To try and improve our transport to away matches we asked members for their suggestions which we have considered when planning next season. Here is a general outline of our policy for the coming season.
We have contacted TEN coach companies for quotes for this season but only got THREE replies from Elite, Vision and Alfa. Their quotes do give us some opportunity for improving our prices as you can see in the offers for the first four coaches of the season. As requested we have simplified the pricing structure which as agreed still gives a reduction in price for members. Usually this remains at £5 except when we are making a special offer as in the case to Macclesfield. There will be a further reduction for accompanied junior members though less than last year.
Since we have suffered a loss in recent seasons when people have booked for the coach and then not turned up on the day we shall only guarantee a place if you pay in full (or at least a large proportion of the larger fares) in advance. Only paid for bookings will be considered when we are deciding whether a coach will run. This money will not be fully returnable unless people who can't travel contact us in advance with genuine reasons.
Cancellation of coaches.
In all cases we shall try and make a decision as to whether a coach will run at an early stage to allow supporters the opportunity to make alternative arrangements if we cannot run a coach. The decision will be made on the basis of the amount of money we have actually collected at that point to cover the cost of the coach. As requested we will improve our communications via our website and twitter and when booking on the coach please give us your contact details so we can get in touch if necessary.
Pick up points outside Southport
For supporters who live away from Southport we are willing to consider pick up points on the route to games. For instance for people living in the Manchester area, if the coach is going on the M62 we could pick up in the Bury area or going down the M6 at a services or near an exit
Incentives for regular travellers
Members suggested some incentives for regular travellers on the coaches. We will consider at our next meeting whether we can offer reductions for their next trip to people who have travelled on five trips earlier in the season.
Arrival and departure times from matches
Some members asked if we could arrive earlier or leave later at matches but they were in a minority. Because of congestion on the Motorways we do need to make early start from Southport for more distant matches. We will normally plan to arrive about 60-90 minutes before a match and because of the wishes of the coach companies (and majority of passengers ) will leave straight after matches. We are willing to experiment on one or two occasions with arriving earlier in one or two suitable towns but will consult with members first.
Similarly we will be asking members shortly where they would prefer the weekend trip to be this season. We hope members will appreciate the efforts we are making to run the coaches at affordable rates but for us to be successful we need to have the support of members to book for trips early and to honour bookings made.
If you have any comments about these suggestions or any other ideas you think we should consider then please contact Martin Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org