On Mon, 19 Sep 2016 16:23:04 +0100, "Michael R N Dolbear"
Post by Michael R N Dolbear
Press release 02 September 2016
Abellio Surrey from 31 December 2016 intends making changes to two services
run on a commercial basis. Service 446
(Woking to Heathrow Terminal 5) is to be withdrawn between Staines and
Heathrow and service 461 (Kingston to Staines) is to be withdrawn between
Addlestone and Staines.
At the same time, Abellio has sought to be released from county council
contracts for nine services that are subsidised by the council, none of
which are part of the ongoing Local Transport Review.
These are: 81 Woking-Barnsbury Estate (Sundays only), 436 Woking-Brooklands
(Sundays only), 458 Kingston-Staines, 514 Kingston-Addlestone, 515
Kingston-Guildford, 555 Heathrow-Hersham, 556/557 Woking-Chertsey/Sunbury
and 663 Walton on Thames to Esher High School.
No reasons are known to me.
There was a BBC Radio Surrey interview with a rep from the bus user
group and from Surrey CC a few weeks ago.
You can guess what the bus user rep wanted. The man from SCC was not
sympathetic. He said cuts to date had all been very marginal and that
SCC had been in discussion with Abellio for months. Tellingly he said
the Council had already made extra interim payments to Abellio to
"keep them going". This rather suggests to me that something's gone
badly awry somewhere - costs, revenues, ridership. Several of the
routes in question have been moved off clockface timetables to help
reliability but once people can't easily remember when the bus is due
they stop using them. We have the same issues now on a small number
of TfL routes where run times became unsustainable so buses are every
65, 70, 80 or 90 minutes.
I've also seen a suggestion that funding from HAL may have been
reduced or simply declined as was intended and this has imperiled some
of the routes into Heathrow from Surrey. Any way round it doesn't
look very hopeful at all. In more "financially flush" times you might
seen TfL do something about the Portsmouth Rd corridor out to Esher or
even the bits of the 514/5 around Thames Ditton / West Molesey but not