Avenue are pensioners and it is cold waiting there all that time. I wish they would bring the old S3 service back.”

Jean questioned why the 653 went to Welwyn Garden City when so many other buses from the city centre already went there, particularly as it could take an hour to travel there.

Another passenger, Mariel McGovern, had been unaware of the changes to the service until a 653 turned up at The Quadrant instead of the usual S3. She said it was not feasible for users to be expected to check the website for changes when nothing had been posted on the bus stops to say any were imminent.

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Michael Finn, general manager of Uno, said the company was aware of the concern about the new service and had been monitoring it very closely including having people on the ground in the city centre to get a picture of what was happening.

Although there had been some complaints, other passengers seemed happy with it, he went on: “As is usual we have a bit of conflict between passengers and we need to address some of the issues.”

Mr Finn said that most of the traffic problems which caused delays were in St Albans and Uno was looking again at the timetable in a bid to rectify the problem. He added: “This is an important route for us and clearly we want to build on that.”