Villages and also some urban areas are increasingly difficult to reach by public transport, also in Brabant. That is what Bram Hansma of the OV Ombudsman says after a report about passenger complaints in the last quarter of 2019. He cites examples of complaints about the scrapping of bus stops in Helmond, Veldhoven and St. Willebrord as examples.
OV Ombudsman is an independent organization that helps travelers with their complaints. According to Bram Hansma, transport companies and the government, as a client, prefer to invest in busy, continuous bus lines. According to him, insufficient attention is paid to travelers in this development, “also in Brabant towns and villages.”
“The investments in important connections with more luxurious buses should make public transport more attractive for large groups of travelers,” says Hansma, “but to pay for it, bus lines that are less well-occupied are often canceled.”
READ ALSO: St. Willebrord closed off from the outside world after scrapping bus line, petition signed en masse
The Ombudsman receives complaints in Veldhoven because the bus no longer passes a care complex. “They have to walk for fifteen minutes. That is a difficult task for many residents there. These are pre-eminently places where people need a bus stop outside the door. “
According to Hansma, St. Willebrord is one of the most pressing examples. Since the end of last year all bus stops from Arriva from the village have been lifted. The closest stop for the people in the west of the village is three kilometers away. A petition for the return of bus stops in St. Willebrord has since been signed by nearly seven hundred residents.
Hansma sees a disturbing trend. “Public transportation is a public service. A more careful assessment must be made between efficiency and the public interest. People depend on it. ”