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Philip Evans


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Thursday, 06 March 2014

A bus company has come under fire for failing to provide enough capacity on busy services to and from Axminster.
First blames fleet refurbishment, and has apologised for any inconvenience caused.
An Axminster woman, who does not wish to be named, claims her two children have had regular problems getting to and from The Woodroffe School in Lyme Regis since September last year.
This is, she says, because First regularly uses single-decker buses, which fill up quickly and force drivers to refuse would-be passengers on the 31 Axminster-Weymouth via Bridport route.
The woman said: “If a single-decker turns up, children get left behind.
“We seem to have spates of it. It has been a problem in both directions since September.
Missing lessons
“It is not helpful, they are missing out on the start of their school day be it a lesson, an assembly or tutor time.
“I’ve called First and they tell you a manager will call you back, but they never do.
“Become a Fan on Facebook is their [First] advertising, but parents who have had children left behind before or after school would beg to differ.”
Woodroffe pupils are not the only ones affected, though. Pulman’s View staff and other working people use the service to get to and from work.
On a recent service, the 8.10am from Axminster on Monday February 24th, the bus filled so quickly that people were denied boarding as early as in Trinity Square.
When asked why single-deckers are being used on popular services, such as the 8.10 am from Axminster, a First spokesperson said: “Single-deckers were used because vehicles used on the 31 service are being refurbished.
“We avoid using single-deckers on this route because of its popularity and we apologise for any inconvenience this has caused to customers.”
Pulman’s View asked why two single-deckers aren’t deployed when double-deckers are unavailable. A spokesperson said: “There are not enough single decker vehicles in the fleet to double up in such situations.”


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