Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RANTS!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 23/03/10

Non-ARRIVAls Guaranteed!

This statement has appeared on the website of our ever-so-dependable local bus near-monopoly (I've left the spelling mistakes and all other illiteracy as it stands):

"Changes to Wrexham Service 12 and 13

"From Tuesday 6 April 2010, Arriva's service 13 will be improved and extended.

"Running every 30 minutes from Brymbo, calling into the Plas Coch Retail Park and Wrexham General Station, then extended from Wrexham Bus Station to Wrexham Industrial Estate via Rhosduu Road, Sandway Road, Box Lane, Jeffreys Road and Dean Road.

"Also from 6 April, service 12 will operate from Pentre Broughton to Wrexham Bus Station every 20 minutes. For customers in Brymbo whishing to travel to Maelor Hospital, a shuttle service will operate (Monday to Saturday daytime) between between Brymbo and Pentre Broughton whilst Railway Road is closed. Evening and Sunday journeys will continue to serve Brymbo.

"When Railway Road is re-opened service 12 journeys will be extended to Brymbo."

A few Qs and As for you (and for Arriva):

Q. What improvement does this provide?

A. A reduction in the service to and from Brymbo from three buses per hour to two.

Q. Any more?

A. Certainly. It means no more direct bus services from a village of over 2500 inhabitants to or from the local hospital.

Q. But there'll be a shuttle service to and from Pentre Broughton, won't there?

A. Yes, but Arriva haven't said when it will run, how often, how reliable it will be (although we can safely guess that bit from 'extended' experience), and how long people trying to get to and from hospital appointments or daytime visiting will have to wait in Pentre Broughton in howling winds straight off the Urals for their connection. Brymbo will be the only village out of fourteen in an arc from the A541 Mold road to the A525 Ruthin road on the western side of the borough (and the second largest of all fourteen) without a direct bus link with the hospital.

Q. OK, but the new service will go via Plas Coch Retail Park. Handy for Sainsbury's.

A. If you like, but how many people have demanded such a service? And how much will it add to the overall journey time for people who simply want to get into town? Even more than the amount of time which has been added to the current journey by having to go in and out of the Station yard when no-one ever gets on or off there?

Q. But it means the new service will be 'extended', won't it? It'll also mean that people can get from Brymbo to the Industrial Estate and back. That's got to be an improvement, hasn't it?

A. Most people from here who need to get to and from the Industrial Estate need to do so in the early morning, and this won't remotely meet that need. On top of which, Arriva's predecessor (Crosville) tried back in the 1990s to tack the Brymbo route on to the end of one which started on the opposite side of town (Queen's Park). This meant that the buses had to deal with heavy, slow traffic on both sides of the town centre, which led to the buses to Brymbo (which also ran through Brynteg and Pentre Broughton at that time) being invariably ten to twenty minutes late. It was so useless that even Crosville saw sense eventually and rejigged things after a few months.

Q. But they're still telling the truth when they say that the service will be 'extended', aren't they?

A. Yes, especially in terms of how long it'll take for people to get where they need to go. That will certainly be 'extended'.

Q. So what are Arriva doing by all these changes?

A. They're taking the piss, by the looks of it. Or as a former resident of a nearby village would put it: "Improved and extended MY ARSE!"

Q. So what can be done about it?

A. E-mail the idiots. You can do this here. (You don't have to put your phone number in, by the way; I typed "withheld" in there and it took it).

Arriva logo amended to read 'non-ARRIVAl'