Monday, 9 September 2013

Are they still running?

Changes were due to Xelabus's Eastleigh routes today. So which timetables are valid? A look on Xela's website give you this:


...meanwhile a look on Traveline's timetable search, filtering for Eastleigh, gives you this:


So, the X7 definitely has a new timetable, which is only available from Traveline. The X1 should have a new timetable, but Traveline still shows the old one as being current. The X2 seems to have disappeared altogther. The X4 should have been renumbered the X3, but instead that has disappeared too.

Xelabus are clearly passionate about what they do, but I do wish they would put a similar amount of passion into telling potential passengers where and when their buses run!

Bluestar and Unilink have now released the full timetables for all of their routes affected by the changes on 22nd September. See two posts ago for details.

70 comments:

  1. Philip Blair, Managing Director of Xelabus :
    We do apologise for not having our web site up to date from the start of the change today. There had been some gremlins that had given us problems and an IT expert is on the case! Please call 02380 644715 during office hours for travel information. All bus stops on X1, X2, X3 and X7 now have new timetables and route number changes.Timetables at the bus station or on board our town buses. Just our web site which let us down - sorry to all our customers!

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  2. Considering they are also a bus marketing business their website is rubbish.

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  3. Do you know of a map of the new U2 route (or at least, know what the difference is)?

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  4. On the U2, it looks like the Begonia Road stop on Violet Road has been cut out, that's all. After Cantell (my old school!), the next stop will now be Daisy Dip. Traveline's map shows the U2 using Pansy Road, but that's an automatic calculation of the quickest route between stops, not necessarily the route the bus takes.

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    1. There's also a stop between Begonia Road and Daisy Dip, at the primary school on Honeysuckle Road (can't remember what it's called) - this isn't on Google Maps for some reason. Did you forget about this one or is this being removed as well? (Not that I use it, I'm just interested).

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    2. Bassett Green School. It's not listed on either the current or the new stop listings on Traveline, so I don't think it's an official stop now, even if some drivers might stop there if passengers want to use it. I don't think the status of that stop will change, as buses will still need to pass it to get from Cantell to Daisy Dip.

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    3. I was rather surprised today on a U2B to notice it go down Pansy Road. So the route might already have changed?

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  5. Looks like Xelabus forgot to add a timetable and flag to the stop in Bosville near Birch Grove.

    Either that, or they have changed the route without giving any of their passengers the relevant information, but instead just removing the bus stop flag and timetable completely.

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  6. A lot of us with Xelabus would, like their friends at Crosville in Weston super Mare, permanently vanish and leave bus operation to the professionals.

    Both are possibly the worst examples of anoraks playing buses at the moment.

    Isn't xelabus meant to be wizards at marketing? Well, you lodged the registrations 56 days ago, and 56 days is sufficient time to sort your house out in time for a service change. And your excuses are what exactly?

    Witness the number of registrations xela have lodged at VOSA since commencing in October 2010 - it is around 70. For a 20ish vehicle operation. A constantly changing fleet composition, constantly altering routes (two goes on the 63 in Winchester in 12 months) all of which project an impression of instability.

    Not what you expect from an operator using a 'traditional' livery. Do xela get as bored with their preserved 'toys' as they do with their crayons/pens and paper when they run bus services?

    Please do everyone a favour and leave bus operation to people who have a clue about long term development rather than continually alter services. Or, better still, get in a consistent, standard fleet, get in some services and do some long term development and your neighbours may then be impressed with your presence.

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  7. If you read this you'll see that Xela are stopping the Winchester 63/63A & an established bus company (Stagecoach) are to start running it again! http://www3.hants.gov.uk/passengertransport/public-transport/pt-info/busnews-hampshire/buschangesseptember-2.htm

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  8. Give Xela their due as Sunday's P.B Marketing Vintage (Regents & others) Southampton to Portswood high frequency (7/10 mins) free bus service was rather good. But alas there was no one to buy a timetable book from at Pound Tree Road. Shame as considering the money went to charity. I didn't buy in advance as unsure if able to go or not.

