Monday, 28 April 2014

National catch-the-bus week

 - where you have one. But I would like to give what publicity I can to the efforts of the Bus Users UK organisation.

The branch in Wales (email is supported by the Welsh Assembly Government. They should be the next port-of-call after the bus company itself if something goes wrong with your journey and you have cause to complain. (If you prefer to use the post, their address is Bus Users UK, c/o PTI Cymru Ltd, Leckwith Offices, Sloper Road, CARDIFF CT11 8TB.)

With the exception of Cardiff and Newport, whose bus operators are municipally-owned, buses in Wales are now run by private bus companies, ranging from small local family-owned firms through to plcs running both buses and trains. Once a company has a licence, it can run buses where it likes, so long as it tells the local Traffic Commissioner eight weeks beforehand. Traffic Commissioners are appointed by the Government to make sure services are run in accordance with the law. The Traffic Commissioner for Wales also controls the English West Midlands, and their office is in Birmingham.

Some services (savagely cut recently as a result of a reduction in subsidies both by the Welsh Government and by local authorities like Neath Port Talbot) are contracted out as a public service. The council is the place to complain if you know that the bus service that has given you trouble is a subsidised one.

[Thanks to a Bus Users UK fact sheet for some of the extracts above.]

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