I Wanna Ride The Bus!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Why Take The Bus?

I used to live in a Lancashire town some way from where I worked. It would take about 30 minutes to drive to work, and I would end up feeling frazzled before I even started work.

When I switched careers and moved to my present job, the commute into Manchester by road was a nightmare. I once fell asleep at the wheel on the way home, and on another day I was almost totalled by a car spinning out in the rain just a matter of yards in front of me on the motorway.

Something had to give.

So I moved to Salford and wound up living fairly close to where I work. Living so near means that I don't have to drive to work any more, and while walking would take about 20 minutes or so, it's not the safest of journeys.

When I moved, I was a 20-something young man with a fairly fast car. The insurance with full no-claims and no points on my licence was reasonable when I lived in Lancashire, but when I tried to insure the same car and gave my new postcode, the cost was prohibative, so I sold the car as there was little or no need for wheels where I now lived.

There's no need to drive where I live. Supermarkets fall over themselves to deliver shopping, there's three mainline railway stations within a mile of here, and I live just yards from the A6 where buses fall over themselves to get in and out of Manchester.

In theory, taking the bus should be a no-brainer. £47 for a 28 days' unlimited travel (less if you choose to use just one bus operator,) and a timetabled frequent daytime service to Manchester and all points on the A6 / East Lancs Road corridor. However there are several things which make the whole thing fairly frustrating, with the net result that I sometimes seriously consider getting a car again. I'll examine these over the next few days and weeks.

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