Buses & coaches - Timetable changed without warning
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You must be given proper notice of any bus service change. This could be at the bus stop or on the buses themselves. Also a local call rate (or even free) telephone enquiry service should be available to mobile and landline users. You should be informed of any revised timetable two weeks beforehand.
You should know
- All bus and coach operating companies have different rules relating to customer issues; everything in this section is set out in the Bus Users Good Practice Guide.
- You must always complain to the company direct if you have a complaint about the service and give as much detail as possible
- Check each bus companies Conditions of Carriage for specific terms and conditions
- If you cannot settle your complaint directly with the bus company you can ask Passenger Focus to follow up complaints to any bus or coach company within the UK.
- The exceptions to this are, London where you can complain to London Travelwatch and Northern Ireland where you should contact The Consumer Council for Northern Ireland
Conditions of Carriage
These are different for each bus company and form the terms and conditions of your contract with the operator. They often set the way issues must be handled and what compensation, if any, you are entitled to. Transport of London set out your conditions of carriage on London transport.
Submit your issue for free
The resolver system holds the contact details for bus operating companies and will help you deliver and manage your complaint as it is important that you keep a complete record of all dealings you have with the bus operating company.
Setting up a case in resolver will mean the company is automatically nudged with a reminder email if it does not respond. If you are not happy when a response does arrive, the system reminds you when you can raise your case to the next most senior level of management within the company.
If an issue cannot be resolved with the bus company, you have the right to take your case to the nominated body Passenger Focus to try and negotiate a settlement on your behalf. If you are still unhappy then the Bus Appeals Body or Bus Appeals Body Scotland will look at all the evidence again and issue a decision on the case. The Bus Appeals Body is an independent organisation set up by Bus Users, which represents passengers, and the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), which represents bus companies.
The exceptions to this are London, where you can complain to London Travelwatch. Unlike the rulings of an ombudsman, the recommendations of London Travelwatch are not binding on the company and they can choose to ignore the proposed solution, but this is rare.
For Northern Ireland you should contact The Consumer Council for Northern Ireland.
Who regulates the market?
Buses in the UK are regulated in a variety of ways. Bus transport in London is regulated by Transport for London. Bus transport in some large cities is regulated by Passenger Transport Executives. Bus transport elsewhere in the country must meet the requirements of the local Traffic Commissioner, and run to their registered service.
While travelling by bus and coach around Europe you are protected by passenger rights. These rights apply as long as your journey begins or ends within the European Union, it is a regular service, and you are set to travel along specified routes with predetermined stops at specified intervals.
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