1 EAGLETON NOTES: The Bus Service



Friday, 1 August 2008

The Bus Service

When I came to Lewis all those years ago I never imagined that I'd be here for more than a couple of years. There are a thousand reasons why I am still here and why I probably always will make this my home when I'm in the UK. To be honest I can think of no place in the UK that I'd rather be. So why have I suddenly embarked upon this rather odd posting? It's all to do with services and, in particular, bus services.

All those years ago Mum remarked that we were very isolated on the Island and, even more so, in Back. She wondered what we would do when we got old. I pointed out that we lived 100 yards from a post office and general shop and, later, a petrol station, garage, hairdresser and chemist. If that was not enough the bus passed our door and the convention was that you stood at the gate and the bus stopped and deposited you back at your house after your travels. The system pertains today except that the bus services are much better.

For the last 15 years I have lived in a village with no shop except for a post office. However the bus comes to my door - well to within 12 yards of my gate - where it turns. I think the service starts at 0700 and carries on until about 2300 from Town. I'm not sure how frequent it is but it's probably hourly - perhaps more in the 'rush hours' when it takes children to school. If I chose to take one of the many services each day I could be deposited in the centre of town or the Co-op (slightly out of the centre if you find walking hard) or the Hospital.

It wouldn't cost me anything either because I'm over 60. Scottish residents over 60 travel free by bus anywhere in Scotland.

The irony of Mum's concern was that long before she left Broad Green there were few shops left nearby and the few that she may have needed were on the other side of the motorway junction and reached by a long and rather unsavoury underpass. It's hard to believe that, when I was a child, what is now a six lane motorway was a road on a single carriageway bridge over a railway. As for taking a bus, many years ago I decided to leave my car at Mum and Dad's and go into the City on one. It was a big mistake: they were scarcer than hen's teeth.

1 comment:

  1. Apart from the exhorbitant prices our bus service from Pensby to Heswall or Pensby to Birkenhead / Liverpool is quite reasonable. What amazed me when I first started using it was how true it was that you get no bus for ages then three at once. Then, when I got the timetables, I realised that the peculiarities of the routes are such that it is actually designed that way!


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