Last Friday, Robert Halfon met with Arriva in Harlow, in order to ensure the company can implement a better service for Harlow residents.
Following the loss of a number of bus operators in the town (Townlink/SM Coaches/Olympus), there has been a large strain on Arriva who has had to take up extra routes, and increased volume of traffic in the town makes timetabling difficult for bus companies, leading to late services.
“Following the meeting, it is very pleasing to hear that Arriva will be taking on some of the comments raised during the meeting. As the major bus operator in the town it is paramount that passengers are able to get the best service possible for the best price.
We discussed three main areas including a lack of routes, potholes in the Bus Station, and facilities for the blind and disabled on public transport.
It is important that bus companies cater for the disabled and elderly more effectively by introducing easy access into buses, and improved measures for the blind and partially sighted. I am pleased that Arriva are looking into how new fleets can be better equipped to meet the needs of all Harlow residents.
I am now going to contact Sainsburys about the possibility of a shuttle bus service to the Town Centre as many residents have contacted me about a lack of service on this route.
Regarding potholes, Essex County Council will be notified about holes in the bus garage which is damaging vehicles, thus diverts money away from services to fixing vehicles.
Following correspondence with residents about the lack of bus routes, such as routes 4/5 not running to the Town station, Arriva have told me they cut the town centre to station part of many routes due to under use.
I will continue to be in contact with Arriva to ensure that Harlow residents continue to have access to this vital service”.
Arriva has assured that they need to do more to improve its consolation process, and their engagement with local interest groups such as the disabled and pensioners.
The issue of through tickets will be looked at in this area to ensure the best service for Harlow residents.
In order to encourage greater numbers of disabled individuals using the service, Arriva assured that although retro-fitting improvements are not cost effective but if a business case could be made, newer fleet vehicles with these measures could be introduced.
These measures include scooter access, improved measures for the blind and engagement with the Harlow talking newspaper.