Ride on time (most of the time): Greater Manchester buses punctuality increases year-on-year since 2009

Exclusive by Rachel Buckley

Commuters who spend cold, dark, winter mornings huddled under rickety shelters with half-sleeping workers can take solace in the fact that buses in Manchester are 6.3% more punctual than in 2009.

A freedom of information request revealed that between April 2012 and April 2013, 83.1% of buses were on time, an increase from April 2009 to April 2010 where 76.8% of buses were punctual.

Over the past few years, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has been working in partnership with bus operators and district highway authorities to improve the service delivery.

A spokesperson for TfGM said: “The partnership based approach has delivered tangible bus performance improvements.”

The punctuality of the service has slowly increased and results show that buses were on time 80.2% of the time between April 2010 and April 2011, increasing to 81.8% between April 2011 and April 2012.

While many members of the public who frequently travel by bus seem content by the services being delivered others were less impressed.

Hannah Parrett, a 32-year-old who works as a human resources assistant in Salford, said: “The buses aren’t that frequent and do not correspond with the timetables.

“I’m very surprised that the punctuality has increased.”

However, despite grumblings from some users many feel the increasing punctuality of buses is certainly noticeable.

Phil Downie, 21, said: “There are loads of buses during the day, they are really punctual.”

Taylor Colino, 18, who studies psychology at the University of Manchester, said: “The service is amazing – if I miss a bus then I only have to wait five minutes for another one!”

While Manchester’s Metrolink service often comes under-fire from disgruntled members of the public it appears that bus users are, for the most part, increasingly satisfied with their bus services.

Naomi Garrett, 23, production manager for a company in Manchester, said: “The buses on my road are completely unreliable, but the ones from the town centre are great.

“There’s so many that you’re never waiting for long to get anywhere.”

Alex Ayres, 20, a physics student at the University of Manchester, said: “I think they’re mostly very frequent on the busy routes, especially the Magic buses which have buses nearly every other minute, however at peak times it seems there are never enough to carry all the students.”

Image courtesy of Gene Hunt , with thanks

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