Context:For the Academic Year 2012/13, the Student Saver bus pass is priced at £301.Towards the end of the last academic session, students and public users of the 699 service experienced over capacity due to a changing of the timetable in January 2012 and the change of route that took the 699 service down Brownlow Hill, instead of Oxford Street, off Abercromby square.At the end of the academic sessions; during a meeting between Arriva, The University of Liverpool, and the Liverpool Guild of Students, an agreement was reached to alleviate the congestion an additional service from Greenbank Halls would be explored.Students living away from campus are given no other option than to buy an Arriva bus pass, due to their monopoly of that area, yet have found extreme difficulties in using the service they have had to pay for.There is a large community of students living in the Smithdown area who also purchase student passes and require the use of the 699 service. The knock on effect of the buses filling up at Carnatic is that students wanting to use the service along Smithdown Road are not able to do so, putting more pressure on the ‘regular’ services (86 etc.) and impacting on the local residents who use the additional Arriva buses.
We, the undersigned believe:Users of the service have recorded waiting up to 1.5 hours to get on a bus as the service has been full, therefore the advertised time of a bus ‘every 10 minutes’ is false.£301 is a vast amount of money to charge, and during the first 5 weeks of this semester, the service provided for that money has been grossly inadequate.There needs to be additional buses running to ensure that during peak times users are able to get on the service once every 10 minutes as is advertised.That due to the long queue times thus far, students have missed lectures, seminars, and vital contact time which has impacted negatively on their education. Similarly, students have also missed important introductory events at the Liverpool Guild of Students which has impacted negatively on their wider student experience.Conclusively, the joint effect of this has had a negative impact on students welcome period to the University, the Guild, and the city.There should be an additional service at peak times directly from Greenbank Halls, to allow students living at Greenbank Halls the same opportunity to use the bus as those living at Carnatic.Furthermore, the current additional 8.15 and 8.30 service is not adequate.This may lead to an alleviation of the difficulties along Smithdown Road, but if not, an additional service along Smithdown Road should be explored.The result of queues of up to 150 people at the key stops (Outside Carnatic, Greenbank and the Liverpool Guild of Students) has been students cramped onto the buses right up to the doors. This is a health and safety risk which puts unfair responsibility on drivers and in the event of a crash would present a serious risk to those travelling on the service.Users who have purchased a bus pass this year deserve a written apology from Arriva for the substandard service so far this academic year.
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