How will changes to the X1 service affect intersite travel?

Executive have received several questions around the recent X1 bus service announcement. Please note that they have been placed together within this featured post to avoid repetition.

QUESTIONS:
1) The X1 bus service provides an excellent link between the Stoke and Stafford campuses as well as shuttle service to / from Stafford rail station and Beaconside. One of the issues however is the need to pay up front for the journey and reclaim this later.

Would it be feasible for staff to be able to show their staff cards in exchange for free travel thereby saving the need for them to reclaim this expense in due course?

2) I understand that the X1 bus will only go between Stoke and Stone from September, rather than on to Beaconside. If so, this is a potential problem, especially for the international students studying Computing in Stafford where the majority live in Stoke, and have travelled to and from Stafford via the X1 bus in the past. It also hinders our attempts to get to staff to use the bus for inter-site travel, and makes staff at Beaconside who are aware of the discussions on the “estates strategy” start to feel more isolated. I also hear the frequency is reducing, to one bus every two hours.
I know Baker is an outside company, but I seem to remember that we subsidise the company to some extent to support the intersite bus system? So we might have a say on their routes and timings. What plans are in place if Bakers are indeed abandoning Beaconside to enable students to travel there and back to Stoke where many of them live?

3) The X1 Bakerbus service that connects both campuses is under review (http://www.bakerbus.com/route-changes/) and it is going to operate between Hanley and Stone (also with reduced frequency) from September. A number of students and staff rely on that service daily to get to Beaconside. Does the University have any input on this, as this will affect people’s daily commute both in terms of additional travel time and cost?

 

ANSWER:
The X1 bus service will be curtailed from the beginning of September to run between Hanley and Stone only. The University has decided to operate a shuttle minibus service between Stoke and Stafford exclusively for students and staff, which will be free of charge.

To board the minibus, student or staff cards will be required. The service will run hourly between 7am and 7pm and will be a direct service. We are in the process of finalising timetables etc and will publish this information to RSS as soon as the detail is confirmed.