The biggest debate at the West Area Committee was on the no. 3 and no 24 bus routes. We had an officer from the County Council, plus senior people from FirstBus (who have recently moved the no 24 bus away from the London Road area and to Asda instead) and Regal Busways, who have recently started a no. 3 service that serves parts of Rawreth).
Buses probably aren’t a big issue for you if you don’t use ’em. But if you depend upon them, they are a lifeline , and so we had some very passionate well-informed members of the public speaking about them.
Basically, Firstbus said that the number 24 route had been ‘underperforming’ so they had moved it to Asda. In response to a question from Ron Oatham, the chap said that they had NOT had any co-operation with Asda over this. There had been NO financial inducement. Judging from the comments from the floor, this diverted service is getting few customers, whilst people in the London Road area have to get to the no 25 bus now, which is so crowded people often have to stand.
Cllr Joan Mockford said she had a petition with 500 names on it asking for the 24 to be moved back, although she didn’t show it to the meeting.
Firstbus wanted to give the impression that they were thinking years ahead – saying there could be more developments along Rawreth Lane in the future. Chris Lumley was quite scathing about this, saying that it was pathetic to think about a few hundred possible more homes when they were ignoring thousands of homes already there along London Road and Little Wheatleys.
Chris Black was concerned about the impact of the no24 route, which doesn’t reach into Rawreth itself, on the no. 3 , which does. The chap from Regal- who actually seemed to be enthusiastic about buses – said there had been a small impact on revenues, but he was more concerned about insufficent help from councils re concessionary fares. He added that he would like to improve the service from two-hourly to hourly, but the passengers need to be there ….
Concerning the 24 bus – I have only ever seen a max of two people get off it, and at most 6 people get on it at ASDA and that is first thing in the morning (7am ish).
Havn’t Firstbus contradicted themselves? By moving the 24 from London Road which was underperforming to ASDA which I feel is performing even less! Also what do Firstbus know that we don’t know in other developments along Rawreth Lane? Where along Rawreth Lane are these going to go?????
Please take the 24 back to London Road – I will gladly sign Cllr Mockfords petition!
I have heard some people have stopped using the bus from Rayleigh to Chelmsford since the service went from one bus an hour to one bus every two hours.
As you either have half an hour to shop or have to wait two and a half hours for the next bus back.
The same applies when taking the No.3 into Rayleigh. No good if you are just going for a blood test or haircut.
I would prefer to support Tim Lemm of Regal Busways as he is trying hard to provide a rural service without the financial support he needs from the government or Essex County Council, but if there is no return Regal bus for over 2 hours, it comes down to using First Buses No.24 (or No.20 to Hambro Parade) and walking.
Tim Lemm put forward a good case at the last Area West Committee meeting and should be given full support or, as he says “There will possibly be no No.3 bus running after April”