Letter: Stop the madness of public transport competition

Shan Oakes calls for stopping the madness of public transport competition
Shan Oakes calls for stopping the madness of public transport competition

The craziness of bus companies competing to avoid providing a proper service must be sorted if people are to be lured out of their cars. Travellers come last! And the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is currently trying to ban local authorities from setting up public bus companies. No doubt he doesn’t use buses.

I should like to send a message through your pages to our Conservative Borough Council, MP and government: you need to know about my experience of trying to encourage use of public transport. I go to some lengths to not use the car, so as not to contribute to air pollution. During half term I took my two small granddaughters to Harlow Carr from Knaresborough on the bus. The driver (of a Transdev bus) advised me to buy a Harrogate Plus Group ticket (£8.40). However, on arriving at Harrogate bus station, I discovered that only the Connexions buses go near Harlow Carr. Having already bought the Transdev ticket we had no choice, so had to stick with that company and consequently had a long walk to the gardens - in the teeth of a wind called Doris.

This was nothing to the problems on our return. We left Harlow Carr at about 1650 and had to walk up the hill passing one bus stop because it appeared that Transdev buses did not stop there. We waited patiently at the next stop - where at last a Transdev bus appeared - but shot straight past us. Eventually our patience (and food, water and phone juice) ran out, so I decided to walk on to the next stop where a woman informed me that Transdev don’t stop at the previous two stops – or that some do and some don’t. By then we had waited more than half an hour and it was very cold. We eventually arrived home about 1815.

My granddaughters, far from learning that it’s fun to go by bus, learnt the exact opposite.

Write to your MP to object to this madness caused by the government’s ideological love of competition.

Shan Oakes

Harrogate and District 
Green Party