Bus-ted

I’ve often wondered why I seem to be constantly running to catch up with myself but never quite manage to get through everything I need done.

I got up this morning, ready to tackle the job I’d been working on last night (till 11pm, eek, if you’re interested in work-life balance, can I suggest you never ‘downshift’ and take up a freelance career?) and didn’t quite get finished, before I went on to finish the other job that was queued up behind it to meet my Friday deadline and then have time in the evening to catch up with all the other things that have been piling up recently, including preparing for the Bigtown Environment Fair.

bus consultation posterAnd then I saw in my email that I’d been invited to an event on Facebook which turned out to be a petition against cutting the local bus service.* I signed, obviously, if only as a counter to the campaign to dual Big A Road, but did wonder whether there was a consultation exercise going on as it’s usually more effective to respond to those than sign a petition. It turns out that the consultation exercise consists of this poster (not sure exactly where it’s been put up – you’d hope in bus stops, but perhaps in car showrooms …) and a two week window when people can respond. There’s nothing on the relevant website, and if it wasn’t for the local Greens there wouldn’t have even been a consultation at all.

Rural bus services are a complicated subject and there’s no doubt that some of them cost a lot and don’t really deliver much benefit.** But you can’t just slash them with no warning when it’s often the most vulnerable people in society who depend on them. So rather than settling down immediately to crafting an executive summary for a report on empowering rural communities, there I was attemptin to actually empower a rural community to save its bus services. No doubt the coonsil will go ahead and do what it wants anyway but at least we will have tried.

And now, back to the grindstone…

* I was actually quite surprised to learn that Bigtownshire actually runs enough evening and Sunday buses to make them worth axing as Nearest Village certainly doesn’t have any, but then again, that’s why I don’t use the bus any more which is why the buses are so empty and why they have to be cut further …

** See also: massive boondoggle road dualling projects that carve up half the country and cost billions to shave all of five minutes off the journey to Notso Bigtown.

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3 Responses to Bus-ted

  1. welshcyclist says:

    Not good, here in the Neath valley, life without a car is nigh impossible. Yes, you can travel to the major towns, on bus services through the day, but early mornings and late evenings, you can forget. Then if you miss the last bus you have a choice, phone a friend ( who won’t be your friend for long ), phone a taxi ( extremely expensive ), or start to walk. Last time I was in that position, coincidently, because of a bus strike, it took me three hours to walk the 10 miles home. To travel to the next valley requires a trip to Swansea then back up the next valley, a trip that takes at least two hours and involves three bus changes, to cover a distance that is 12 miles as the crow flies. There are plenty who cannot afford a car, or simply cannot because of health or age infirmity. They are seemingly trapped in this, albeit, beautiful valley struggling to get to hospitals, and work. Here in Wales, we get a bus pass at 60, therefore free travel all across Wales, if I had the time I could get to far west Wales, but I could not get back the same day, a distance of only 100 miles or so. The only answer is to renationalise the buses, and dare I say it, the trains. Companies whose only criteria is to make profits simply cannot provide a public service.

  2. Andy in Germany says:

    See also: several billion pounds spent on a new set of missiles to annihilate several cities at once. If we can afford that, why not this?

  3. disgruntled says:

    To be fair, the Scottish government would not spend the money on missiles if it had its druthers

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