This isn’t good enough

I know i’ve moaned about Weston Community Transport before, but they’re not getting any better. I thought it might be a reasonable time to illustrate the ways in which this community transport operator is failing where a professional operator would not be able to do so:

WestonCT_WV64JOJ_C2_180810

  • Step entrance vehicle. In an age where low-floor, accessible small vehicles are available, how is it acceptable to be operating bus services aimed primarily at elderly people with a Transit van? Such a vehicle is considerably less accessible than even a classic Dormobile or similar breadvan minibus from 32 years ago.
  • No powered door. The driver has to get out every time the bus stops and open the sliding door manually.
  • Destination display. No, i can’t see one either.
  • Ticket machine. Ditto.
  • Any clue that it is a bus service? Doesn’t look like it.

It isn’t as if claims can be made that they’ve only just taken over as Weston CT have been doing the job this poorly for over three months now. I wonder how many passengers have given up using the services because they can’t board these unsuitable vehicles?

As the Cambridgeshire case ever more clear that many Community Transport groups are playing fast and loose with the rule book, how long will it be before a major accident demonstrates their incapability to provide a safe and appropriate service to passengers? Or until councils realise that the ability to source money from a different pot doesn’t result in an acceptable service for an integrated transport network?

Speaking of Cambridgeshire, it looks as if the nonsense there will continue as they’ve decided just to make the manager a scapegoat and effectively give the organisations free licence to carry on regardless as the effectively grouped CT operations consider themselves “too big to fail”, despite having consistently lied about pretty much everything in order to keep securing more work. Perhaps North Somerset is working on this basis as well in continuing to pump money in to their beloved CT operations until they are too big to fail? In any case, this situation of public money being gifted to empire building individuals to play bus and taxi companies (at no risk to themselves whatsoever) has to stop.

As a post-script, the articles written by Mel Holley for Route One regarding the crooked Cambridgeshire Community Transport groups are well worth a read for an indication of how out of control this nonsense can become.
See links above or here:
Cambridgeshire CTO breaches report shows £300k owed, 24 July 2018
FACT boss Jo Philpott ousted after six-hour council grilling, 8 August 2018
This article from the Wisbech Standard also illustrates the breathtaking arrogance of the councillors and senior staff of the organisation(s).
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