I wrote up the story of the last bus from Kidderminster yesterday morning. It was a seriously bad journey. Reflecting on it, I am amazed how calm the passengers were. They argued with the driver but he was leading the abuse.
We have now heard from the bus company and the main driver on the route. I publish the responses below. I couldn’t ask for a better response. There are still many questions about why this occurred. We’ll pick up those first thing tomorrow.
Josie Greenhouse said on Facebook yesterday:
R & B Travel are absolutely devastated by this turn of events, all caused by a part time driver who had to be brought in as an emergency measure. He will not be driving again. Our regular driver has worked hard to build up this service and make it a reliable one, and was proud of having done this, unfortunately he had to take the afternoon off. The regular driver will be back on Monday and there will be no more altercations. All our drivers are trained in customer care and passengers must come first. We can only apologise to all concerned and assure you that the service will run to its timetable and that the last bus from Kidderminster will run into Ludlow. It is the 18:30 from Ludlow which terminates on Clee Hill not the 17:30 from Kidderminster. We would be grateful if you could let us have the names of any of the passengers involved in this incident, and if you could pass on our most sincere apologies for the disgraceful behaviour of this driver. This driver has been suspended by us and we will be carrying out an investigation into the incident ourselves. Once again sincere apologies from the management team at R & B Travel.
I can’t release the names of the passengers (and only know the names of a couple of them). But this blog is well connected to social media and they will hear the apology.
One of the passengers rang the bus company yesterday and was told the driver wouldn’t be hired again.
I was driven to Kidderminster by Phil Greenhouse on Friday morning. The journey was fine and on time. He said on Facebook yesterday:
I’m the regular driver on this new service and I’m so angry that I’ve worked so hard all week to make this service work, I had to have some time off Friday afternoon and it sounds like this clown of a “driver” has ruined all my hard work in a few hours. Really sorry about this, this service may run late from time to time but I can guarantee as long as I’m driving it there won’t be any problems on it other than that.
I applaud that.
I must say again the problems on this awful journey was not down to the passengers. Passenger were frustrated and angry but not abusive. This is a short clip of our arrival in Ludlow.
All the feedback I have received on the 292 has been positive, except for this exceptional incident. The regular driver is a decent guy.
We need to move on from this. We need the Ludlow to Kidderminster service. I look forward to hearing more positive reports in the coming weeks. R&B Travel has a problem with its services for a while. I know it is trying to turn that around.
The Shropshire Council deputy portfolio holder for transport, Councillor Simon Harris, has promised to review the service with officers tomorrow. It is vital that when we pay for a service with public money, it is delivered at a decent standard.