The President of the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure said it was “disappointed” that additional bus services could not be provided for some summer events but claimed “Brexit and the covid pandemic” have and continue to cause “significant challenges” to the provision of a full bus service locally.
Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez recognised the challenges facing passengers because of reduced services but argued global circumstances have “radically” affected public transport provisions worldwide.
Responding to Deputy John Gollop’s questions in the States Assembly, Deputy de Sausmarez reiterated previous claims that recruiting drivers represents one of the enduring challenges but said the situation has somewhat improved – owing to renegotiated pay and younger drivers - resulting in a reduction of dropped bus runs.
She added that savings created because of reduced services have been returned to the States.
The case for nationalising the bus service, as raised by Deputy Gollop, will also be considered during the next tender process for the contract, and alternative models for ensuring adequate staff pay and conditions “will be considered”.
Pictured: Deputy de Sausmarez claims her committee want a better digital experience for customers.
On learning that CT Plus would be unable to provide extra services for the West Show, officers at E&I were directed to ensure additional links were provided for the North Show, as it was “too short notice” to do the same for the former.
The President only learnt of disruption to the West Show after seeing “noise” on social media, and not from the transport provider itself.
“Events should be an opportunity to showcase public transport options… we decided to do something about it rectify the situation,” she said.
“We aim to provide the best possible service we can in any circumstances… we will endeavor to ensure that these services are provided with additional bespoke transport links.”
“We do understand the reasons why [CT Plus] felt unable to provide that service.”
Deputies Gollop, Andrea Dudley-Owen, and Aidan Matthews queried if improvements to CT Plus’s website and app should be made, to which Deputy de Sausmarez insisted that it is something her committee have been “thumping the desk” over and will provide updates when possible – but noted it is not quickly deliverable.
She also said it “could not be keener” to see the return of live bus tracking to the service’s app.
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