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  9. Philip Blair, MD Xelabus Limited11 September 2013 at 12:13

    Ok lets put this all to bed... Firstly anon 9 Sept 2115 is not worthy of an answer. I have already explained the situation about Xelabus in previous messages on this site. We do make changes as and when traffic / passenger / tenders allow. They are simply to make better use of the buses and also customer use. Before anyone says Yes but Xela don't leave services in place long, we do monitor journeys and individual trips and each is examined in details and costed accordingly. We do now feel we have finally identified the network but in October we are going to put in a couple of early morning X7 journeys following funding being available. As we have said before whilst we may have an interest in preservation, the Xela business is run as a business and is commited to operate a network of services in the local area. Regarding the Bosville stop on the X2 we had no use and therefore after quite a period of time decided to remove that section of route. Many of our changes have come about following customer comment and we have made sure all our fleet is used to its maximum. Service 63/A - we made suggestions to Hampshire CC about minor timing changes but they were not permitted so we had no choice but to surrender the service. Stagecoach are taking over from mid September running a 3 day service for the week. We had still said we would run the 63 each day and extend it to Tesco at Winnall! Regarding last Sunday - this day was run to put my collection of buses on the road for enthusiasts to enjoy and we have had a great deal of kind comments. We did raise £500 which we will be presenting to Naomi House next Sunday. We are providing next Sunday 10 buses - some from the collection and others from Xela with volunteer drivers to provide a frequent service on a Park & Ride operation. We support Naomi House and Neuroblastoma Childrens Cancer Charity and will always do this. Finally, our web site has been a real problem with an IT issue and it is being redesigned and will be up and running with a new fresh look shortly. We are really sorry this should have been live earlier than this particularly for customers who wished to see revised bus times for local routes and colleges.

    Looking to the future - we hope to announce some vehicle changes very soon!

    PHILIP BLAIR
    Managing Director
    Xelabus Limited

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    1. Surely if you wanted to extend the 63 to Winnall and HCC said no, then you could simply register a commercial service and timetable it effectively?

      Or are you suggesting that you wanted HCC contracted you to extend the service to Winnall?

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    2. If the vehicle changes take as long to announce as the website takes to get up and running, we have no chance of ever seeing a new or refurbished vehicle.

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  10. Turns out there has been an UNADVERTISED route change on the X2. No longer serving Bosville (now totally unserved by any route), instead running through Broadlands avenue (which is already served by the E1/E2) 10 minutes after Bluestar have run through.

    Absolute nonsense that this was not advertised. Xelabus have 56 days from the time they put forward to VOSA a route change, so well within that time, advertising on bus stops around Bosville and other abandoned roads could have been put in place to prevent customers pointlessly standing at bus stops waiting for a bus which will never turn up.

    Customer service is apparently what they take pride in, how is leaving customers unaware and left in the dark about route changes anything to take pride in?

    Rather annoyed Bosville resident.

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  11. From Mr Blair's reply - "Firstly anon 9 Sept 2115 "

    The post was actually at 2125, but then accurate timing isn't one of your companies strong points!

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  12. Philip Blair, MD Xelabus Ltd12 September 2013 at 08:26

    Anon on 11 September is to be advised that buses that operated X2 route did have notices to the effect that there would be a route change. Sorry he or she must have missed them.

    PHILIP BLAIR
    Managing Director
    Xelabus Limited

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  13. I am sorry Philip Blair, MD of Xelabus Ltd but I would have expected such responses had this have been the first time that Xelabus had made such mistakes but it is not.

    Firstly your website; services come and go and the website fails to get update and this was not the first time either. It took me 4 months to even realise Xelabus were running the ASDA Fareham contract and even then it was not advertised on your website.

    Likewise your Facebook Page that became quickly redundant, even after someone on there was pointing out that your website was being blocked by Google for malicious software (probably a false flag - but it was still blocked).

    I had hoped that Xelabus coming to the market under the wing of bus enthusiasts would bring some fresh air to the market; but I am not surprised that some of the residents along your current and former routs wonder if you are a fly-by-night making a quick Del-boy buck.

    .... and unfortunately a website closed to the public for an upgrade is only fuel for the fire - developing a new website while keeping the current one running is childs play.

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  14. Xela on Twitter? If not a shame as seems to be plenty of twits running them as no website. How many days? I made my own website in about a day. It's not (red) rocket science! LOL!

