I was out for a walk in the Lake District yesterday and I stumbled on a heaving Ambleside. The reason for all the people being there was the turning on of the Christmas lights, an annual tradition. There are various pieces but the one that gets it a mention on this blog is that there is a parade in the late afternoon that puts a stop to the progress of any buses. I was not the only the only one that stumbled on this unawares because it was the cause of a disgruntled “Where the hell is the 555?” from a waiting passenger in Windermere.
The result was that quite a number of us were stood outside in the freezing cold waiting far longer than we ought to have done, not that I am decrying the fun that was in train since it is something that is much needed in the current economic climate. The 555 that was to take me from Ambleside to Windermere was stopped in its tracks while all was going on and the 599 that I eventually used was itself held up. It just goes to show how a traditional event can really impact bus services, particularly when there’s no alternative route for buses to follow. That police didn’t seem to be prioritising the passage of buses didn’t help either.
However, I cannot say that all smaller places where big events are ongoing do see their bus services disrupted. For instance, Dolgellau’s Eldon Square can be closed for such things but with diversions in place, a much better way of doing it. It still does not alleviate accommodation shortages due to the annual Cadair Idris hill race on the Saturday of the second bank holiday weekend in May but buses continue run as planned, a much better outcome.