The controversial axing of the No. 3 caused uproar when it was proposed. The fast service used to whip down Holes Bay from Broadstone, bringing passengers to the rail station in just 10 minutes. A campaign by residents saw the flyer reinstated as the 4X for Broadstone commuters during the morning and evening rush hours.
But other travellers were not so fortunate. Instead of the No 3, Wilts and Dorset added an additional bus every hour to the existing ‘all-around-the houses’ No 4 route. Residents were told their journey to Poole would be just six minutes longer on this bus, but since the change on June 3, local councillors say they have been inundated with complaints that it can take up to half an hour extra.
Broadstone ward councillor Mike Brooke said: “We are getting letters emails, phone calls and every time I go into Broadstone I get stopped by people making complaints.
“There’s no improvement to reliability – sometimes buses don’t turn up or two come along at once. It’s always full with elderly passengers forced to stand all round the houses. There are times when it’s so full it doesn’t stop to pick people up – mothers with young children have just been left at the bus stop.
“People want the number 3 back – the number 4 is a disaster.”
Corfe Mullen County Councillor Susan Jefferies told the Echo residents in her area were similarly unhappy. One such is Liz Porter, a PA, who now has to leave an hour earlier at 5.40am to get her to Winchelsea School for work at 7.30am.
She said: “The 4 takes twice as long so I have to take that into account. They are not encouraging anybody to use public transport at all. When I first moved to Corfe Mullen there were five buses servicing the village – now we’re down to one which doesn’t provide a service for commuters. It’s not as if we’re in the middle of nowhere here.”
Ed Wills, operations director for Wilts & Dorset said he can assure customers that the situation regarding the services between Wimborne to Poole were being closely monitored.
“Many of the changes made to our services on the June 3 have generally been welcomed and have the potential to increase passenger numbers. However we are concerned about some comments regarding the Wimborne – Poole services.
“We are currently assessing the feedback from everyone including customers, drivers and our management team to see where improvements may be required in the level of service provided.”