Thursday, January 06, 2011

Meeting with National Express Dundee's new Director

Earlier today, I met with Simon Mathieson, the new Director of National Express Dundee, over recent hikes in bus fares across the city.

I was anxious to raise constituents’ concerns about the recent bus fares increases that took effect this week, particularly about the increases in the cost of travelcards such as monthly and four weekly direct debit and the very significant increase in bus fares for passengers travelling 4 stages or more.  With regard to the 4 stages or more increase to £2 from £1.45 for a single trip, I queried the need for such a hefty increase.

Mr Mathieson indicated a willingness to look again at the effect of the £2 fare on a “case by case” basis and I have specifically asked him to look at the 22 service running from Ninewells Hospital in the West End Ward to Downfield.    If a passenger gets on the bus at Ninewells, or, say, Glamis Road, the hefty £2 charge will take effect at the stage at Clepington Road, so people going past that to, say, Downfield now find themselves paying an extra 55p every trip.    I do hope the bus company will rethink that.

We also discussed the better promotion of travelcards and Daysaver fares that can be more cost-effective for the passenger when compared to single fares and I also requested that National Express Dundee consider concessionary rates for people on benefits or low wages.

I have also raised with Mr Mathieson the issue of bus punctuality, highlighting issues over the past year with the 5 service, for example. I have also suggested that consideration be given to an evening service and a Sunday service on the 26 route that serves parts of the West End Ward.