Arriva’s use of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter minibuses on Guildford local route 3 to Bellfields has attracted adverse comment from some residents of the estate.
The Get Surrey website reports that over 300 have signed a petition, citing concerns about the buses’ accessibility and interior layout. One resident claimed that the minibuses have no ramp, which Arriva contradicted in a statement. However, ramp use is more awkward on the minibuses, where drivers have to leave the cab via the offside door and walk round to the passenger door to operate it.
The petition also drew attention to the narrow gangways and restricted seat spacing, which it says is encouraging passengers with shopping bags to congregate in the flat floor area at the entrance, to the detriment of other customers.
Arriva Southern Counties introduced a fourth Sprinter in May, this time on Maidstone local route 9 to Bearsted. This service requires three buses, and the other duties remain operated by full-size vehicles, often including double-deckers.