Posted on August 28, 2020
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During the summer, I have been returning to some sort of normality in myself. It helped that things were emerging from lockdown when they did and a three week break from work proved enormously helpful. Returning to work afterwards overcame other obstacles to leave me with some more peace of mind at the end of the summer.
It also helped that I returned to using buses and trains again. The journeys were relatively short with Sheffield and Chester marking the extent of my comfort zone. Still, I did find that buses and trains were not so crowded though there were moments when things felt more cosy than was comfortable. Still, there were no lasting aftermaths so that added some confidence even as passenger numbers appear to be rising a little.
When there is talk of incentivising a return to public transport usage as suggested in a recent Transport Focus editorial, I confess to having misgivings. Confidence is something that can be slow to return and my finding more crowded surroundings remains outside my comfort zone right now. Also, scary talk of possible train service reductions in a previous issue of Rail magazine a few weeks ago did nothing to calm any sense of unease. After all, the pandemic is far from over at this point even if many things are on their way back to normality.
Nevertheless, I continue to make train and bus journeys to locations where I can find quiet spots so I hope that can continue. These may be rather short but they do what is needed. Longer trips to places like Edinburgh can wait and the same applies to air travel. Even going to Ireland is not such a possibility for now so travelling further afield does not feel like a possibility. A slow return suits and what is needed on the part of all of us is patient for experience is not acquired quickly and that needs to precede a sensible amount of confidence. While the situation continues to remain manageable, it remains important to avoid the rash foolishness of overconfidence.