A survey looking at bus services across the North East has revealed that more than 85% of bus passengers in the North East are satisfied or very satisfied with their local bus service. This is the second year that this survey has been carried out and results have shown an increase in satisfaction amongst bus passengers across the region since 2010.
Carried out in partnership between Nestrans, Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City Councils, the 2011 survey saw more than 1,000 passengers across the North East asked for their opinion.
Passengers were targeted at locations across Aberdeenshire and in the city, including the bus station, Union Street and outlying areas such as Torry, Dyce, Cults and Bucksburn.
As well as an increase in overall levels of satisfaction amongst users since 2010, the survey results show that passenger satisfaction with bus services in the North East of Scotland is higher than across Scotland as a whole.
Although the survey shows improvements in satisfaction with bus reliability, improved journey times and decreased waiting times it is recognised that there are still areas for improvement. Nestrans, Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, First and Stagecoach continue to work together in an effort to address these and continue the trend of improvement. Initiatives currently being taken forward include significant improvements to at-stop timetable information, continued investment in the bus fleet and joint working through a bus punctuality improvement partnership which is seeing significant improvements to the punctuality of buses and has overseen the construction of a new section of bus lane on King Street (between East North Street and Castle Street) which will help improve the reliability and journey times of buses on this corridor as well as benefiting general traffic.
Derick Murray, director of regional transport partnership Nestrans said: “These latest results are extremely encouraging and can be attributed to increased and proactive steps taken by local operators, the two Councils and Nestrans to improve services and put passengers first.”
Aberdeenshire Councillor Peter Argyle, Chair of the Infrastructure Services Committee said: “The results show that customer satisfaction is already higher in the North East compared to the rest of Scotland. We are constantly looking for new ways to enhance customer care and the survey demonstrates that changes are being made and that is making a real difference to the travelling public.”
Andrew Jarvis, Managing Director for Stagecoach Bluebird commented “Whilst the survey results are a fantastic endorsement of the hard work and great customer service from my team, we are not complacent and will continue to look for ways to improve the overall service we offer to customers.”
Duncan Cameron, Operations Director at First in Aberdeen said: “Over the past year we have put a lot of effort into improving the punctuality and reliability of our services to the benefit of our customers. Indeed we are pleased to say that we are now regularly meeting 93-95% reliability across our network. It is great to see that these improvements are being recognised by customers as is borne out by the results of the annual bus satisfaction survey.”
Kate Dean, Convener of the Enterprise, Planning and Infrastructure Committee at the City Council said: “”It is vital that an international city like Aberdeen has a high quality, fully integrated and reliable public transport network in order to give people a real alternative to travelling by car and to ensure we can promote more sustainable forms of transport in the city. I am delighted that the public have expressed strongly their satisfaction of the public transport network in Aberdeen.”