Thursday, June 28, 2007


I had a taste of post-Peak Oil adventure today, when the car started overheating and had to be left in a garage in Frome. That meant I had to find a way to cover the 25 miles back to Bristol. Sixty years ago I could have hopped on a train and been in Whitchurch in under an hour. Of course we've progressed since then. I had to find a bus in Frome, nothing to Bristol, so I went as far as Midsomer Norton (which once had two stations). I then had to wait over half an hour in the middle of the town, until a Bristol bus arrived. I asked whether it stopped in Bristol - 'no, only one a day goes that way, I can take you to Brislington'. Well I'd heard of there so I handed over £4.10. The bus then took the most ridiculous route down little country lanes, at one point we had to drag a woman out of a hairdressers to move her car so we could get past. At some points we passed the old railway. This was progress? I left Frome at 16.03 and got to Brislington, still two miles short of my destination, at 18.35 - two and a half hours to do what I do in the car in 45 minutes and the train did in an hour. Of course there was nothing to eat or drink on the bus, no timetables, no idea where my stop was, unhelpful bus driver (who even stopped the bus for three minutes for - a cigarette!!!!)

No, the sooner we start building new railways and tramways the better. Buses simply don't do the job, and never will. Until I can jump on a train or tram in Frome and speedily get to where I want to go in Bristol I've little choice but to use the car. Unless Sustrans want to get off their arses and build a Frome to Bristol cycleway alongside the new railway of course!
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