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  15. I don't wish to keep replying to comments on this site as I have already answered them but I want to reiterate that our web site has not "come and gone" but we are building a new more informative site with much more information and easier to read. Indeed we have taken on board comments about fares on operators sites and we will include these too. We are not putting together a "one day" site !

    You may have noticed we have had two demonstrator buses operating our X7 route recently and we are now giving thought to future vehicle provision.

    Perhaps some of the anons above would like to meet me and tell me their concerns???

    PHILIP BLAIR
    Managing Director
    Xelabus Limited



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    1. "Perhaps some of the anons above would like to meet me and tell me their concerns???"

      Meet me for what Mr. Blair? Tea and biscuits? Maybe a game of backgammon? Or are you looking for a fight? As that's the impression i'm getting. No need for fisty cuffs Philip, we are all gentlemen here. Let's talk on here...

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    2. How rude ! Phil is offering to meet to discuss any concerns you have but you just throw insults while remaining anonymous - you are certainly not the gentleman you profess to be !

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    3. Rude? No.
      Insults? What insults?

      He did not offer to "discuss". He offered to meet me and be told of my concerns.

      I have no desire to meet Mr. Blair. However, if he wishes to discuss my concerns, he can talk to me on here.

      I can remain anonymous if I wish. What right does anybody have to know my identity? You aren't exactly displaying your name either. "Tired Old Git" is no less anonymous than "Anonymous"

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    4. I certainly wouldn't want to meet you - I'm sure Mr Blair would be a pleasure to meet and talk to but you raise the issue of 'a fight' and 'fisty cuffs' !

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  16. It beats me how xela are run by bus marketing specialists, yet they seem unaware of the importance of maintaining a proper web presence.

    But as the sole reason for their existence is to permit anoraks to play with buses why should we not be surprised? I, too, thought they might be a breath of fresh air, but they just bimble from one change to another with no cohesive plan, no idea of what to do (hence the 63 in Winchester twice) and constant service change.
    Customers, don't like constant change, they like a fixed in place service that they can rely on and plan their lives around. 70odd registrations in three years, for a 20 vehicle fleet smacks of instability.
    Professionally run companies recognise this and operate accordingly. Companies run by anoraks playing buses seem not to - though there are exceptions and some are exceptionally well run.
    Why not either get a proper strategy in place, and stick to it, otherwise just stop playing with buses like they are toys and leave it to people who understand a thing or two about business development, like your purple neighbours have a decent, well thought out and executed strategy for growing their business.
    No doubt Phil Blair will also deem this comment not worthy of a response - but shall we say the writer of this comment knows a thing or two about how to run bus services professionally and does so for his day job!

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    1. Phil Blair has been professionally involved in the bus industry for a very long time so perhaps you should identify where you operate so we can judge your professionalism ! While I would agree with some of your comments, you seem to particularly want to put the boot into Xelabus when other larger operators are just as guilty of things like constant changes. Time to stop hiding behind the Anon !

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  17. My "one-day" website was at least active & available for people to look at. It wasn't one page. It was about 19. Yes it was a cheapy site but it was active on Yahoo Geocities for ages & that in the days when there wasn't all the build your own website help there is today. I'd have liked to have seen Xelabus timetables for services at the very least up & available on for one day in the past few weeks. Could have just had them as downloadable jpegs (pictures) from links on a single page. That would have done as a temp measure. And no I won't come into Eastleigh to chat as I don't know when the bus is running. I'm happy to comment & discuss with others on this forum without giving abuse (NOT saying Mr P.Blair is) as the content is vetted before it's published. When the all new Xela site is up & running it sounds like it'll be great to see & very informative. That will be great for the potential customer. But please don't keep changing services & numbers every few weeks! Once or twice a year maybe - fair enough.

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  18. Only they seem to call themselves that,and I was always told self-praise is no recommendation.

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  19. I travelled on another old fashioned step bus on the X7 yesterday and a wheelchair user was turend away from the bus. As usual I was snarled at by the rude driver. 100% low floor on this route? Friendly drivers? Laughable

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  20. Still no Xela website as at 1 October. It was 'coming shortly' according to their MD as he mentioned on here back on 11 September. How long exactly is shortly then?

    Is there any wonder that this outfit are not regarded by anyone but themselves as a serious bus company with any regard for their passengers?

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  21. Still no X-bus website at 5 October. Apparently they are bus marketing specialists...quite ironic really.

