Passengers left stranded as bus operator stops services
Date published: 24 May 2011
Passengers have been left stranded after a Rochdale bus operator failed to run its regular services.
Rochdale Online was contacted by concerned bus passengers today (24 May) who had learned that the services provided by Bu-Val had stopped.
Bu-Val, based in Littleborough, is understood to have stopped their bus services at midnight on Sunday.
Bu-Val operates 22 subsidised services under contracts with Transport for Greater Manchester, including seven school services to seven schools.
Bu-Val failed to operate their commercial and contracted services on Monday (23 May).
A spokesperson for Transport for Greater Manchester said they had not been given prior notification but reacted immediately once the situation was known.
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) held discussions with Bu-Val officials on Monday afternoon. Despite assurances by them, Bu-Val again failed to operate services today (Tuesday 24 May).
TfGM has made arrangements for the remainder of this week in relation to a number of its contracted services and will continue to discuss any outstanding services with Bu-Val, although their position is not currently clear.
Michael Renshaw, TfGM’s Bus and Rail Director, said: “This is a totally unacceptable position for the public to be put in and, while we have taken swift action to limit disruption, many passengers have been, and continue to be, affected by this situation.
“At a meeting with Bu-Val officials on Monday to discuss the situation and agree a way forward, we were given assurances over their intention to run services on Tuesday – but this did not happen.
“As a result, we have been left with no alternative but to make arrangements, where possible, for the bus services we pay for to be provided by other operators.
“We’ve now made alternative arrangements for school services that will be in place for the rest of this week. However, there could still be some disruption for passengers using the other services this week while vehicles are sourced and staff allocated to operate them.
“We will work closely with the Traffic Commissioner in relation to these circumstances and any future consideration of the matter.”
Gordon Harker from bus operator, The Coachmasters, said: “They closed down on Sunday at midnight when the last buses were in. On Monday we stepped into do some schools so the children weren’t left stranded but we could only do one because we are pushed to capacity.”
Mr Harker blamed the rising fuel costs and the need to increase fares for Bu-Val’s closure. He added: “Charging more fares means less people are travelling. It’s not working, there is pressure on everybody. Everybody is in the same boat.”
Nobody from Bu-Val was available for comment at the time of publication.
Details about services for the remainder of this week are available at http://www.tfgm.com/buses/Bu-Val.cfm
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