Websites – what exactly is the point?

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  • #111911

    Transportuser
    Participant

    We have all this wonderful technology that’s rendered useless, because incompetent people make a pigs ear of it.
    Wrexham Council are, apparently, proud of their “award winning” website.
    An award for what, failure to be of any use?

    Some things you would think would be very simple.

    Go to the Bus services page and there, for all to see, is a heading – Changes to bus services.
    Excellent, you would think.
    Just look there and the diversions to the 32, and 33, buses would be there for all to see.
    But no, nothing at all, anymore than there has been for the diversions because of work on Ruabon Road, or Watery Road, over the last few months!
    How about the Chester bus issues? No, nothing at all.

    Perhaps it’s under the related link – Diversions to bus routes?
    Well, NO.
    In fact the links to Bus Services, Changes to Bus Services, and Diversions to Bus Routes lead to pages with different addresses but identical content!
    What exactly is the point of having these links if they serve only to confuse, and provide incorrect information? – As in “No changes” today.

    Perhaps the “Register for email Bulletins” will help?
    I’ve done it several times before, but received nothing. Perhaps another try.
    Failed again, despite the link being listed as a related link, on the Bus Services page, there doesn’t seem to be an option to receive bus related information!
    At one time I got planning application information, that stopped with no explanation!

    This is at a time when “North Wales Metro” rears its head.
    “High quality, frequent, reliable bus network” is, apparently one of the aims.
    I assume the fact the the D42 Wrexham – Mold bus is ceasing to operate on May 13th is part of this “improvement” in services!
    So, after then, there will be no Wrexham – Mold service after 17:45, during the week, and none at all on Sundays and bank holidays!
    What about people who rely on busses to get to work?

    Some people are going to have a shock as there’s no mention of this on the Wrexham Council, Flintshire Council, or the bus company websites.
    How many other services are changing that we are unaware of?

    The whole public transport thing is a mess.

    It would be interesting to see if anyone from the council has a reasonable explanation as to why things are so badly handled.

    #111944
    Councillor X
    Councillor X
    Participant

    Transportuser, rather than ranting here, why not do something productive and ask the Council the question?

    Wrexham Council Feedback Form

    A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.

    #111949

    Transportuser
    Participant

    Transportuser, rather than ranting here, why not do something productive and ask the Council the question?

    Wrexham Council Feedback Form

    What a stupid comment!
    Not what I was hoping for, I must admit.
    I was hoping for something more akin to – try speaking to Mr.

    A response without knowing the facts!
    I have contacted, or attempted to contact, the council several times.
    They last occasion just a few weeks ago.
    That time I was told the person I need to speak to was unavailable but would call me back.
    I said that from previous experience that was unlikely to happen but was assured that I’d be contacted the next day.
    I’m still waiting!

    I’ve also spoken to officers at the transport users session at the bus station.
    Again, that wasn’t advertised on the website!
    I didn’t expect anything productive from that as they didn’t even make a note of anything.
    The one gentleman even seemed incapable of maintaining eye contact while we talked so I wasn’t expecting anything to be done.

    Any response you do get seems to be the council blaming the bus companies, or the bus companies blaming the council.
    Wrexham Council have even blamed Flintshire!
    Although, how any of that affects what’s on the website is beyond me.
    The only reason Wrexham Council gives is lack of funds.
    If they are short of funds why have they been paying for power to lots of redundant equipment for years?
    It was pointed out to them some years ago but nothing has been done.

    I’ll try the form, again.
    At least the current version has space to put you email address in, unlike the previous one.
    Despite putting my email address, in the body of the message, I didn’t get a response to that.

    My frustration is partly due to the fact that I successfully use public transport in many towns around the UK but find the local one fails on so many levels.

    Public transport should be encouraged as it brings so many benefits but, as long as it’s unreliable and difficult to get information about, it’s difficult to persuade people to use it.

    I’m not one for “ranting”, on sites like this, but the frustration at the inability/unwillingness of others to respond sometimes drives you to it.
    It’s pointless bombarding the council, trying to get to the person responsible, as all you do is annoy someone who just happens to answer the telephone, and appear to be a serial complainer.
    All for the sake of someone accepting their responsibilities and acting on them.
    Just returning a call would be a start.

    #111951

    The Monitor
    Participant

    Updating the content of a website is virtually child’s play and lack of funding is not a valid excuse.

    I personally know of council websites including community council websites which are updated by a designated council member on a regular basis. Note that these designated persons have no training or knowledge of html, perl, php, javascript or any other coding systems. If one can post on facebook, twitter, wrexham.com. etc. then one can update the content of a website.

    What bus companies and the council should realise that putting out a timetable of service is in way a contract with the public.

    It will be interesting to see how far you get with your enquiries.

    #112018

    Peterthewatcher
    Participant

    Try (removed) in the Council – I believe he is the officer responsibility for the issues raised.
    Regarding lack of funding — the Council along with others in Wales all receive a Transport Grant from WG for some of the points you have raised. As the Council subsidise a number of services you would think they would have time table information as they pay for some.

    Wrexham.com edit: Removed the persons name on request, but advice is to call Council on 01978 292037 and they ought to help.

    #112049

    Transportuser
    Participant

    Wrexham.com edit: Removed the persons name on request, but advice is to call Council on 01978 292037 and they ought to help.

    So the advice is to call the Council, and they “ought to help”.
    They ought to have been able to help when I’ve phoned previously!
    As it is I’m still waiting for the return call.

    I’m not sure why the name of the person responsible for transport would be removed, it’s listed, multiple times, on the internet anyway!
    Contacting him direct I see as a last resort as one would imagine he has staff that should be dealing with such, seemingly, simple things.

