All aboard for self-help transport

More than two-thirds of local councils, including our own, are planning to cut back on bus services.

Some are even putting an end to all subsidised routes. Evening and weekend services to and from hospitals are also at risk.

The main catalyst for all this is that taxpayers are subsidising an enormous number of bus routes which are simply not being used enough – double decker buses with hardly anybody on board are a complete waste of taxpayers’ money.

Apart from the cost, large buses are the highest carbon form of transport.

I’m in no way going to suggest that popular routes are reduced but we do have to face the fact that under-used bus routes are simply not viable.


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Well, what about the people who live in remote rural villages, how are they going to cope? I hear you ask.

Let’s think how we can help these people. What about using some imagination? What about using some creativity?

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We live in an age of easy communication, so let’s use this to our advantage.

What about a website hitcharide.com, or suchlike? What about locals joining in a car share programme?

What about relying on local volunteers, instead of on the council, to drive folk to and from the nearest town?

Let’s get the council to purchase a mini bus for each of these areas and then Mr Smith could drive on a Monday, Mrs Jones on a Tuesday etc etc. The fare would be competitive.

There are many advantages to living in the middle of the countryside – rents and rates are lower than for those living in towns, but relying on public transport is at the bottom of that list.

If the situation becomes intolerable, then perhaps some should consider moving closer to town.

After all, nobody is forced to live in isolation.

As an example of community support, I would be delighted to offer my services to anybody stranded, who lives in my local village, to provide him or her with a lift into Ipswich every Saturday morning, as I drive into BBC Radio Suffolk for the Warrzone phone-in.

There are hundreds of people like me who would be prepared to help out someone in dire need of a lift.

It strikes me as odd that at a time when communication within society has never been as easy, that modern day lifestyles are so much more isolated compared with those of previous generations.

I am confident that, if these cuts do go ahead, British resourcefulness will emerge all the stronger and the spirit of community will take over.

In the meantime, everyone climb aboard or you could be the next to lose your local service.

It’s common sense, after all.

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