Bus company apologises after promoting bus service to village without buses

The Advertiser Series: MP Phil Wilson, right, with Brafferton villagers at the now disused bus stop last year MP Phil Wilson, right, with Brafferton villagers at the now disused bus stop last year

A BUS company has apologised after fliers advertising its improved bus service in Darlington were sent to a village that has lost all of its buses.

Arriva has launched a Love Your Bus scheme, which aims to give its customers a cleaner and more pleasant ride by deep cleaning its vehicles, giving them a paint job and adding air fresheners.

The company sent fliers about the improvements in the shape of Valentine’s cards to homes across Darlington, but upset the residents of Brafferton, on the outskirts of the town, who received the cards despite the village losing its Arriva service last January.

Since the subsidised service was axed due to Darlington Borough Council budget cuts, Brafferton residents have faced with a three-quarter-mile walk down an unlit country road to the nearest bus stop in Coatham Mundeville.

In an email to Arriva, one Brafferton resident said: “No thanks for your 'Valentine Card' re improved bus services within DBC area. Air fresheners? We get plenty of fresh air on our very long walks from Brafferton to try and catch a bus!

“How insensitive can you people be to the plight of those suffering rural isolation?”

Councillor Brian Jones, ward member for Brafferton, said he was "amazed" that Arriva was promoting clean buses and added: “They’re spending money on marketing that could have gone to providing a much needed bus service.”

An Arriva spokeswoman apologised for the flier error and said: “We were disappointed to learn that some of the mailers advertising the investment we have made in our services along North Road had reached some households that do not have a local Arriva service.”

Arriva’s Love Your Bus scheme is being rolled out on services across the town, starting on North Road services five, seven and eight.

A launch event was held in Darlington’s market square today (Tuesday, February 12) to highlight the improvements and the benefits of the new North Road Bus Priority Scheme, which the company said has already improved its reliability and time-keeping.

Nick Knox, area manager for Arriva North East said: “We’ve made a number of improvements by providing newly painted, cleaner buses with special additions such as air fresheners and shiny new wheel trims.

“Overall we have been working hard to ensure that our passengers have a more comfortable and pleasant ride.”

Comments (4)

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3:45pm Tue 12 Feb 13

Cycling Scientist says...

When do marketing guys finally understand that we do not need "shiny new wheel trims" but a bus that is exists in the first place, and then is reliable instead of not turning up with significant probability. They cut into their own flesh by not improving reliabiltiy, as this reduces customers who choose more reliable travel means (bicycles for example) what gives rise to lossy routes that are subsidised and finally cut. We do not need the not-working satellite tracked bus arrival timetable in the main bus station where occasionally the bus after "1min" and "due" suddenly disappears from the list, while not turning up. The public needs a reliable service and no marketing gadgets.
When do marketing guys finally understand that we do not need "shiny new wheel trims" but a bus that is exists in the first place, and then is reliable instead of not turning up with significant probability. They cut into their own flesh by not improving reliabiltiy, as this reduces customers who choose more reliable travel means (bicycles for example) what gives rise to lossy routes that are subsidised and finally cut. We do not need the not-working satellite tracked bus arrival timetable in the main bus station where occasionally the bus after "1min" and "due" suddenly disappears from the list, while not turning up. The public needs a reliable service and no marketing gadgets. Cycling Scientist

6:54pm Thu 14 Feb 13

hemmi1 says...

thanks arriva your shiny wheels would have paid for the service to continue through our village and the running time saved with the improved road layout on north road would enable a bus to have ample time to come around our village again this was another excuse why it was taken off best of all is the use of air fresheners on relativly new buses are you implying that the good folk in darlington stink ? the main difference between the german owned company arriva Deutsche Bahn and its highly respected predecessor united automobile services is in the name (services)
thanks arriva your shiny wheels would have paid for the service to continue through our village and the running time saved with the improved road layout on north road would enable a bus to have ample time to come around our village again this was another excuse why it was taken off best of all is the use of air fresheners on relativly new buses are you implying that the good folk in darlington stink ? the main difference between the german owned company arriva Deutsche Bahn and its highly respected predecessor united automobile services is in the name (services) hemmi1

4:44pm Sat 16 Feb 13

trafficman says...

Arriva has simply added insult to injury. They could easily run a service through our village a couple of times a day at minimal cost. They simply don't give a ****.
Arriva has simply added insult to injury. They could easily run a service through our village a couple of times a day at minimal cost. They simply don't give a ****. trafficman

12:48pm Tue 19 Feb 13

Thetraveller says...

The same leaflets in this story were also sent to all homes on High Grange estate at Faverdale - not far from Arriva's depot, but not served by any of the routes promoted in the leaflets, which run up North Road!. Meanwhile Arriva is also scrapping Sunday services on its route 19 to High Grange and West Park estates completely from 24 March - while the bus which used to go there sits idle at their depot for ten minutes before heading back to the town centre. Another winning PR move - no wonder the opposition (Go North East) is expanding so rapidly in other parts of County Durham.
The same leaflets in this story were also sent to all homes on High Grange estate at Faverdale - not far from Arriva's depot, but not served by any of the routes promoted in the leaflets, which run up North Road!. Meanwhile Arriva is also scrapping Sunday services on its route 19 to High Grange and West Park estates completely from 24 March - while the bus which used to go there sits idle at their depot for ten minutes before heading back to the town centre. Another winning PR move - no wonder the opposition (Go North East) is expanding so rapidly in other parts of County Durham. Thetraveller

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