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 Post subject: Frustrating Bus !
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:29 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:05 pm
Posts: 165
Have just had a delightful start to the day.

DS leaves the house at 7.30am to walk 10 minutes to the bus stop to catch a public bus which is supposed to arrive at 7.45. He texts me at 8.00am to say the bus hasn't arrived. Then at 8.10 another distressed text to say the bus had finally arrived but ignored him and didn't stop as it was too full. So had to get my youngest ready, drop her at a friends so she could be taken to school, take him over to Aylesbury to arrive at school late, and then be late for work myself! He's stressing enough about being at a new school without having to worry about whether or not the flippin bus will let him on.

This happened one day last week as well so phoned the bus company this morning who said all they could do was take down a complaint.

Am doubly cheesed off as on top of the £144 a term for the pass, we've had to pay an extra £42 because on the way home he catches two buses so he can travel with his friend to the highstreet. If he walked home from here it would be a half an hour trek. So despite the fact he ends up at the stop he gets on ( hopefully) at, the pass is only valid for one journey - Crazy !

Are public bus services always this poor


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrating Bus !
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:04 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:20 pm
Posts: 4660
Oh I feel for you Logic.

This happens to my dd too. She uses the public bus service and sometimes (thankfully not too often - but often enough, and generally in winter) the bus just simply doesn't turn up - and this is supposed to be their flagship route :shock:

Anyhow for the first year or so she would panic and I'd end up getting the car out to take her (so it cost me money to take her + an hour of my time - half hour there, half hour back). But one day last term I didn't have the car and she had no alternative but to wait for the next bus (20 minutes later, but by that point 10 minutes away) and she found she could still make it to school on time (just!). She would never get this later bus previously as she always panicked, thinking she'd be late.

We pay £500 a year for her bus pass (was £350 last year, but that's another story - price rises and all that :shock: ), but she can use the bus as often as she likes on which ever route she likes within their 'patch'.

Can your ds not use a different bus stop, to ensure he can get on?

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 Post subject: Re: Frustrating Bus !
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:09 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:52 pm
Posts: 737
logic32 wrote:
Are public bus services always this poor

Not always - but often. Possible delays and over subscribed bus services have to be factored in when you decide what time your children need to leave the house in the morning (and - if you're brilliantly foresighted) when you decide how far your children are going to travel to school.

We have a two tier travel system in this country. If train and car users suffered half the delays that bus travellers endure every week it would make the national news. Unfortunately school children, pensioners, and people too poor to have a car permanently stapled to bottoms don't matter enough.

Ooh - get me with my bolshie head on this morning! :oops:

Sympathy, logic32 - I really do think you may have to resign yourself to this being a long term problem. What time is the earlier bus?

When I was at a Grammar (many many years ago) I had to allow an hour and 40 minutes to travel 7 miles on the bus - just to leave room for possible delays.


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrating Bus !
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:28 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:09 pm
Posts: 379
Location: groombridge, e.sussex
Generally my DS's bus is ok, just the occasional hiccup when it's broken down or crashed (?). However the last time it didn't show up at all was on the morning of DS's English Lit GCSE!! The exam started at 9 and he would normally be in school for 8.30, so plenty of calming down time before the exam. However, after a frantic call to me (luckily working from home that day) he and 2 other boys got to school at 8.50. It's his life long excuse for a grade C !!


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrating Bus !
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:54 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:05 pm
Posts: 165
Thank you for all the replies everyone.

I guess I was being naive when we just assumed he would be able to catch this bus. How can you tell if a route is oversubscribed ? probably only by trying to catch it and failing !

Unfortunately the only other main stop is in the highstreet, which would mean a 30 minute walk. Right now I feel that's too much for him 1st thing in the morning. Lots of people get off here though so he would be able to get on it at least.

From his stop the earlier bus is 7.25am, which he could just about make but would get him to school at 7.50, 55 minutes before registration at 8.45. Which again I feel is too much.

The next bus from his stop is 9.25 !

There is another bus which goes from the highstreet so at least then he would have two chances of getting on a bus. I think we'll have to figure a way to get to him to that stop every morning ( think there will be some pyjama runs in the car)

I need to be sure when he leaves the house in the morning he'll be able to reliably get to school ( two failures in 5 days doesn't seem promising)

Snowdrops : Can you let me know if your bus company starts with an A and ends in an A ?

push-pull-mum : Our journey is 7 miles too. You've obviously never forgotten that you had to leave an 1hr 40 mins for the journey to school. Are you still traumatised ?

sp : It's a very valid excuse I would say - my poor D at 'O'level in Chemistry was because of a delayed train and nothing whatsoever to do with the fact I had done no revision.


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrating Bus !
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:36 am 
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logic32 wrote:
push-pull-mum : Our journey is 7 miles too. You've obviously never forgotten that you had to leave an 1hr 40 mins for the journey to school. Are you still traumatised ?
:lol: I don't think so. Must confess though that once I got into the Upper School (Year 10-12) and I had no parent or older sibling policing what time I left the house I did used to get the late bus and take my chances - which landed me in detention twice.

On the whole I would say that my parents made the right choice in sending me 7 miles to a 'better' school and I would have decided the same for my DCren. I did decide against letting DD try for a school 18 miles away because, although the bus service looked reasonably reliable, I wouldn't be able to manage a 36 mile round trip rescue if something went wrong. Friends of mine - who have never waited over an hour on a frozen bus stop with a lacrosse stick and a violin in one hand, the ingredients for a nourishing soup in the other, a huge pack of books on their back, and an A2 art folder between their knees, have taken the risk with their kids - and I wish them luck with it. :?


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrating Bus !
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
Posts: 875
Location: Solihull, West Midlands
My OH ended up at school in Aylesbury a very long bus ride (14 miles) from home after his parents moved house: they had initially been told he would allowed to attend a much closer grammar school in an adjoining county but bureaucracy at the time was as unhelpful as ever. His abiding memory is of being abandoned miles from home in the middle of winter by a bus driver who didn't want to go any further from his depot... That may help to explain his refusal to live in an isolated village as our DC grew up, and determination for them to attend a school within walking distance, at least before sixth form....


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrating Bus !
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:05 pm
Posts: 165
Solimum - don't blame your OH at all for insisting on walking distance !

I used to catch the train from Tring to Berkhamsted for school and my lovely mum often unintentionally forgot to pick me or one of my siblings up from Tring station which is in the middle of nowhere. We then had a 2 mile stomp home. Accounted for a lot of my teenage strops I think !

We did debate long and hard about having DS travel 7 miles to school but the buses seemed such an easy option.

Ah well - you live and learn !


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrating Bus !
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:34 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:51 pm
Posts: 2237
Distance is fairly irrelevant when it comes to buses (until it snows, anyway!). Our son only goes two miles but has to take two buses, he still has to set off at 7:30am to be sure of getting to school on time (he really could walk there quicker - if only he didn't take 50kg in his rucksack every day). I find it quite infuriating.


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrating Bus !
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:20 pm
Posts: 4660
Logic, no, our company's called Transdev - think they forgot the il at the end of it! :lol: :lol:

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