TCC recently held an Issues and Actions workshop, to identify common issues in the community. One issue which everyone had something to say about was bus services. Talking about the problems, it sounded like there could be an issue with some of the drivers, so TCC members went to investigate. Yvonne Pryce reports on what happened.
We met Kay, Ileana and Eulina at Wrexham bus station, and decided our first destination would be the Maelor Hospital, the question was which bus stand did we need? The information office had a notice on telling us that no one would be available until the following day, and the screen outside the office was blank. The next source of information was the big overhead destination board, great! It told you that buses were going to (or in some cases had left for) Minera, Rhos, or Llangollen, but did not tell you where these buses called at. The only way to find our way to the hospital bus was to search all the timetables in all 8 of the bays. There were electronic screens on each of the bays, which may have been of help, if any of them were working.
Eventually we found the bus stop, and made our way to the hospital. When we got to the hospital, we decided to go to Coedpoeth. There was a timetable, but the plastic covering it was broken, so it was ripped and mouldy inside. The overhead electronic sign was again not working.
We got to Coedpoeth and wanted to get back into Wrexham. The bus stop did not have any form of timetable, so we just waited until a bus came alone. On the journey back we noticed that several bus stops advertised the next blockbuster film, but did not have any timetable on them.
When we got back to Wrexham bus station we decided on one last journey, this time to Caia Park. Again it was search the timetables to find out how to get there, and then we boarded the bus.
As we travelled along, the bus kept stopping at odd points for people to get on, but there was no sign of a bus stop. When asking fellow passengers why have we stopped here?, the answer was: because it’s a bus stop! How do you know this we asked? Because it just is, was the answer, everyone knows it (we didn't).
Although we initially thought the drivers could be the ones causing problems, the driver on this bus was exceptionally friendly and helpful, and even got out of his cab to help people off with prams. The afternoon did highlight the fact that local public transport has quite a few problems, and some which could be resolved with some fairly inexpensive measures, such as timetables at all bus stops.
Since the trip I have had several conversations with people who have had similar experiences to ours, notably a bus stop that did have a sign, but the sign was destroyed by an accident. Sometimes the the bus stops, sometimes it doesn't, depending on who is driving!