A cautionary tale

Today Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire rescued two young girls who were abandoned, by Stagecoach, in Ingleton.

The girls caught the 12:15 No. 80 bus from Lancaster, arriving at Ingleton at 13:21. They both bought return tickets.

The Stagecoach driver neglected to tell them that when he turned round to return to Lancaster he was the last bus of the day between Ingleton and Lancaster. Never the less he still sold them return tickets.

What is quite ridiculous is that there are two more No. 80 buses, the 14:15 and the 17:15 from Lancaster to Ingleton but they do not return until the following day because both drivers live in Ingleton and they park their buses their overnight.

Knowing that there were two later buses to Ingleton the girls could be forgiven for believing that they would be able to return later the same day.

Fortunately, KLCH does have four buses between 15:58 to 19:58 to assist stranded Stagecoach passengers. Unfortunately, they cannot use the return portion of their Stagecoach tickets.

I am told, on reliable authority, that this is a frequent occurrence.

It would seem that Stagecoach runs the 80 services for the convenience of their drivers, not their customers.

Duncan Foster & John Keegan
The Lune Valley Bus Action Group

3 thoughts on “A cautionary tale”

  1. So the bus timetables are based on where the drivers live rather than paying customer requirements. Also I am sure the bus drivers could drive their cars to their place of work and drive home afterwards like the rest of the ingleton working population as there are no buses!!

    I am sure the neighbours of the drivers love having the company bus parked outside every evening.

    Finally I wonder if hmrc would consider the bus travel to be a taxable perk. Just madness – Rant over

  2. Duncan tells me I got one aspect wrong. One bus does return to Lancaster but to do so runs “Out of Service” to Kirkby Lonsdale before returning to Lancaster.

    I emailed this matter to the Lancaster Bus Users Group, and had the following reply immediately:

    “Hello John,
    Thank you for making us aware of this problem. Assuming the journey in question was being operated by one of the regular Ingleton-based drivers it is inexplicable as to why passengers were sold return tickets without being informed of the lack of a return Stagecoach bus. I have taken the liberty of forwarding your email to the manager at Morecambe depot and asked him to investigate and respond.

    I have also raised the question with both Stagecoach and the County Council as to whether, in principle, they could see a way for both operators to accept each other’s tickets on these services, which would eliminate the problem. There are difficulties in doing so due to Competition legislation but these should not be insurmountable.

    Best Wishes
    Jim Davies
    Chair
    Lancaster District Bus Users’ Group”

  3. I was pleased to receive the following message from Stagecoach.
    JK

    Dear Mr Keegan

    Thank you for your email of the 11th July regarding our 80 service between Ingleton and Lancaster. I was concerned and disappointed to read that our drivers have sold return tickets to passengers when no return journey is available.

    It is correct that our 13:25 from Ingleton is that last service back to Lancaster and I am disappointed that our drivers are selling return tickets on the 12:15 out of Lancaster when no return is available. This concerns me for all passengers, let along minors. i have spoken to my commercial officer today who is going to add a footnote to our drivers sheets advising them to not sell returns and we will be removing the function from the machines for this service in due course to eliminate the chances of this happening going forward.

    Our singles from Lancaster to Ingleton are £8.50 whereas Dayrider is £8.20 so this would explain a DayRider getting sold but not returns.

    Whilst it is also correct that we have an outstation at Ingleton, the 15:21 arrival at Ingleton runs a school service from QES back to Lancaster and I will pass your comments on to our commercial department for consideration.

    Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience and distress we have caused and thank you for taking the time to contact me and bringing this matter to my attention.

    Yours sincerely

    Jack Wright
    Assistant Operations Manager

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