When I first started with blogging on my outdoors, travel and photography website, it was a collecting point for a variety of subjects that included public transport. Relating an experience of being crammed into a Transpennine Express train while travelling to and from Edinburgh resulted in a comment from a regular contributor saying that trains were ghastly; it must be living on a commuter line operated by First Capital Connect that drew that ire though fellow passengers shared responsibility too. That got me thinking about what drew people to that blog and I decided to concentrate on celebrating experiences of exploring the countryside on foot or by bicycle on there, a focus that remains to this day.
That decision meant that I needed somewhere else for doing my bit for public transport information and so this site came into being in November of 2008. Since then, I have shared news, thoughts and information about bus and train services. Initially, it started as a blog but I wish to take it beyond that while not losing the ability to add timely entries as the need arises. The new developments and experiences will continue to come, albeit as part of a more rounded package that advances the knowledge of what public transport has to offer together with any changes that are coming our way.
The subject of public transport is one that is sure to draw rants inspired by experiences like the one mentioned above but that’s not what I am trying to achieve here. Yes, there will be constructive criticism where it’s needed but I also to share good stuff too. After all, those battling congestion in their cars on busy roads could do with knowing that there might a valid alternative. That especially is the case away from London and the southeast of England where services are likely to less used. Having travelled on business to and from Hertfordshire, I know well how busy transport is around London anyway and reports of commuters being crammed into trains hardly inspire anyone to consider that public transport is more pleasant than car travel.
An Age of Austerity
Since the establishment of this website in 2008, an ulterior motive has come into being too. The hangover from the crash at the end of the noughties boom has left us with sluggish economies and public spending that is under pressure. We hear of continued investment in the railways but also of train fare increases that are above the rate of inflation. Then, there are cuts to council-subsidised bus services that have had an impact to evening and Sunday service levels. Maybe, sharing information about what is available could increase patronage and thus preserve what we have got. These look like interesting times and ones where we need to remain vigilant so as not to lose anything valuable. Well, campaigning organisations such as the Campaign for Better Transport need help since they cannot do everything on their own…
Thus, you’ll find postings of any new developments and discoveries as and when I encounter them. My hope is that they will inform along with more permanent articles covering a variety of subjects. Those include maintained listings of selected bus services along with links to train and bus company websites. Journey planning service listings are to be found here too as are those of councils who help users of public transport and local transport authorities. Fares are becoming ever more contentious, particularly those for rail travel, so some that I have encountered are being shared too. Hopefully, these will come in useful but please let me know if you have any other ideas as these will be welcome.