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Night bus service is proving successful, users’ group told

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THE night service is proving a huge success, the Bus Users Guernsey annual meeting was told on Saturday.

Home Affairs president Deputy Mary Lowe was guest speaker at Bus Users Guernsey’s annual meeting. Alongside her are Jonathan Crossan, left, the membership secretary, and co-ordinator Fergus Dunlop. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 22416581)

Co-ordinator Fergus Dunlop told the meeting at Moore’s Hotel that the N2 service had carried an average of 36.5 people during June, while figures of 36.4 and 32.2 had been recorded for N1 and N3 respectively.

Passenger numbers for the first six months of the year were up by 3.2% compared to the corresponding period of 2017.

Three days of snow had affected passenger numbers significantly and they had taken about two months to recover.

Mr Dunlop said the bus tracker app had been a Godsend and the bus shelter that had sprung up at the top of the Grange had been a welcome surprise and was much needed.

With only a handful of people attending the meeting, it took the form more of an open conversation.

Somebody said the annual meeting should have been advertised on the buses and media spokesman Iain Timms said he would endeavour to get that done next year.

Concern was raised about ‘clock face’ time-tabling with buses only leaving the terminus on the hour or 15, 30, or 45 minutes past it. This had resulted in numerous buses now arriving in one place at the same time – the top of the Grange for instance – and was causing crowding.

One woman said there was still incorrect labelling at bus stops and that some signs were on the wrong side of the road.

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Les Gallienne was elected members’ representative to replace the retiring Maurice Young. Also elected was Eric Graham, who was concerned about crowding on the round-the-island service caused by cruise liner passengers.

Environment & Infrastructure president Barry Brehaut said CT Plus did not have the spare drivers or buses to put on parallel services.

Mr Gallienne suggested more buses could be bought, but Deputy Brehaut said not at £130,000 per time.

One woman said a rival company was quite prepared to provide tours to cruise passengers, but was not allowed to advertise down on the pier or at the terminus, while somebody else who had converted a Jeep-type vehicle was doing so and conducting tours.

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She asked how that could happen?

Guest speaker Deputy Mary Lowe said she had concerns about buses arriving early, sometimes by as much as eight minutes, which was not acceptable.

CT Plus also needed to recognise that drivers needed a break. Some were arriving late on stand and having to go straight out again. Some were starting at 6am and not finishing until 10pm which should not be happening.

Deputy Brehaut said measures had been put in place since the recently-threatened drivers’ strike and that should no longer be happening.

Nigel Baudains

By Nigel Baudains
News reporter

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