Almost half of students recently surveyed by The Boar are either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with bus services to and from campus.
69.3% of respondents travel to campus by bus, with 77% of those using the Stagecoach bus services, and the remainder using National Express, bar one student who uses Travel de Courcey.
In terms of waiting times for buses, 48.7% of respondents said they wait on average between 10 and 20 minutes before a bus arrives, 34.5% wait under 10 minutes and 12% of students wait between 20 and 30 minutes.
The survey by The Boar received 127 responses.
Overall, there was a range of opinions regarding the reliability of bus services, with 49.5% of students being very dissatisfied or dissatisfied with bus services, 19.8% being neutral and 30.6% of students being satisfied or very satisfied.
74.1% of respondents said they have been late to a lecture or seminar at least once due to a late bus. The frequency of which students said that they have been late varied, with some respondents saying it happens to them multiple times a week, whereas others said it only happened rarely. One students said that it happens to them “infrequently but enough to be annoying”.
A couple of respondents living in North Leamington Spa raised the issue of overcrowded buses. Being one of the last stops on the way to campus, at peak times or early in the year it is often the case that several buses can drive past stops at the top of the Parade because they are full, according to the respondents.
While much controversy has previously surrounded the process for obtaining replacements for lost bus passes, two thirds of students reported they were neutral regarding the service provided when a replacement bus pass was needed. 5.9% were satisfied or very satisfied and 28% were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the service.
When asked if the price of parking on campus deters them from driving to campus, 39.2% of respondents said that this is indeed the main reason for which they do not drive to campus, whereas 7.5% said it does not, and 53.3% said that they do not drive for other reasons.
Other common reasons reported by students were that taking a bus is cheaper, easier and more environmentally friendly than driving to campus by car. When contacted for comment, Steve Burd, Stagecoach Midlands managing director, told The Boar: “In a recent Transport Focus survey of Warwickshire bus passengers, Stagecoach Midlands services achieved a 91% satisfaction rating.
“The fact that only half of the students in your survey were satisfied with, or neutral towards our University services, which operate on much higher frequencies and at much lower fares, than the rest of our services in Warwickshire is, therefore, disappointing.
“The number of complaints that Stagecoach has received about our Unibus services this year has been very low and we have worked very hard with both the Students’ Union (SU) and the University of Warwick to ensure that our service levels match actual demand at different times of the academic year e.g additional resources were made available during the University exam period to help make sure that there were no issues.
“Traffic congestion is, however, a growing problem throughout Warwickshire, particularly in the Leamington/Warwick/Stratford area and we have, for example, had to alter our service X17 and X18 timetables five times in the last two years in order to address constantly worsening traffic delays.
“The Company will be analysing the time keeping performance of the Unibus services this academic term during the next few weeks, as it does at the end of each term, with a view to introducing any additional running time that is shown to be required either on all journeys or specific trips to address any reliability issues.
“These changes will be implemented from the start of the 2018/2019 academic year.”