A MORAY BUS PASSENGER is labelling the service level received from a national company as an “absolute disgrace” – and is calling on those who agree to let their feelings known.
Lossiemouth resident Nicky Brown is a regular user of the Stagecoach service between Lossiemouth and Elgin – but she and other passengers have noted that even the relatively short route has been subjected to regular delays and cancellations.
In an open letter to the company published on their social media page, Ms Brown said she and other passengers on the 33A/33C service noted the service has become increasingly unreliable and was “frankly unacceptable”. Her call joins others throughout the region who have been contacting insideMoray about the reliability of Stagecoach services in the region.
Earlier this month Moray Council moved to replace a service linking Kingston and Garmouth with Elgin when it is withdrawn by Stagecoach next month, the carrier insisting that it had become economically unviable – despite passengers insisting it was running “mostly full”.
Nicky wrote of the 33A/33C: “This service is utilised by many local pensioners and very many more people getting to and from work and college. I rely on the bus every day to get to my place of work while my daughter relies on it to get her to college and work. Not one of the services we have utilised this week has been on time, if indeed it has shown up at all.
“There are no road works or the like which would cause any delay as far as I am aware, but then if there were, the Stagecoach staff just seem not at liberty to advise their passengers of ongoing delays or offer any explanation or indeed an apology.
“On Friday afternoon this week it was particularly bad – the 4.10pm service did not arrive at Elgin and no explanation was given. The next bus at 4.30 did not turn up until 15 minutes later – it then arrived alongside another 33C, which we assumed was the 4.50 bus.
“Ticket prices for this route are not cheap so you have to assume that profits are available to spend on maintaining the bus fleet, but the bus often breaks down between Lossiemouth and Elgin. Perhaps more investment is needed to ensure an acceptable level of service.
“I have heard nothing but people complaining this week on the bus about constant non-arrivals and the rude attitude of drivers – there are a few regular drivers who act this way on the route and quite frankly should not be working with the public.”
While accepting that drivers must take regular breaks, Nicky was surprised when one late bus on the route stopped at RAF Lossiemouth – and remained there for seven minutes “while the driver had a wander and a fag”.
Nicky added: “I appreciate there will be occasion when there is a genuine delay that cannot be helped, but surely not every day. There appears to be no evidence of the service getting better at the moment, it is actually getting progressively worse.”
Her call comes just days after another passenger, Charlotte Smith, wrote to insideMoray highlighting issues over the Moray ‘Dayrider’ ticket changes that mean it no longer covers all of Moray as it did previously.
Charlotte said: “Quite a few bus users were taken by surprise by this and did not know when it changed – just that it did. It used to be that I could use this to travel to Nairn or Cullen – now such a journey will cost me £25.”
What are your experiences of Stagecoach services – have they fallen below standard? Are they too expensive? Or do they provide a good service? Join the discussion on the insideMoray Facebook page.