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  22. 6th October now... Nearly a week later and there is STILL no Xelabus website. I hope this loses them business. So unprofessional.

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  23. The future is bright ...the future is Wheeler's orange !

    Are there any commercial X-bus services suffering from the lack of information,or are they all supported by councils and supermarket section 106 money,hence no need to worry about anyone using them or not?

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  24. 10th,and still no sign of the website.Wonder if it when it eventually appears it will have as many spelling mistakes as their recent Eastleigh town services leaflet. Sloppy publicity as usual,and this from self-proclaimed experts.

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  25. the drivers at xela are leaving the company only last week 2 due to the way in which managers are acting at the moment we can only watch this space to see the out come .

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  26. no website - no drivers - no income - sounds like Del Boy, Rodney & co

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  27. No, just a couple of anoraks playing buses.............

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  28. 17 October and guess what? Yep,still no x-bus website and the normally very verbose MD has gone very quiet.



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    1. Yes,He's as quiet as his buses are empty of patrons.

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  29. Well, irrespective of the new x-bus website that's promised to be the best thing since deregulation or sliced bread (delete as appropriate), even the smaller operators (say Emsworth & district or Brijan) have a web presence with timetables up 24/7. I had heard about the new Xelabus route to Sainsbury's but needed to know the times the night before . Obviously you can't ring up Xela at midnight (well you never know I spose) & without a x-bus website or trying to pick my through Traveline - which isn't always easy - there was no chance. X-bus lost 2 passengers ......maybe they will become an x-bus company? Shame, but that's life.

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    1. I was out at SAINSBURY'S/MARKS & SPENCER earlier on this week and noted a Excelabus double deck bus on layover there.is this the new shoppers service from this point? as there is no signage or information anywhere

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    2. I heard about it thru N&P (VOSA) but no timetables & no info from non-Excel - a bus!

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    3. Yes it appears that VOSA is the only place that any of us are going to hear about the SAINSBURY'S/MARKS AND SPENCER shoppers service from.

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    4. The Exelabus website reminds Me when I was a youngster and television only transmitted for a few hours a day,if you turned the television on all you saw was the test card. This site at present is so similar.

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  30. Well it's up and running again. And I have to say........ wasn't worth the wait! Very basic site so I can't understand why it has taken so long.

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  31. can you give state the URL please (the link) ? As xela.info just shows the old 'holding' website

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    1. Sorry......... it's gone again............... bit like their services!

      Hopefully they are getting rid of the spelling mistakes, as apparently they "emply" drivers.

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    2. Well it's fortunate that we can obtain information via Timeline, a site which recently I have found excelent, such as the times and maps for the new Wheelers services. All the present operations of Xelabus are there also together with certain minor changes to a few services from mid November. PAC

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    3. As at 31st October 2013 still no Xelabus website. I wonder if Phil Blair could give us all some indication as too when it may be up and running? PAC

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    4. I found it up & running this eve 31st Oct. Where it proudly proclaims "Our up-to-date list of timetables for the services that we operate" .But no sign of Tesco Bursledon service timetable & no sign of Sainsbury's/M&S Hedge End timetable, even they are mentioned in the 'About Us and our Achievement' section! When oh when will a proper bus company take them over & not make such howling errors!?

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    5. Yes I found it this morning after checking the website this morning 1st November 2013. I too note no information for Tesco at Bursledon or Sainsbrys/Marks & Spencer shopper services at Hedge End. Not exactly a succesful start for a revised website. PAC

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    6. I am sure that Phil Blair of Xelabus must be pretty fed up with the comments many people have made about His website. The new website now up and running does Him no favours, when you go through the bus services His company provide. Instances are the Asda Totton shoppers services, which in some instances show no arrival times at Asda or no indication as to when they return to where they started from. The T1 to T4 in Winchester state that T1 and T2 run on Wednesday but T3 and T4 have no information as to the day or days that they operate. School services in some instances, also have no indication of return times. Today Saturday 2nd November 2013 I visited Eastleigh for shopping as I like Eastleigh for shopping, and noticed well loaded X7 journeys whilst there,plus upto date publicity and bus stop signs along the route. Please get your website right to match your bus stop publicity as on the X7 and X3 for your other operations,so complaints on this site cease to continually appear. PAC

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  32. Noted a L reg step entrance Dart in use on the Tesco Bursledon service on 1 November. Seem to recall PB demanding all his shopper route contractors use a low floor. Pots and kettles then,and hope he penalised himself for running that old crate!

