Three-hour wait to catch a bus

PUBLISHED: 16:05 12 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:22 06 May 2010

A FURIOUS bus passenger had to wait for nearly three hours to catch a bus from St Albans city centre after three services at hourly intervals were cancelled. Mary Nailard, of Westfields, St Albans, has had three knee replacements and the long wait to try

A FURIOUS bus passenger had to wait for nearly three hours to catch a bus from St Albans city centre after three services at hourly intervals were cancelled.

Mary Nailard, of Westfields, St Albans, has had three knee replacements and the long wait to try to catch an S9 bus from St Peter's Street last Wednesday left her exhausted.

The first that failed to arrive was the 12.25pm followed by the 1.25pm and the 2.25pm services. The bus company UNO has no method of informing passengers that its buses are not running.

Eventually Mrs Nailard was forced to get the alternative 321 which she had not wanted to do because her husband meets her from the bus but she was not confident that the 3.25pm would arrive either.

She said: "To take out three services is absolutely ridiculous. I find it very hard walking as I have had three knee replacements and after waiting for three hours I was very tired and frustrated. I hope this won't happen again."

Chris Moseley, UNO bus operations manager for St Albans, said that on that day four drivers phoned in sick and they did not have enough staff to cover the services.

"We had horrendous sickness. On most days we are okay but when four phone in at once it is very unfortunate," he said.

He added that they were looking to hire more staff.

n St Albans bus drivers are facing longer journeys to work after UNO decided to relocate the city's depot to Hatfield.

UNO recently took over several St Albans services from bus operator Centrebus and is to move its depot from Ronson's Way in St Albans to Hatfield on Saturday week

Drivers from the St Albans depot are to be given a rest room at the University of Herts Faculty of Law in Hatfield Road so they will not have to go back to Hatfield to take breaks.

Mr Moseley said that the company decided that merging the two depots would reduce the amount of rent they were paying and could allow greater levels of cover for absent drivers.

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