August 19, 2006, by Peter Kirwan

A rant about public transport


I’ve had a terrible night. I was meant to be seeing ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’ tonight, along with a pre–show talk by the director beforehand. Instead, this happened.

You would have thought that English public transport would be equipped to deal with bad weather, but no. A combination of intense rain, flooding, a lightning strike on a signal box and a severe accident caused by the conditions meant that tonight’s trip to Stratford was doomed from the start. Suffice to say that it took over 3 and a half hours to travel the twenty miles or so between Coventry and Stratford–Upon–Avon, and instead of arriving in time for the 5.30pm pre–show talk, I got there about 7.30pm, after the performance had begun.

Weighing up the pros and cons, I decided to buy a ticket for tomorrow’s matinee– that way I will at least get to see the whole production and won’t be in a mad panic. I’m very, very annoyed though. Stratford–Upon–Avon is one of the most important tourist destinations in the country, yet it is abysmally served by public transport, with trains only every two hours and infrequent bus services. It’s a big issue, and one that the local council need to resolve with travel companies– but unfortunately, the people who lose out are those like me who are heavily dependent on public transport.

The way home likewise caused trouble, with half an hour spent trapped behind one particularly bad accident. Overall, I ended up spending just over six hours tonight to travel from Coventry to Stratford in order to buy a ticket for a show tomorrow.


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