Hello there. Hope you’re feeling well today.Regular readers may remember a while back I took an Assembly member and the leader of Cardiff Labour council Huw Thomas to task for querying the policy of free car parking in hospitals, specifically the University College Hospital in Cardiff.
Part of the argument Mr Thomas used was the bus service to that hospital. Suggesting that as it was so good people didn’t need to use their cars.
I’ll return to hospitals later. But Cardiff Bus co. That is the bus service that the council actually own are making cuts and alterations to the service across Cardiff and the neighbouring Vale of Glamorgan at the end of March. Cardiff Council’s own special version of Brexit.
Now I won’t be a hypocrite. I don’t use the bus service as the journeys I need to take (mainly to where I work in Bridgend from the Vale) make it a non starter. Would I use it if I could? Probably not as things stand a journey from where I live to Cardiff would be difficult and involve more than one bus. if I lived in the centre of a town (say Penarth) then I’d consider it…..and would probably say no.
Why? Well cutting the bus services is not a good sell is it? What message does it give for future customers? And more importantly what if I needed to use the service? How can I use the service if it doesn’t exist? Or drastically altered?
And when I say doesn’t exist Penarth is a good example of this. The town will lose it’s direct bus service to Leckwith ( a part of Cardiff) and Llandough hospital.
Losing the direct bus service to Leckwith would mean I presume that any Cardiff City fans (as their ground is in the area) would be more tempted to use the car. If anybody drives around the ground on match days will know, sometimes the cars are parked almost literally anywhere.
But it’s the loss of the direct service to the hospital that’s more important. Leaving aside Llandough itself it and Leckwith are the closest areas to the hospital. From Penarth the journey is basically straightforward (depending where you live in the town almost literally so). The logic of a direct bus service from a town close to the hospital is there.
Yet Welsh Labour want to cut it.
And don’t forget the type of people who would use this service. the venerable and underprivileged in our society. Not forgetting of course the elderly. Groups that the Labour party shout out loudly that they’re here to protect. Well not this time.
What should they do? Well act socialist would help. Cut fares and subsidise the service through taxes would help. Trouble is though would the service be attractive to any customer after the council’s onslaught whatever the cost? That is the question I really don’t know.
And why you ask should I be interested with the Brexit madness swirling around in buses? Well public transport is one of the cornerstones of a decent society for all. When a Labour council is scurrying about to work ways of chipping away at that, then you know it’s betrayed it’s voters.
So when the Mr Thomas boasts again of the Cardiff bus service. Perhaps the example of Penarth should be rammed down his throat.
Until the next time.