Returned from a few days in Liverpool on Friday, using public transport. My friend and I caught the 11.04 train from Liverpool Lime St, without mishap. We then caught the 13.17 from Birmingham New St, again without mishap apart from the usual cramped seating and luggage arrangements of Cross Country (there is no choice, unfortunately).
We were late arriving at Exeter St David’s, due to sitting behind a slow train into Bristol, both Parkway and Temple Mead. The big question was whether we would manage to catch our connecting bus to Bude. We did, due to the long Friday afternoon queue which delayed it. This also meant the bus was full, so we dragged our heavy luggage upstairs (no public transport seems to cater for luggage) in the sweltering heat, arriving in Bude shortly before 6pm. Luckily, the heat had gone by then as Bude was shrouded in sea mist.
Liverpool to Bude in seven hours. Liverpool to home in 7.5 hours. Could I have done better?
Well, I guess if I’d driven to Tiverton Parkway (around 60 miles), then I could have left the train at 15.28 or so, and driven 60 miles home, in about 1.5 hours (usually). Cost of train parking would have been more than the cost of a single train ticket but I’d have been home 1-1.5 hours earlier. Alas, as a volunteer producer of this website, taxis are a luxury I cannot afford.
The shocking length of time it takes to travel by public transport will not deter me, but I was thinking about Connect Bude and how, until Beeching, Bude had a railway with direct links to exciting places like London. Is this dearth of public transport progress? I think not.
I should dearly love to see a railway back in Bude. For me, as like many others, it is a very high priority to be able to travel reasonably to other parts of the country and currently, I just can’t. Politicians need to be seriously considering improving rail links to north Cornwall.