Independent Thought

I picked up this article on Unherd via Twatter, bemoaning the loss of bus services in rural areas, and the general loss of non-profitable bus services, especially outside the capital.

It’s a good article, and you can see the impact, even around here, with a good, sensibly priced bus service. As I’ve commented before, some close-by areas in Staffordshire are now unreachable out of peak hours, even if we have gained a service to Lichfield.

Now, my blog was kind-of focused on my restricted opportunities for going on the piss, but also mentioning less well-off workers: the people that are out working for a living but can’t afford the considerable expense of a car.

The article mentions those, and adds another category: pensioners who either can’t afford a car, or indeed can’t drive (perhaps they never learned, perhaps medical conditions prevent it) even if they can afford it.

All of these people are being hit by reduced services and increased prices as subsidies are reduced and the non-profitable routes are stopped or limited. Getting to work, the shops, the job centre, medical appointments etc, and yes, the pub, suddenly gets harder, more expensive, and more time-consuming. People are getting isolated.

All of this because a route doesn’t stack up on a balance sheet. The real social cost of poor public transport acn’t be measured in cash terms. The private-sector model has its place, but it’s not here.

One Response to “Independent Thought”

  1. Species5618 Says:

    Forest of dean and stagecoach cut services recently, but did not think too hard about which slots they kept

    They cut the 1645 (ish) from Newent (small town 8 mile west) to Gloucester

    A side effect was:- this service was heavily used by school kids, who has stayed on at school for after normal school hours, were now stuck in the small town until 1730 if not longer, causing the nimby’s to get upset a “large” numbers (10 ish, yes I chuckled at that too) of school kids wondering around the town in uniform, and this was apparently the schools fault !