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To think public transport in the north is dreadful

(44 Posts)
yesterdaysunshine Fri 21-Oct-16 07:52:53

Trains zoom past small towns with either no station at all or a station that only goes to a major city. Buses are regular but expensive and meandering.

Would it really be a dreadful thing if someone stopped to consider that some of us would like to get the train to work? It would reduce road congestion hugely. As it is to get to the town next to me I have to go to Liverpool and back again!

AwkwardSquad Fri 21-Oct-16 07:55:24

Yup, it can be pretty bad. The recent cuts due to 'austerity' have made things a lot worse as most local authority bus subsidies have been reduced or removed. Rural areas are becoming more and more isolated for people who can't drive.

yesterdaysunshine Fri 21-Oct-16 07:57:47

The cuts may well be impacting on the bus services but the train infrastructure is dire, frankly.

Toooldtobearsed Fri 21-Oct-16 07:59:09

It is horrendous.

I live in a small village. We have one bus every two hours, between 8am and 8pm. No good if you need to be in work for 9am.

To travel 8 miles by bus it cost £9.40 return. If you drive, all day parking is £ 2.50.

Total pain in the bum!

The problem is, most buses are virtually empty, so they obviously wont put more on.

yesterdaysunshine Fri 21-Oct-16 08:00:25

That's dire. The thing is they are empty because of the fact they are so irregular!

Our bus service is okay but it's not the most logical. If I want to go to another borough in the town I need to go to the town centre and change.

Candlelight123 Fri 21-Oct-16 08:01:54

I live in nw and commute to Manchester everyday. Trains are rammed full on arrival, can't board, aincient ageing trains from the 1980's. It is quite frankly a joke. The govt only want to spend money in London & se on trains.

PrunesforElla Fri 21-Oct-16 08:03:53

Depends where in the north. My experience of Merseyside is that the transport is good, a good mix of merserail and buses. My experience of Cumbria is that its poor, with infrequent bus services. In parts of the North East they don't have any passenger rail services save from the national one running speeding through. Around Manchester seemed quite good though I didn't use it when I was there.

I'm sure there's lots of places in the Midlands and South that are also poorly serviced. As for Wales, and probably large parts of Scotland, it's nearly impossible to manage without a car.

Rrross1ges Fri 21-Oct-16 08:04:55

I used to live in the Scottish Borders. There was one bus an hour on a good day and a journey that took 20 minutes by car took an hour. The buses only ran til 8pm so no chance of a night out then a late bus home.

yesterdaysunshine Fri 21-Oct-16 08:05:07

City centres are okay. It's the suburbs.

Boffered1 Fri 21-Oct-16 08:27:43

YANBU I am in the North East and live 4 miles outside of the town centre. When my driving licence was under threat for medical reasons recently I checked out the buses and the first one went at 8.25, took 45 minutes to get to town and ran hourly thereafter. No good if you start work at 9am, so it was taxi or walk. Luckily I kept my licence but it really made me realise how poor the links here are.

cavefelem Fri 21-Oct-16 08:29:27

I also live on the outskirts of Manchester, and fortunate to live approx mid way between 2 railway stations, both just over a mile away. One station is only used by the faster services, the other is served by the slower trains that stop at each station. The latter has no long-term parking at all (though there are council-run car parks fairly near). Fortunately you can buy a travel ticket that covers both train & buses.

The train timetable isn't that bad, but as Candlelight says, the peak services are always overcrowded & these are tatty creaking old rolling stock. Apparently the last "new" trains that were bought, were second-hand - old stock that SE or Thameslink had replaced with new ones!

What I will say, is that the tram service is pretty good (95% of the time anyway) but this, and the trains, are only useful if you want to go in & out of Manchester centre. It can be pretty dire going from one outlying town to another, and going via Manchester centre is often the easiest way.

Traffic round Manchester in the rush hour is appalling, and its getting pretty dire at other times too.

JockTamsonsBairns Fri 21-Oct-16 08:30:01

It's not necessarily a North/South thing though - unless by 'South' you mean London? I lived in rural Sussex for a few years, and there was one bus once weekly on a Thursday into Brighton. Moving to Newcastle was a revelation - the public transport system is amazing!

akkakk Fri 21-Oct-16 08:36:25

I live in the Cotswolds - I think we have one bus a week in our village - which takes c. 1 hour to get to a town 15 minutes away where it deposits you for an hour (i.e. not long enough to do anything useful) before wasting your time on the way back... not surprisingly it is hardly used, so the council says that no bus service is required because it is not used!

Even if you live in London - trying to use public transport to go from one outlying area to another can be a nightmare - the public transport system is basically radial in and out of the centre

As a country we do not have good public transport systems...

Prontomonto Fri 21-Oct-16 08:47:07

I live in a largish village in S Yorks, about 12 miles outside Sheffield. (large enough to have a primary school, a post office & 2 pubs)

We used to have a regular bus - one an hour - that would go into Sheffield, and another to Rotherham & Worksop. Both have now been stopped because they weren't economic. So its impossible to work in the nearest large town unless you have your own transport.

