Natasha Asghar, who represents the Welsh Conservatives, is one of four regional Senedd Members serving the South Wales East region.
I am deeply honoured to have been elected to represent the people of South East Wales in the Senedd and would like to say a huge thank you to all of the people who supported me in my campaign.
I was delighted to be appointed Shadow Minister for Transport and Technology and am developing ideas which will hopefully benefit people all across Wales
Recently I was concerned to hear that constituents who use the Stagecoach 52 service from Abertillery to Blackwood are reporting difficulty in accessing the service due to Covid restrictions.
I realise that customer safety is a priority for Stagecoach and they have put in place an extensive enhanced hygiene regime to protect their passengers.
However, this is an hourly service and social distancing rules severely restrict the number of passengers that can be conveyed.
This has led to complaints of passengers being left behind, causing considerable inconvenience as they are unable to get to work or attend urgent appointments.
I contacted Stagecoach to ask what complaints have been made, what action has been taken to resolve the situation and if it would be possible to provide larger buses on this service or temporarily increase the frequency of the service.
There are promising signs that lockdown is easing and hopefully a return to normal may be seen before the end of the year, but this situation has to be dealt with now.
In their reply, Stagecoach say that bus services are designed to match the changing levels of restriction and customer demand and are agreed with the local authorities.
As far as possible within the resources they have available, they look to provide the capacity needed but this is limited by the size of vehicles in their fleet.
Drivers have been instructed that when the bus reaches its capacity, they must turn on the ‘bus full’ sign to indicate to any passengers waiting at bus stops that they are unable to stop until someone gets off the bus.
Stagecoach urges customers to travel at less busy times of the day, but I appreciate this is not always possible.
Passengers who have experienced difficulty are advised to contact Stagecoach by email, on Twitter or via the feedback form on their website as detailed below. If you are one of those passengers or know someone who is, then please do contact them.
- Email: email@example.com
- Twitter: @StagecoachWales
- Website: stagecoachbus.com/help-and-contact/south-wales/south-wales-bus-feedback-form
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