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to think a bus shouldn't leave almost 15 minutes early?

(25 Posts)
Tinklewinkle Mon 08-Jun-15 09:50:29

It might have been even more than that actually, my watch is usually a few minutes fast

I had to take my car in for a service last week so got the bus into work

According to the timetable there is only one bus per hour to where I work and it was due at 8:58 Perfect I thought, take the kids to school and drop the car off at the garage with plenty of time for the bus.

As I was pulling into the garage I saw the bus a few cars ahead of me, but it was only 8:40am so I wasn't concerned. The garage wasn't open so I was just parking it in the car park and posting my spare keys through the letter box. Took all of a minute, the bus stop was a couple of minutes along the road but as I was walking towards the bus stop the bus pulled away. It was still only 8:45am.

The bus stop is a big one, not the main bus station but one of those intermediate terminus things, with a couple of stands for different buses and this would have been the start of the journey if you see what I mean, so I'd assumed the bus would wait at the stop until the around the timetabled time before leaving

I emailed the bus company and just got a reply, just saying that the times on the timetable are only "approximate" and cannot be guaranteed.

Now, I'd agree with that if it was a few minutes, but AIBU to think 15 minutes early is too early, especially when there's only 1 bus an hour? Otherwise, what's the point of a timetable?

Collaborate Mon 08-Jun-15 09:55:35

YANBU. Round here. if the buses are running early they'll crawl along in second gear (infuriating to be driving behind, but there you go).

ThisTimeIAmMagic Mon 08-Jun-15 10:00:27

YANBU. Follow it up. Presumably they must be regulated in some way.

bustraintram Mon 08-Jun-15 10:09:38

Definitely not acceptable - when I saw the title I thought it might have been the previous bus running late but from your post that clearly wasn't the case - only exception to this is sometimes at peak times there is a "duplicate" ten minutes before or after if one bus is too small. We have an hourly bus but there are three buses in the space of ten minutes around 0800 due to school children and commuters.

Assuming this was not the case, definitely complain to the company. As you can guess from my user name, I work in public transport. If it was one of my buses (I hope it wasn't!!) an apology and travel vouchers would be forthcoming but many other transport companies don't operate in the same way...

Tinklewinkle Mon 08-Jun-15 10:15:05

Thanks! I'll email them back.

It definitely wasn't an earlier bus running late, I had to wait over an hour for the next one - which did leave at the right time.

Their email just said that times were "approximate" and that they recommend passengers allow plenty of time to undertake their journey. That bit has given me the rage actually angry

sanquhar Mon 08-Jun-15 10:16:25


this is why i use public transport as little as i can. it's even more annoying on rural busses because if they are late/ early it can screw up connections, you can miss appointments etc, especially if you're going to a 2-busses-a-day place!

not too long ago i arrived at the bus stop 10 minutes early, just in case the bus was early, it ended up being 20 minutes late! i have fibromyalgia and the bus stop had no bench so after standing up for 30 minutes i was in agony and stayed in agony for days.

how can japan be soooo god at timekeeping for trains/busses but the uk so unutterably shit!?

sort it aaaht transporty people!

bustraintram Mon 08-Jun-15 10:21:36

Fair enough, it sounds like a driver who made a mistake/didn't bother waiting. They cannot say that times are approximate at all bus stops. Buses are timed to a series of key timing points along their journey, which can as it happens only be a maximum of 15 minutes running time apart. Whilst times between these points are approximate, firstly it sounds like the bus stop you were using would have been a timing point (they are usually big stops), and even if it wasn't it would be impossible for the driver to leave the last timing point on time and be that early.

timelyreminder Mon 08-Jun-15 10:30:36

YANBU. Timetables should not be "approximate". If the bus is early it should wait until the right time before leaving.

Notgoodwithwords Mon 08-Jun-15 10:32:47

Same happened to me this morning.. Our buses only run once every hour so I'm late for a job interview... confused Bloody great!!!

Tinklewinkle Mon 08-Jun-15 10:42:29

Thanks all.

It was infuriating, I was late for work on a day that I had to leave bang on time to make it back to pick up my car before the garage closed. Fortunately I have an understanding boss who was kind enough to give me a lift back to the garage as soon as my car was ready so I didn't have to get the bus home again

I'll email them again.

