Thursday, 14 August 2008

What Arriva have done to one lady

Most Darlington Councillors will have similar stories to tell.

Arriva's new bus routes are causing real problems for many people - particularly the elderly. So, here are one lady's emails to me. Mrs S. is 77 years old and lives just round the corner from me in Larchfield Street.

The first email arrived a couple of weeks ago:


Hello there

I have sent this email to the council and Arriva.

Arriva was the only that replied but said that I should have gone to the
meetings and the Dolphin Centre.

I did all this; I was told by all of them that we were not losing this bus.

What a lie !

Can I please give my utter disappointment in the bus changes.

I live on Larchfield Street and it was myself, with Cllr Roberts that fought
for our bus stop.

We are all elderly people and needed this bus.

This bus took us to the town, then the hospital, Willow Rd, Cockerton,
Faverdale, onto Aycliffe.

Now we have no bus at all !

I am so angry about this; it took me to Willow Road surgery, my doctors.

But I have to walk over the town now or get a taxi - I don't walk far.

We are all in our late 70 /80.

This was a good service why they have taken it off. It is stupid.

Please can you intervene in this please."

I replied to Mrs S. to sympathise and explain that Arriva is a private company but that I would do what I could. I emailed Alan Milburn MP, since he was representing the views of his constituents to Arriva. I received this reply from his assistant:

"Thanks very much for passing this on. I had a very positive meeting with Arriva on Thursday of last week and they have agreed to go away and look at some of the changes they have made to services, in particular Sunday and evening services. I will let you know in more detail what is happening when I know. "

(Wonder why she said "I had a very positive meeting..." and not "we".)

Then this evening a further email arrived from Mrs S.:

"I am heart broken - I saw them take down my bus stop in Larchfield Street -this is cruel.
I am forced now to get a taxi £4 a time on my pension what kind of people are you ?

I am 77 and struggle to walk - because we had a pass you say; you don't have paying customers, this is punishing the elderly again.

Please give us back the 16

So, not much chance of a flexible, accommodating response from Arriva, if they're already removing their bus stops!

Arriva's arrogance and total lack of regard for their social responsibilities is appalling.

Then, guess what also happened this evening? I received a cold sales call from Arriva. The sales person wanted to know if I used their buses. I said no, I cycled everywhere in town and drove my car or took the train if I was going out of town. The sales person told me her company had a new timetable in operation, and to encourage me to use their buses they would send me some money-off vouchers for use on Arriva buses!!!

Breath taking. I told the sales person what I thought of Arriva!


Anonymous said...

Gill says -
We are still receiving many horrific stories of how these changes are affecting our residents. In fact, we are receiving comments from all across the town, i wonder why residents in some Labour wards are not contacting their own ward councillors?
Once this is collated, we will publish extracts from them.
It seems however, that our Labour colleagues are immune to the plight of these people.
They have complete and utter dissociation from the people of the town.

Chris Close said...

Well they can afford to use taxis, Gill and Mike so why bother with worrying about the poor 'plebs' and 'disabled' or older people.

Chris Close said...

Well they can afford to use taxis, Gill and Mike so why bother with worrying about the poor 'plebs' and 'disabled' or older people.