05 August 2011

Not to everyone's liking

Last month, Passenger Focus gave the coach industry a clean bill of health after it looked in-depth at the services operated by four operators, National Express, Megabus, Oxford Tube & Oxford Espress. The coach industry was also described as the UK's best-kept secret, the implication being that the untapped potential for the uninitiated is significant.

At the same time, Britain's leading rail fares and service expert, Barry Doe, gave the impression that he does not concur with the findings of PF. In the latest RAIL he opines: "...but I have never travelled on a coach in my life and hope I never shall."

This from the man who maintains the very informative Doe's Directory of Bus Timetables (DDBT). Clearly, the word 'coach' is noticeable by its absence! This really has thrown me.

Barry is no stranger to controversy. One of my favourite quotes of his is when he referred to Arriva's CrossCountry company as a 'dog of an operator' - something anyone who's unwittingly tried to return at 1630 using an Off-Peak Return will agree with. His succinct criticism is especially effective when bringing to bare the errors contained in the National Rail Timetable or shining a light on the complexities of the ticketing system and associated restrictions.

But for the author of the online DDBT to hope he never has to travel by coach is very disappointing indeed.

1 comment:

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