Cashes Green: exploding a few the myths

The fall-out in the local media over Tuesday’s reduced bus service between Stroud and Cashes Green continues. It’s never good when the bus service attracts bad press; it’s even worse given that Stagecoach has actually been quite adroit at reducing the pain.

There are two types of service in Stroud: those with a reliance and those with a high reliance on revenue from free travel. The 37 to Cashes Green is in the latter bracket. This means that in spite of free travel growth on the service, the reimbursement Stagecoach receives per passenger is actually significantly less than the half-fare-plus-reimbursement it once received under the former half-fare scheme.

Added to which, a frequent and popular service such as the 37 needs to make a strong contribution to the overall position of the depot.

Stagecoach therefore is in an invidious position:

  • In short, this means that in spite of more people now travelling, revenue has actually gone down.
  • Unless an operator willfully chooses to go bankrupt, this cannot continue.
  • The measures Stagecoach has chosen to adopt maintains a high frequency of service, while releasing a resource to undertaken work at the most expensive times of the day – the morning peak and afternoon school peak.
  • Stagecoach has actually quite cleverly constructed a timetable that causes the least amount of hardship.
  • It is therefore incorrect to suggest that there is a blanket reduction from 15- to every 20-minutes.
  • Stagecoach retains the 15-minute frequency during the times of the day most popular with elderly passengers.
  • One fewer bus per hour between 0800 and 0915 and between 1445 and 1645 shrewdly reduces the service by only four departures per day (there are 47 return trips per day in all).
  • Provided demand remains buoyant, Stagecoach’s measures have safeguarded a vital service.

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