‘Bus tracking devices will improve service in Hemel’

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WAITING at a bus stop and wondering whether the bus will even turn up will soon be a thing of the past.

Herts County Council is set to roll out ‘real time’ bus information in Hemel Hempstead at the beginning of next year so that bus passengers can track where their buses are on a mobile phone app.

It follows an investment from the local sustainable transport fund.

This is good news for the passengers who were left waiting 45 minutes at a Grovehill bus stop last Monday for a bus that was supposed to travel about every 10 minutes into the town centre.

It was the third time passengers had been stranded for more than 30 minutes and it also caused a backlog of passengers, which meant the driver had to ask some people to wait for the next bus to arrive because his bus was full.

Arriva spokesman Linsey Frostick said: “The main cause is at school peak times, especially in the morning, when inconsiderately parked cars block routes and roads and make it difficult for our buses to get through.

“We are currently monitoring the situation and will be writing to schools to encourage them to ask parents to ensure roads are not blocked during the morning school run too.

“Herts County Council is investing in real time information. It will give us much more information to be able to plan peak journeys better.”

It will use a vehicle location system in conjunction with the bus timetable to calculate where the buses are and display the information on an electronic board at the bus stop and on the Intalink mobile phone app.

The council has already been working with Centrebus, Metroline and Uno on real time devices to be in shelters by the end of summer.