    Hampshire Chronicle has a small piece this week stating that one of the Xela fleet was stolen and joy ridden around all weekend and nobody at X-Bus was aware it had gone until the police told them on the Monday. What a shower !

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    1. Yes I saw this article and as stated no one at Xelabus missed the vehicle all weekend. Mr Blair was asked to comment according to the article,but declined. PAC

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  33. No one was aware that one of their fleet had gone missing for over a day? Seems like a serious lack of control going on if a fleet cannot keep tabs on its vehicles. It's not like they're a big firm is it now...

    If they can't ascertain where a vehicle might be - what can be inferred about their procedures for checking driver licences, having correctly CRBed staff working, their daily defect reporting procedures? If they're lax on some things, does it follow that they'd be lax on others?

    I think it can be pointed out that a large operator would have some idea where the fleet was at any given time and that if a vehicle's location needed to be identified a system is in place that provides that answer within a swift timeframe.

    But anoraks playing buses don't operate in a professional manner nor have professional systems in place to manage their operations......... Anoraks don't seem to realise that customers of services want stability, don't want constant change and don't want stopping and starting of routes all the time.

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  34. I wonder if the "joyrider" service actually ran to a published timetable?! The little devil in me wondered if it could have run on the x7 & poached some of the real Xelabus passengers on this service. I also wonder nee wish that one of the bigger players would take up their own version of the X7 & give Xela some competition. Sitting back & watching sparks fly!

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  35. I don't seem to be able to find the long-promised fares charts on the new super-duper website.Can anyone else find them for me?

    Also,I see there is whole page of something called a customer charter or similar,which reads like a 1950s Conditions of Carriage notice! Deary me.

    Not worth the long,long wait IMO.

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  36. Fare chart = If you go to Tesco Eastleigh it's Free otherwise cough up!

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  37. Isn't it sad when all people can do is mock, criticise & knock other people - makes it even worse when they can only do it on an internet forum. Everyone is entitled to an opinion but its clear no matter what Xela do, it will never be good enough for some... Personally I think the biggest anoraks of all are on this very forum...

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  38. The fares are there.

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  39. Where? They are very well hidden!

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  40. Whoever you people are must really have it in for Xelabus? To me as a bystander they look good for a small company and certainly been reliable on my route X7. Okay not new buses but the buses I have used have been clean and a nice helpful driver. So what has Xela done to you people? I would like to know if you are ex employees??

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    1. No definitley not an ex employee, just someone who has watched this company (and others) get things so badly wrong, that it erodes passengers confidence in using their services.

      There is no excuse for the chopping and changing that goes on with their routes, and the overall lack of direction, and this debacle with the website just about sums up the lack of professionalism at this organisation!

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  41. If you care to read this thread from the start,it will give you just a little flavour of why some people get so annoyed with the company.

    Do you hear endless moans about independents like Velvet,Brijan or Wheelers' bus services or customer relations ?

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  42. Also the length of time this thread has gone on shows the strength of feeling re Xelabus. It's great that the X7 seems to be running well, but when you can't find out a simple timetable for buses to Sainsbury's Hedge end when they are actually written about in the text you do wonder about the professionalism of the Xelabus people. No web site for around a month & then when it appears it doesn't do what it says on the tin!

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  43. Well you obviously detest XElabus and that's up to you but I like the service I receive and when I have spoken to the staff they are all polite and go out of their way to help. Okay if there has been a problem with the web site why not write to the company and seek clarification as to why there have been issues? The other day a disabled person rang and said they could not get from Stoke Common because of her wheelchair and they provided for her a low floor bus. Its normally a bus with a step. I'd say that was professional in my books!

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  44. I tried emailing & didn't get an answer! Yes, it's good that a low floor bus was provided. (Soon all normal route buses will have to be low floor under EEC law.) I don't detest Xelabus. Just wish they'd be consistent with their approach to folk.

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  45. Suggest you email gareth@xelabus.info as he will be pleased to hear and answer any concerns.

    P A BLAIR
    Managing Director, Xelabus Limited

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    1. Is your email system actually working????

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