There is still a regular (hourly) bus to the nearest shopping/retail park.

The doctors surgery is about a mile away, and the dentist about 1.5 miles if I walk across the fields, 3 miles by road, and it would take almost 3 hours to do that journey by bus because of the timetables. Its not exactly the back of beyond even though I can only get 1.5Mps internet

JacquesHammer Fri 21-Oct-16 08:55:31

I think YABU for saying "the north" like its one autonomous mass.

YANBU for thinking that in more suburb and rural areas throughout the country are dreadful for public transport.

I am in "the north" and semi rural. We have a superb train/bus network

PaulDacresConscience Fri 21-Oct-16 08:56:03


Public transport outside of big cities is absolutely dire. Colleagues who visit from London get a huge shock when they come up to some of the branches further North.

Even in some of the cities it's not that great. I have to drive to work as it's an hour away (in the car). Through a combination of walking, buses and trains it would take me 3 hours each way on public transport, and cost £250 per month. My car payment costs me £200, with £25 insurance and £160 in fuel. But the public transport cost does not factor in visits to the supermarket - where I'd need to pay for a taxi home because I can't manage all of my shopping on the bus. Nor does it factor in the times when I can go somewhere like a concert or a late film and not have to worry about how to get home, because I've driven (in my non-driving days I'd have to pay for a Travel Lodge for the night). Nor does it take into account when I visit family, who live rurally where there are two buses a day and that's it!

Having a car saves me hours per day of commuting time. But if the links were better I would be quite happy to get the train. DH drives into a city simply because the public transport is so crowded and unreliable, he cannot guarantee that he'll be able to get to work on time. The train either is so packed that people are left standing on the platform, or they are cancelled or delayed. So even having to battle through nightmarish traffic - and having to pay city centre parking prices - it's still more reliable and cheaper for him to take the car. Insane!

JacquesHammer Fri 21-Oct-16 08:56:14

In fact the only place I couldn't travel on public transport is to DD's school

JaceLancs Fri 21-Oct-16 08:57:59

I could not get to work, do my job, go shopping, visit family or have any kind of social life without a car
I ensured as a lone parent both DC learnt to drive at 17, as it made their education and future employment choices open up
The worst in the north is lack of rail services I live within an hours drive of quite a few cities, only one of which I can get to by train
The price of long journeys is horrendous, I need to travel to London fairly often for work and pay approximately £250 for a day return - thanks Virgin
When I lived in the south including rural Sussex I felt the transport system was much better

Pythonesque Fri 21-Oct-16 09:01:31

The principle of "user pays" I really dislike when applied to some areas - public transport should in my opinion be subsidised to enable some minimum standard of provision, and encourage people to use it. Would be good all round in so many ways. Rail in particular.

mudandmayhem01 Fri 21-Oct-16 09:03:41

Buses are so expensive, the 2 mile journey to the city centre in Sheffield costs me £3.80 return 1.60 return per child. .£7.00 for a trip to town, I cycle if I am on my own, but the temptation to drive ( 2 hrs parking only £2-3) if you have kids in tow is very strong.

yesterdaysunshine Fri 21-Oct-16 09:07:18

Well, I couldn't really say 'everywhere outside of London' as I'm just talking about my own experience smile

vickibee Fri 21-Oct-16 09:12:54

To live in a smal town 12 miles north of sheffield, there is a train once per hour that gets you to Huddersfield Or Sheffield, it is such a slow service on really old and unreliable trains. It takes 1 hour 15 mins to travel from hudd to sheff about 25 miles. It is single track and there is no will to better the service.

NannyR Fri 21-Oct-16 09:14:14

I live in a big northern city, but the public transport isn't great. I drive to work which takes about 25mins to drive 8 miles, last time I looked it was three buses and about an hour and a half travel time.

I used to live in London and if I wanted to go into the city centre, it was cheaper, quicker and easier to take the bus than drive (getting stuck in traffic and finding and paying for parking). Up here, it's the opposite, it's quicker, easier and cheaper to drive into town and park, than take the bus. I think if they want to reduce traffic and encourage public transport use they need to swing the balance the other way but I'm not sure how they could do that without investing huge amounts of money in public transport.

yesterdaysunshine Fri 21-Oct-16 09:14:54

I can get to Manchester or Liverpool or Chester from the local train station which is great.

But if I want to go to Warrington, Wigan, Leigh, or any of the smaller towns surrounding them - no chance.

Sirzy Fri 21-Oct-16 09:17:44

I live 20 mins drive from Liverpool city centre. To get the train their I would need to get the bus to the next town which would take about 40 mins, walk through to the station and then have a 30 min train ride. The trains from ormskirk only go to Liverpool so to get anywhere else on the train I would need to get to Wigan which is a 40-60 min bus journey.

I live in a town too so not exactly remote!

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