Travelling to gigs

Music fans complain about poor transport to get to gigs

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See below for latest news about this

July 18th

We came across this statement on a web page about the strengths of Leicester’s bid for the 2012 UK City of Culture

26 million people live within 2 hours travel of Leicester

So we posted this on ArtsIn’s Facebook wall and it sparked a lively debate.

If 26 million people live within 2 hours travel of Leicester, why don’t more of them come to our gigs? Might it be because they cannot get home after 1030 pm using public transport?

Within a few minutes, 17 people had liked this post.

Auntie Lou commented:

Even within the city it is pretty crap.

We reported on a comment made at a [then] recent meeting about music in Leicester:

‘Transport systems need major overhaul” claim at music meeting’

Fringe meeting considers music and the 2017 bid [dead link]

James said:

train services are not as late too as they used to be also. Plus, some dodgy taxi drivers in Leicester try it on with rip off fairs – almost been a victim of that more than once, which is off putting for people.

Matt said:

If I’m on my own I always have to leave open mics/gigs early to get the bus unless I’m taking the hour walk home at midnight

Carol Anne posted:

I’m lucky as I live in the City and it’s one of the reasons I won’t move out – (why would you when you have all of this wonderful stuff on your doorstep?) but I can imagine it’s a drag for those that do live outside of the City.

We then posted:

If you have been to a gig in Leicester and have had to leave early to get the bus or train or if you did NOT go to a gig because of lack of late night transport – tell us about it – We will feed back to Leicester City Council.

Carol Anne also said:

Same applies going to Nottingham/Birmingham if you don’t have a car and relying on trains back – so don’t go to either much. Then again no reason to – it’s all here.

Auntie Lou said:

Cost of taxi always needs to be factored into any choice to go to a gig. I frequently left Summer Sundae early in order to get the last bus at 11ish. I don’t drive and use the buses all the time or get lifts if there is a non drinker. I would walk if it felt safe – but it doesn’t.

Suziemitch said:

I drive but parking is a nightmare

Stuart said:

Taxi drivers trying to rip people off in Leicester? Surely not! Buy a pet Rottweiler as a negotiator; that should make things a bit easier I drive into Leicester to see gigs so honestly hadn’t appreciated the lack of late transport. There must be a niche there for (honest) entrepreneurial minibus owners? ‘The Leicester Late Night Gig Bus’?

Jacques said:

GOT IT IN ONE MATE !! TRANSPORT KILLS EVERY GIG !

Carol commented:

I can remember one very embarrassing Elvis Costello gig at DMH when it was practically one man and his dog. I cringe every time I go to a venue in Leicester and it’s half empty. For the record it wasn’t brilliant at the Julian Clary show a couple of weeks back but on the plus side it was packed for The Specials.

Jacques posted:

Us engineers, venue owners, musicians and promoters should sort a focus group out with Arriva and First. See if they cant do something about it.

 This small sample of vox pop suggests that there is widespread concern about the lack of availability of late night public transport.

Trumpeting about the millions who live near Leicester is of no value when a good proportion of them cannot get home after attending shows in Leicester.

Arts in Leicester undertook to raise the issue with the City Council and 2017 bid team.

19th July

First meeting of new local transport board

A NEW board, which has been set up to determine local transport priorities for Leicester and Leicestershire, will meet for the first time next week. The Leicester and Leicestershire Transport Board has been set up in response to the government’s intention to devolve funding for major local transport schemes.

It is due to hold its first meeting on Monday, July 22, in the Fountain Room at Leicester Town Hall. The board will act as a voluntary partnership between Leicester City Council, Leicestershire County Council and the Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP).

The district councils will be represented in an advisory capacity. Previously, funding for all major local transport schemes valued at £5milllion or over was awarded on an individual project basis.

This will change from 2015, when the government will provide local bodies with a single grant to cover an agreed programme of major schemes. It is estimated that the Department for Transport could provide funding of around £16million for major transport schemes in Leicester and Leicestershire between 2015-19.

The Leicester and Leicestershire Transport Board board will agree which major schemes should be considered local priorities and how this funding should be spent. All schemes would still need to comply with Department for Transport guidance and would be subject to public consultation. City Mayor Peter Soulsby, who will chair the first meeting, said: “Having more control over which transport schemes are given priority in Leicester and Leicestershire will play a very important role in the future economic development and prosperity of our city.

The new local transport board is a step in the right direction.” Peter Osborne, Leicestershire County Council Cabinet Member for highways and transport, said: “It is important we work together to ensure we identify priority schemes both in Leicester city and the surrounding towns that will help improve access to employment and promote the development of the local economy.”

The first meeting, which is open to the public, will include a presentation on the role of the new board and its assurance framework.

[Source: Leicester City Council]

4th October

Real-time bus information system agreed.

A NEW real-time information system is due to be installed to keep passengers up to date with bus arrival times and services in Leicester and Leicestershire.

Leicester City Council has agreed to appoint suppliers for the new system, which will help passengers with journey planning and help create a more integrated and efficient public transport network.

The system will offer similar information to that seen on railway platform, and using GPRS tracking on buses to provide passengers with assurance that buses are running to time or giving details of any issues which could delay them.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby has now formally given permission for the council to proceed with the appointment of suppliers both for the core system technology, and also for the electronic signs which will display the bus timetable information.

The city council will also now begin drawing up details of how the city and county councils will work together on the scheme, which from the outset with also involve bus operator Arriva. Other main bus operators across the city and county are also due to join the scheme in due course, including First, Centrebus and Kinchbus.

Shelters in Leicester city centre and other key locations will display three lines of real-time bus information and arrival times, while those in all other locations with tell passengers how to access information by phone, text messaging, QR codes or via the internet. The scheme is due to come into effect in 2014 and is expected to cost about £2.2million to supply, install and maintain over its first five years. About £1.4million of this cost will be shared between the city and county councils, with the remainder coming from Department for Transport funding, bus operators and external contributions. Leicester was originally one of the first in the UK to pioneer a previous real-time information system called Star Trak, but by 2011 the technology involved had become obsolete and unreliable, leading to it being turned off in January 2011. [Source: Leicester City Council]

See also:

Arts in Leicester’s article on Why music should be an important part of Leicester’s cultural profile. [dead link]

Music in Leicester editorial

About The Editor 535 Articles
The Editor of Music in Leicester magazine is Kevin Gaughan assisted by Trevor Locke