I can understand the "approximate" thing with those little request stops where there's no proper bus stop, but this was a biggish terminus with more than one stand and it was the start of the route. A few minutes either way, yes, but not 15. The driver must have left early on his previous journeys to have got there that early

RebootYourEngine Mon 08-Jun-15 10:45:25

I always give or take a couple of minutes but 15 minutes is seriously unacceptable. I would email back and say that you arent accepting that as a reason.

PurpleSwift Mon 08-Jun-15 10:51:39

YANBU at all, that stupid. I don't even leave my house until 5 mines before the bus is due and have never missed it because it's early!

sunseeker66 Mon 08-Jun-15 11:07:47

YANBU they should stick to the time. Otherwise what is the point of a timetable?, they might as well just say "oh well there might be a bus today, just wait and see"

If my DP drove his train 15 mins too early away from the station he would be sacked.

CuttingOutTheCrap Mon 08-Jun-15 11:17:51

Id be tempted to tweet them and see if you get the same reply- somehow I doubt they'd be quite so happy to say it's ok for the buses to be 15 early on social media. I'd also ask what their policy is on how late and early their buses can leave- is it 15 minutes either side of the advertised time, so a window of half an hour? Somehow I doubt it!

Icimoi Mon 08-Jun-15 11:29:42

So is this bus company seriously suggesting that, say, it is reasonable to operate a service on the basis that a bus scheduled to leave at 10.30 may in fact leave at any time between 10.10 and 10.50? So you should arrive at 10.10 but you may have to wait 40 minutes? That is utterly absurd!

As you say, OP, it is reasonable for timings to be approximate further along the route as they can't know what traffic will be like, but it cannot conceivably be right for buses leaving the depot.

I would suggest trying to find the contact details of someone senior to the person who replied to the email and writing to them direct.

Seriouslyffs Mon 08-Jun-15 11:33:18

That sucks OP and Notgoodwithwords- Good Luck!!

Tinklewinkle Mon 08-Jun-15 11:39:09

Icimoi. Yes, they do seem to be suggesting that.

I don't know why they bother publishing a timetable. We should all just rock up at the bus stop hours before we need to be anywhere, it's not like we have anything else to do

I had emailed the customer service address (I just emailed the address printed on the timetable in the bus stop from my phone while I was bored waiting) but I've found a proper complaints address on their website and forwarded them the whole thing

larry5 Mon 08-Jun-15 12:51:45

Dds fiance used to work for First Buses in Bristol and was told that he would be penalised for running early but not for running late. That is why round here we find buses sitting at bus stops sometimes because they are not allowed to leave until the timetabled time.

Mind you most of the time the buses are late!

Fingeronthebutton Mon 08-Jun-15 14:10:18

Take it further. Buses are highly regulated. You might not be the only one complaining. Too many and they could loose their licence.

fatlazymummy Mon 08-Jun-15 15:23:34

My brother was also told that running early was a disciplinary offence in his bus driving days. They are meant to wait at the stop until the time it says on the timetable. I would complain as well.

Tinklewinkle Mon 08-Jun-15 15:27:40


I've had an email back from the complaints team now. They're going to look into it and get back to me.

I know there would have been more complaints. Several of us emailed them from our phones while waiting for the next bus.

Tinklewinkle Mon 08-Jun-15 15:28:54

Oh, and Notgood I hope you made it to your interview and it went well.

mileend2bermondsey Mon 08-Jun-15 15:34:19

I was recently back home and was getting a bus from Manchester to Wigan. This bus runs once an hour, it turned up 25 late. Honstly what if I'd been going to work or a hospital appointment? I asked the driver wasnt this bus supposed to come at X time? He briefly thumbed through his little timtable book before shrugging 'yeah, probably, there was a lot of traffic though' OMG that is not my problem. Surely busy traffic at peak times of the day should be built into the time table.And they wonder why no one uses public transport, its a fucking shambles.

I think London has spoilt me. If I have to wait more than 5 minutes for a bus, which I'd probably been tracking using their incredibly helpful and free GPS app, I'm pissed off.grin

mileend2bermondsey Mon 08-Jun-15 15:34:58

25 minutes late*

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Mon 08-Jun-15 15:36:16

You did get there in plenty of time! YANBU

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