A Horncastle man was forced to cancel an important appointment at hospital after he was left stranded in Spilsby because of problems on the buses.
Michael Helliwell, of Osbourne Way, had an appointment at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital on Tuesday December 18 and had to arrive no later than 3.50pm.
He contacted specialist public service information company Traveline and was advised to catch the No.6 Stagecoach Lincoln to Skegness service which left Horncastle at 2.50pm.
That bus was due to connect with the Bry-laine service which left Spilsby at 3.20pm and was scheduled to arrive at Pilgrim Hospital at 3.45pm.
However, Mr Helliwell claims that while the Stagecoach bus was driving into Spilsby, he was ‘surprised’ to see the Bry-laine bus heading away from town.
Mr Helliwell added: “I was more than surprised to find out that was the bus I should have met and boarded.”
There were no other buses available so Mr Helliwell rang three taxi companies, but they were unable to assist because of the short notice.
Mr Helliwell added: “Eventually, I had to phone the hospital and inform that them I was unable to make my appointment.
“The hospital subsequently re-booked my appointment for January 8.
“In view of the fact the ‘lost’ appointment was to investigate anomalies arising from an operation, the uncertainly over Christmas is something I and my family could have done without.
“However, a much more serious result of the discrepancy between Traveline’s understanding of the arrangements is the disgraceful waste of time and money caused to the NHS.”
A spokesman for Bry-laine said Mr Helliwell’s problems could be explained by the fact their 3.20pm service departs from Spilsby School - and not Spilsby Interchange in the marketplace.
He added: “Because of the time of the bus, it is a school service although members of the public can and do use it.
“I would advise anyone using our services to contact us directly and not use Traveline because we have had problems before with the wrong information they have given out.
“We are very sorry Mr Helliwell missed his appointment.”
A spokesman for Stagecoach said their GPS records showed the No.6 service was on time leaving Horncastle and arriving at Spilsby.
No-one at Traveline was available for comment.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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