We advised Telford & Wrekin that we were unhappy with the decision to not allow the No.66 to run through Lawley Village during the Bridge repair works. Their response as follows:
"The 66 does not have the time to be able to cover all the route so it is only able to serve the surgery in Lawley until the closure ends when it will resume the usual route. As you appreciate the closure is necessary for bridge repairs.
The 77 is not ceasing but Arriva have deregistered it as from 1st September it is no longer commercial as insufficient passengers travelling means it is not viable to operate. The council has agreed to fund in the interim and go out to tender when a longer term decision will be made. The 77 is now able to resume serving Lawley since the closure by the church has ended, so there is a service for residents."
Our response to this statement:
“ We think the response stating the service "no longer has time" to do a pass through Lawley Village is unacceptable. The bus takes a lot of time when it traverses around Arleston, effectively doing 2 loops around the estate roads before continuing into Wellington or up Dawley Road to serve Lawley. The fact that the bus cannot use Dawley Road until November and has to use Lawley Drive to get to Newdale Cross will add a few minutes to the route – pending on traffic flow from the retail park; but to say that further time stoppages will happen if the bus opted to do a loop through Lawley, using Arleston Lane, Glendale and then Dawley Road back to Newdale Cross is nonsense.
There are delays along those areas ; often caused by the ongoing issue of reckless parking along those roads that from what experiences we have when using the route cause no end of contention to the driver of the bus. Added to that; majority of the buses placed on the route are frankly "clapped out"; often prone to breakdowns; causing further unnecessary delays and hold up which more often cause inconvenience to passengers than any amount of road works undertaken by TWC or the Developer. We also feel sorry for the fact residents in Lawley, less able bodied are having to walk the 5/10 minutes down from the village to the stops on Lawley Drive/West Centre Way; especially in inclement weather.
The fact is a response like this further demonstrates the lack of coherent thinking and rationale TWC and Arriva have for providing a quality bus service for our Parish; especially an expanding population that we have."
The response received from TWC was as follows:
As you are aware the 66 is not a council funded service and whilst I can appreciate the inconvenience caused by the road closure due to essential works; the bus route is affected by the times it can operate and changes have also had to be made to the route around Arleston. The temporary re-routing has been discussed with the engineers, Stuart and Arriva and consideration had also to be given to other provision provided (in Lawley this is by the route of the 77), as well as the time needed to make the diversion via junction 6 of the M54. The 77 covers most of the route of the 66 through Lawley and is still running so less mobile residents do still have a service through the development or the option of dial a ride for those with serious mobility issues, so I cannot accept there is no service provided at all.
I cannot comment on the problems relating to parking and suggest you explore this further with the relevant team. The state of the buses would need to be referred to Arriva for them to comment on as I am not aware personally of any issues.
I am aware of the growth of Lawley and this is why 12 months ago the 77 was rerouted to come through Lawley. However due to lack of usage the operator has de-registered the service but as I explained yesterday the council will be funding in the immediate future.
I am of course happy to come to a meeting as I have done previously but realistically the 77 is providing an hourly service through Lawley throughout the roadworks and in view of savings targets additional resources are not available when there is adequate (although residents would say not ideal) provision in place.
We will be working closely with the operator to try and secure improved services to the west of Telford as development continues to grow but this is dependent upon financial resources being available. I am not sure I can add anything further to any meeting"
If you have any comments please get in touch with us