Tag Archive for Arriva

Arriva should do the decent thing and absorb bus fare price hike in their “mega-profits”

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop today (29th March 2016) hit out at news given to local bus passengers by Arriva that fares will be going up yet again. News of this latest fare hike came just a week after the announcement of bumper profits by the bus and train operator.

Tom said:
“In a leaflet now being  given to local bus passengers, Arriva boldly say that “we need to increase most of our single, return and day ticket fares by a maximum of 10p and weekly tickets by a maximum of 30p. This increase will be applied from Sunday 3rd April 2016.”

“But what that leaflet did not say was that in the last year, the cash put into the fare boxes by Teesside passengers contributed to record profits for the company. The Stock Exchange announcement reported a sharp rise in pre-tax earnings and revenue as the company gears up to take control of Northern Rail services next week. In its annual results the company said revenues were up sharply, rising from £4.4 billion to £4.8 billion, a 7.8 per cent increase. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation rose 5.4 per cent to £525m from £498 million.

“This may be seen as good news for Arriva Directors in the UK and for the firm’s ultimate owners, German State rail company Deutsche Bahn, but for local bus users – especially in the Redcar and Cleveland area, where the company has a virtual monopoly of local bus services – it is very bad news altogether. I would urge Arriva and, indeed, Deutsche Bahn to think again and reflect on the ethics of a cash rich company asking for yet more cash from local bus users, and to simply absorb this year’s increase in their profits.”

Tom urges Arriva to look at better fares for young people

Local Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop has today (28th July 2015) written to the bus firm Arriva urging them to look at introducing a child version of the weekly ticket.

Tom said:
“As it is currently the school holidays, hundreds of families across my constituency will be looking to utilise Arriva’s bus services to travel around this and the surrounding area. However, the lack of any sort of weekly travel ticket for children is off-putting for commuters as it leads to spiralling travel costs, particularly for parents with more than one child.

“I am aware that such tickets are available for adults using your bus services. Therefore, I have written to Arriva to enquire whether they have any plans to introduce a weekly ticket for children across all their services to reduce the financial burden on parents and to make travelling on public transport an economically viable alternative for families in my constituency.”

Tom expresses disappointment as Arriva announces new East Cleveland timetables

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today (8th July 2014) expressed disappointment at what he called a “curate’s egg” of a new set of timetable and minor route changes for services in East Cleveland.

Tom said:
“Whilst there are some signs that the company have responded positively to complaints from local bus users channelled through me, there are still big areas where we could have had improvements to the major changes seen at the beginning of the year, but where Arriva have taken no action.”

“Above all, and despite a packed and angry public meeting in Guisborough at which they were present, they have failed to bring back services to the Hunters Hill area of Guisborough, a large residential estate now bereft of bus services to the town centre and Middlesbrough. This, as with the loss of over half of the old 81 service to  Farndale Drive, has seriously inconvenienced many residents. This could have been righted in this new set of timetables, but again Arriva have not listened.

“There are some improvements, most notably a promise of new buses; a return of the 5a route to New Skelton; the resumption of direct through early morning buses from East Cleveland to Middlesbrough on the X3 route and a new peak hour X5 service of two buses non-stop from Loftus, Brotton and Skelton to central Middlesbrough. But these improvements, welcome as they are, have been cancelled out by the lack of any action to bring back buses to Hunters Hill. This is something I will continue to press for.”

“Devil is in the detail” as new timetable reveals true extent of Arrivas cuts to East Cleveland buses

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, has delivered another blistering charge that bus giant Arriva ‘is ignoring East Cleveland’ after the timetables detailing massive changes to the local network became public.

Tom said:
“I met with senior managers of Arriva North East just a fortnight ago and told them of my fears based on the broad proposals for change that they outlined to me. As the saying goes, the devil is in the detail and now we have seen the timetables it is clear that there are a lot of little horned creatures out there, and who will make daily travelling more difficult for local people who have to rely on Arriva as a local monopoly bus operator.

“The timetables show, for example, that passenger’s from Guisborough and Skelton who wish to get to Whitby will not, as was originally promised, get a quick change from the 5 bus – which now will only go as far as Easington – on to a connecting 4 bus. Instead they face of wait of about a quarter of an hour. Guisborough passengers can, in theory, get the X93 bus which travels via the A171 Moor Road, but as everybody knows, in the summer period, this is normally full by the times it gets to Guisborough.

“Commuting to work from parts of East Cleveland will be harder. For Skelton, Lingdale and Boosbeck passengers, there will be no fast bus on the X3 route through to Middlesbrough until well after the rush hour has gone at past 9.00 a.m.  All the buses before will be terminating at Redcar and that gives problems for commuters from Marske too. There will still be difficulties too, for passengers from the Hunters Hill area of Guisborough who – although Arriva have not yet got round to displaying the timetable on their website – will find that they will only have two buses in the morning to get them to work.

“Guisborough will be hard hit with the effective loss of the 28 service from Hunters Hill, problems in getting to and from Whitby and a loss of buses from the Hutton Lane area, people will be justifiably angry. I did ask Arriva to hold a public meeting in Guisborough so they could both justify their position and also listen to local objections and they said that they would consider this. Now we have seen the detail of the service cuts, such a meeting is needed more than ever.”

Tom hits out at Arriva’s ‘double whammy’ of service cuts and fare increases

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today (December 30th) hit out at what he called a ‘double whammy’ landed on local bus passengers by multi-national transport giant, Arriva, who are simultaneously planning service cuts in East Cleveland and fare increases.

Tom said:
“Arriva are yet again abusing their monopoly power in East Cleveland by both planning to cut services in Guisborough and, from next Sunday, putting in place higher fares for those buses still running.

“Arriva – although they have not yet properly told local bus users – are looking to cuts in in their services in Guisborough from February. They are going to reduce the service on the 81 route from Guisborough Market Place to Hutton Gate to hourly from the present half-hourly. I oppose this as it limits public transport links for people in the Farndale Drive area – an area that will soon be seeing significant new housing development with a need for transport links. They are also planning to basically axe the section of the 28 bus that serves the Hunters Hill estate, and only keep one or two peak hour buses. Again, this cuts our bus services for a large estate on the edge of Guisborough, hitting many elderly people dependent on the bus network there and Belmont Primary School.

“Only with last minute information for passengers they are announcing new fare increases from next Sunday – the 5th January. It’s not as if Arriva are cash-strapped, it is the opposite, they are highly profitable – with fare money from local bus users going back to their HQ in Germany. It seems that such increases are happening ever more frequently, and some passengers might feel that these increases are now more regular than their buses.

“I have made my feelings known to Arriva, asking them to think again on these services cuts, but have yet to receive a reply. Even at the 11th hour I would ask Arriva to think again and act to keep their bus service lifeline open for their Guisborough customers, and to keep bus travel affordable for passengers who are either on fixed incomes or pegged wages.”