27 March 2018
D&G bus is extremely proud of its bus driver Lee
Lee Bowditch noticed a gunman arguing with an older man
in the street and told his partner to call the police before
going outside, approaching the man and attempting to
calm him down whilst waiting for police officers to arrive.
Lee received a High Sheriff’s Award in recognition of his
outstanding bravery at a ceremony on Thursday 22nd
March 2018. High Sheriffs honour and recognise the
achievements of members of the community who go
above and beyond the call of duty to protect their
communities, the wider public and maintain the reputation
of their county.
Kevin Crawford, Operations Manager said “Lee
demonstrated exceptional judgment and courage in a
potentially serious situation outside of work, and in a
situation far above and beyond the duties and
esponsibilities of the employee’s position which is a
credit to Lee, a well-deserved award, congratulations
and well done from all his colleagues and friends at D&G
22 March 2018
Services may be retained but 8 week gap. Councillors please think again.
D&G Bus Ltd feel it is important to inform our passengers with regard to the recent (last eight months or so) Bus Review which has been completed within Staffordshire by Staffordshire County Council. As you may know the Council, like many others within the UK is ‘strapped for cash’; and the Council needed to make significant budget cuts from 1st April 2018. As part of the process the Council carried out a review of Bus Services across the County and from the 1st April 2018 some routes will face cuts or disappear altogether. D&G has been very supportive of the Councils actions which, to date, have been well thought through.
As a business we understand that the Council needs to operate within its financial constraints and that savings needed to be made. However, on Friday 16th March 2018 Staffordshire County Council have issued a relatively small tender - which is good news for D&G Bus Ltd as we may have more work. But there is always a but! Because the savings being made by Staffordshire are slightly better than they anticipated (presumably because of cuts to services on Saturdays and better prices from Bus Operators than they anticipated) they now have some money left to re-instate some of the bus services which were being cut. Great news we hear you say. Yes it is, well nearly! Because of the bizarre procurement rules operated by the Council, whilst ‘some’ of these services may be retained there will be an eight week gap between when the services cease on the 1st April 2018 and may re-start on the 4th June 2018.
Perhaps Councillors do not realise that people rely on buses, and to have an 8 week gap will cause considerable inconvenience and distress. Why not extend the existing contracts to cover the gap and ensure that the maximum number of passengers are retained for the new services, which will help their longer term survival.
D&G Bus contacted Staffordshire County Council to ask if they could review the timing to ensure that there would be no gap in service we were told that: “The overall contract value mandates the council to procure in line with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. These state a mandatory minimum time frame at which we have to advertise for. As this is a single stage invitation to tender (which has to advertise in Europe as well as the UK) we have no foresight as to who will bid and therefore the process does not unfortunately allow us to determine and agree alternative submission dates.”
We do not agree with the above. Bus Operators can provide tender prices quickly; the County can review and compare the prices; and then they can decide whether or not they can afford to retain the services or some of the services. We accept that not all the routes on the list will benefit from a reprieve, but some might, and there is no reason why any gap in provision is required. Staffordshire Councillors have turned what is a good news story into something else.
The routes under consideration which affect D&G Bus and our passengers are:
• 12 Longton – Barlaston
• 93 Biddulph Moor – Pennine Way
Common sense should prevail, not adherence to outdated rules. Please contact your local councillor and local media to make your views known.
David Reeves and Julian Peddle, Directors of D&G Bus Ltd