If ever there is a bus company held up as a shining example of good customer relations, communications and service it is Trent Barton. Trent Barton pride themselves on the friendliness, helpfulness and general good nature of their drivers who know many of their regulars by their first name. They proudly have a Wall of Fame where drivers are acknowledged for what they do. For example “On a Friday evening in January a distressed lady got on Adrian’s H1 bus at Heanor. She explained to him that she had just lost her purse and that she needed to get to Derby. Adrian came up trumps with a free ride into Derby, and even provided her with £20 of his own money so she could get home safely, which she returned back to Adrian a few days later. How’s that for service!”.
So it was with complete dismay that I read the BBC news report of a young lady who’d been refused travel on the last bus of the night because she was 20p short of the required fare. She started to walk home and was then raped on the way. The bus company was Trent Barton.
Absolutely tragic on two fronts. Tragic in the extreme for the young lady and tragic in a different way for Trent Barton. All the hard work of employing those who they they think are the best drivers, then allowing them freedoms none of the national operators give to make their own decisions. I heard another story of a Trent Barton driver who’s bus broke down down buying all the passengers a cup of tea at a nearby cafe while they waited for a repalcement bus. He put the receipt in to the company who actually thanked him. Try doing that as a driver for one of the nationals!
A lot of Trent Barton’s hard work and investment blown by one ‘stupid’ driver. I’m sure that there must still be a pool of goodwill for Trent Barton but this goes to show just how one ill judged moment can ruin so much hard work.