Pensioners "fed up" at bus service no-showsBy Jon Nurse
December 10, 2012
Elderly passengers are fed up of being left out in the cold waiting for a vital bus service that fails to arrive.
Pensioners have been forced to cancel hospital appointments after waiting for more than an hour on freezing winter mornings for the 121 Thames Travel service that links the Norreys estate with Wokingham town centre.
Jane Brown, of Child Close, campaigned to get a bus service on the estate. She said: “I think this is disgusting. People shouldn't be treated like that.
“This problem has been off and on for a while because of the roadworks, but the 9.30am service doesn’t seem to come regularly.
“A lot of old people are freezing at the bus stop and it’s not fair.
“One man I know does his shopping every week and uses the bus and he had been waiting for the 9.30am and was still there when I was waiting for the 10.30am bus. One man had to cancel a hospital appointment because the bus didn’t come and he can’t walk to town.”
Frustrated passengers reported the unreliable service to Wokingham Borough Council at a Norreys Community Forum meeting last month, but they are still being left stranded in the cold.
Mrs Brown, 45, added: “We are being let down. It’s wrong people have to stand out in the cold, especially at this time of year.
“This is a vital service for people in Norreys estate. Some people can’t walk to London Road and need it to be able to go to Reading.
“They’ve said they’re reviewing it and it sounds like a case of use it or lose it, but people will only use it if it runs on time.”
John Hammond, Thames Travel general manager, said: “We are sorry there have been problems with the service.
“The vehicle is used on a Reading commuter journey before transferring to the 121.
“Last week there were major problems in the centre of Reading with roadworks and the knock-on effects in the Caversham area from the closure of Sonning Bridge. The bus was caught up in the gridlock.
“We are investigating what we can do to ensure the service is more resilient and we apologise to the passengers we inconvenienced.”
The service is financially supported by the council with a contribution from Tesco, which is a stop on the route.
A council spokeswoman said: “We are currently talking to the operator about last week’s delay and the service in general. Once we have received a report back from them we’ll have a better understanding of the reasons behind the delays and what we can be done to resolve them.”