Can you please indicate the reasons why the X1 bus service was replaced by a number of minibuses and whether the rumours now circulating are true that it was due to the University no longer able to afford the costs involved in supporting this service?
The University has, for the last few years, subsidised the X1 bus route to provide an inter-site travel option for our students and staff between the Beaconside and Stoke-on-Trent campuses. The restrictions of bus timetabling to try and meet everyone’s requirements meant that the arrival and departure times were not meeting student demands. Feedback from students and staff has been negative so we wanted to address this. We had lengthy discussions with Bakers Coaches and London Midland, who were also a partner in the X1 but found that we could not significantly improve the timetable. We had to consider the cost of the subsidy against the quality of service for our students and reached the decision that we could no longer justify the investment. We decided instead to invest in a free shuttle service between campuses as an alternative that we hope students and staff will appreciate.