EOur most recent Members' Meeting was the AGM
Ken Harris [Chair] welcomed guest speakers: County Councillor Ron Pratt, Tracey Fortescue (Business Development Manager, Community 360) and Kevin Brown (Controller, First Bus Chelmsford).
Paul Haworth reported on matters since the last AGM.
The Transport Team at ECC has received the accolade of the ‘Best Transport Authority of the Year’ Award.
In the past year DHBUG was involved with "Catch the Bus Week", also attended the various Shows on the Dengie. Contact was maintained with Operators and ECC Officers.
Some printed materials are being withdrawn by Essex County Council. In Burnham many bus stops do not have a timetable - it was recommended that we download the app on our phones, but not everyone is able to do this - and not all places have a usable signal.
There is an issue for buses to get into the bays to allow disabled access, etc., Caused by mis-parked vehicles and inadequate length of bay.
A further bus stop toward the end of town has been mooted, also a Bus Shelter in the area of the Clock Tower. Roadworks have been an issue, with lack of information at bus stops.
Sunday bus service into Burnham - a viable timetable was put forward to First by DHBUG but as yet they have not taken this up with ECC.
Rover Tickets - we wanted clarification on why there is no Child Rover Ticket.
An issue we have with the Concessionary Bus Pass is that there is no ‘Audit Trail’ - no-one knows what journeys are actually being taken.
County Councillor Ron Pratt gave some insight as to what is required as a Councillor, having recently taken up this rôle. Ron has a Bus Pass and is a user, also he has a Smart Phone which he uses to access information. Ron responded to a point made about a Bus Shelter at the Clock Tower and raised the point that the residents there did not necessarily want one right outside, also the question of design and cost, with a figure of £9,000 being conjectured. Communication with Essex County Council: it was recommended we get a reference number which should be passed to Ron who will then forward to the relevant body.
Burnham Carnival - bus drivers should be terminating at the rail station, some do not. Road closure needs better input to bus stops so users know.
Tracey Fortescue outlined what Community 360 does. Transport is provided for those who cannot access Public Transport for reasons of Mobility/Rural. This is supplied through Mini Bus or Private Car, through Section 19 which is via membership. 360 had suffered a 14% reduction in funding but have been informed no further cuts for 2 years from EC.C. Sections 19 and 22 are being reviewed by Dept of Transport, as some commercial operators are not happy how it is. Tracey felt that community 360 will be OK as only 25% of their services are transport, but for others it could present difficulties. The meeting was told that their website is community360.org.uk and leaflets were handed out.
Brown informed us that First in Essex were introducing new ticketing machines
which would enable contactless payments and also enable the Firstbus app to take
account of cancellations. With this he was able to justify why they are doing
this so soon after introducing the ‘VIX’ machines, which [it was suggested from
the floor] had been purchased with financial support from ECC. Kevin confirmed
that the drivers' machines already receive communication from ‘control’
regarding any problems with the service further down the line, and this feature
will be maintained.
Bus Stop design etc is not First but ECC. It was suggested from the floor that “wouldn't it be a good idea for First to communicate”. Question: “as the buses have cameras, why not record bus stop transgressions?” Kevin said First felt the costs would outweigh any benefits.
All our guests were thanked for coming and addressing the meeting along with answering their questions. Ken thanked all for coming, also thanks offered for the provision of Tea/Coffee and biscuits. Burnham Town Council were thanked for providing the room to hold the meeting.
committee for the coming year was elected as follows:-
Chair: Allan Brignall
Secretary: Doug Bown
Treasurer: Peter Manley
Other Committee Members: Ken Harris, Paul Haworth, Peter Goddard
There is always room for additional committee members, since the aim is to be as broadly-based as possible. This is a public user group, not a private club for transport buffs!