    We’ll see what response the contact form brings.
    Difficult to ignore, I would imagine. If I was departmental head, I’d have given those tasked with responding the heads up.

    #112054
    Councillor X
    Councillor X
    Participant

    Did you read the disclaimer at the top of the Bus Timetable page?

    Disclaimer: The services and times listed on this website are subject to change at short notice. Wrexham County Borough Council will not be held responsible for any loss, damage or inconvenience as a result of any inaccuracy.

    I don’t know how people used to find out this sort of information before the Internet was invented.

    Wrexham County Borough Council works to ensure that local people receive good quality services that provide value for money within a reducing budget.

    Too many people expect the Council to hold their hands and wipe their bottoms (within a reducing budge) rather than getting on with it and looking for something themselves!

    Sorry for the rant Transportuser but its not a Council priority!

    A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.

    #112055
    GoM1
    GoM1
    Participant

    Sorry for the rant Transportuser but its not a Council priority!

    What a daft comment on a number of levels. If you’re actually a councilor then you should be ashamed. It may not be a council priority but it bloody well IS a priority for those of us that rely on the shambles that passes for public transport here in Wrexham. Getting to work on time is a priority! And yes, if you JUST mean updating your website isn’t a priority then how is it award winning?
    As for other was to find this information out just as we would before the internet, perhaps if this information was updated and displayed at the bus station and bus stops, or if the council or the companies that run the public transport actually answered their phones then maybe I’d agree with you.

    Ok, so you have a reduced budget for things, I’d bet that yours and your councilor buddies wages/perks/compensation packets have gone up though? Because you sure as hell aren’t serving this town very well. Look at the state of it- Potholes everywhere, every third shop empty in the town centre, very little culture and heritage being offered (the museum do pretty well with very little, I will add), high crime and drug rates. There’s no good reason to come here anymore. And for those of us that have to live here for work, the buses to get out of here are mismanaged too.

    I don’t need the council to hold my hand, but the things I DO rely on them for, such as sorting out public transport, bin collection etc are a constant source of problems. I expect many of us feel the same.

    I don’t blame YOU individually, for all this. But tell me councilor, what are the priorities for this town?

    #112058

    Transportuser
    Participant

    I did read the disclaimer.
    It doesn’t say “Disclaimer: This website will not produce the information it promises.”

    I’m not talking about changes at short notice.
    The permanent ceasing of the D42 service isn’t short notice, nor were many other alterations.
    Nor were they for short periods.
    An incident results in a short notice disruption, actions resulting from planned work, or cancelling a service, should be easy enough to post.

    “I don’t know how people used to find out this sort of information before the Internet was invented.”

    You may not be aware but the internet has been invented and successfully used by many organisations, councils included.
    There’s no turning the clock back.
    In the “good old days”, before such technology rendered it unnecessary, we had several options, to gain bus information.
    Posters in the bus station – the last time I looked I didn’t see one about the D42.
    Notices on bus stops.
    Bus inspectors, they were always hovering about, checking timings and tickets and the font of all knowledge.
    Even the papers carried information about diversions.
    But, apparently, we don’t need any of this any more because – there’s the internet!

    You mention reducing budget but have ignored my comment about waste.
    That either indicates you are aware, but don’t care, or that you are unaware and still don’t care!

    “Too many people expect the Council to hold their hands and wipe their bottoms (within a reducing budge) rather than getting on with it and looking for something themselves!”

    Take care!
    I’ll avoid taking this to a personal level.

    I did get on with it.
    I’ve used the Wrexham phone number on the bus stops 01978 266166. – I can’t remember the last time that worked. Is there actually anyone on the end of it at any time? Bad enough for locals but visitors!
    I used the website, as the instructions on it indicated. – That didn’t work.
    Posted enquiries to the website. – That didn’t work. We’ll see how the new form goes.
    Phoned the council. – That didn’t work, still awaiting a call back from the last one.
    Looked for posters in the bus station. – The occasional one but by no means reliable and no help if your journey don’t take you into the bus station.

    “Sorry for the rant Transportuser but its not a Council priority!”

    So, public transport isn’t a Council priority!
    Is that the view of the council, or a councillor?

    I assume that you don’t use public transport then?
    I’m sure it’s a priority for many, just to get to work.
    I’m sure they think public transport is important. Having a car shouldn’t be a prerequisite of having a job.

    Successful public transport could save the council so much money, less damage to the roads, less congestion, less pollution, fewer parking problems, more attractive to visitors, a more vibrant economy.
    Wrexham can’t attract people from Mold, for a night out, as there are no busses. Chester, however, has no such problem.

    As I said, in a previous post, I use public transport in many parts of the country and am disappointed that the most difficult one to cope with is my local one.

    #112090
    Councillor X
    Councillor X
    Participant

    Transportuser, I do have sympathy for your cause and I hardly use public transport as the services provided are so poor and it is not exactly cheap. I walk.

    I do think that the Council generally run a good website and that transport providers should be contacting the Communication Department with updates rather than vice versa.

    My internet remark was tongue in cheap but it is a sad state of affairs when we cannot phone a human to make an enquiry and get a proper response. Many of us grew up in the days before computers and we don’t know how to search for information or even use a mobile phone.

    I take your point about people from Mold and a night out in Wrexham but the buses back from/to Chester/ Wrexham finish too early and deter the youngsters from going to discos.

    Any feedback you receive from the Council would be received with interest.

    PS. GoM1 I would love to see your list of issues addressed and everyone had a chance to make their opinions known in the ‘Difficult Decisions’ Consultation – ‘You Said, We Did’ last year. The Council HAS to make massive savings which mean that the town is going to go to the dogs. Thank the Tories next time you hit a pothole!

    A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.

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