C-BUS covers all Colchester town services; also all country services to and from Colchester except in respect of local journeys at the far end of the route (where we have no local knowledge).
C-BUS is in contact with the main bus operators First, Arriva and Hedingham, and also with Essex County Council officers responsible for bus matters. Occasional formal meetings are held, but most business is done by email as necessary.
C-BUS was set up in active collaboration with Colchester Borough Council; however contact with them has been at a low level in recent years and we are not invited to the CBC/ECC quarterly bus discussion meetings (nor is anybody else that knows about the realities of buses in Colchester!).
In our first years we secured major improvements in the evening and Sunday Colchester town services supported by Essex County Council, which remain at a higher level than elsewhere in Essex (where there are no user groups to intervene!), and in consequence have become much better used and now require smaller subsidy levels.
We have been much involved in dealing with incorrect timetable information in all formats. We also put up information notices at town centre bus stops regarding forthcoming service changes etc (as such information is now often only officially available on websites, and even then is not necessarily presented in good time or in a readily accessible or understandable way).
Surveys are conducted of bus running; and members’ experience of the punctuality and reliability of buses on ‘their’ route is also vital. In our early days there was a lot of significant early running in Colchester, but this has been reduced as a result of our activity. We seek to identify schedules that are too lax or too tight.
We do NOT deal with:
Issues that are essentially national political matters rather than local issues.
‘Incidents’ with bus company staff where a complaint is to be made that might result in disciplinary action: this must be done by you first-hand via the operator’s complaint service (and you need to record the exact time and the vehicle number).
HOWEVER we do want to be advised of any incident where the problem is over the correct route of the bus or the stops that should be served, or any problem that is regular rather than regarding one particular driver’s behaviour.
National Express services, coach travel of any kind, Community Transport services, school contract buses.