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Author Topic: Buses - the view from Crewe  (Read 167 times)
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« on: January 27, 2022, 06:36:41 am »

For those who travel by train between London and the North West, and like the occasional pint or two of decent beer, the Euston Tap, housed in the lodges at the front of the station complex, is a familiar location. Also familiar to those standing outside of an evening is the sight of a Number 18 bus, which leaves from a stop close by.

The 18 begins service at just after 0540 hours, and the last bus is after midnight. During the day, there is a departure every six minutes out to Sudbury. It is arguably the capital’s busiest bus route. So when alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson recently proclaimed “new funding to level up buses across England towards London standards”, some thought of the nice shiny Number 18. Others were more sceptical.

Those in the Westminster bubble see everything refracted through their own warped prism: they see all those red buses, with several operators running them but a single ticketing system. They see the Number 159 rolling along Whitehall and over Westminster Bridge 24 hours a day and think that is what bus services are like - end of story.

But outside the comfortable and incestuous world of the media class, lobby hacks, pundits, lobby groups and more of what Robin Day memorably, and rightly, called Here Today And Gone Tomorrow Politicians, lies reality. And reality is what hits the traveller as soon as he or she steps outside the railway station in middling sized towns like Crewe.

Crewe no longer has any bus service that runs any more frequently than once every 20 minutes. Evening and Sunday buses are few and far between, or not at all. The only reason there is a last bus from Leighton Hospital at 2012 hours - well filled with workers coming off shift - is because it is one of the few still subsidised by Cheshire East Council.

For "Crewe" read ... "Chippenham" or perhaps "Cheltenham" ...

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