|Back on the buses - Around the County Towns.|
Since selling Starcross, which I now realise was eight years ago (!), I've been spending more time pursuing my other interests, principally buses. Between 2015 and 2017 I undertook a bus tour Around the Edge of England, using my free bus pass and I followed that up in 2018 by beginning a similar exercise, this time visiting every English county and every county town, in what I called my "Around the County Towns" tour.
In September 2019, having reached Huntingdonshire, I had reason to pause the exercise, fully expecting to be able to recommence in the Spring. We all know what happened next.
Buses and trains were recognised as a potential problem as far as the virus was concerned early-on and the government went into overdrive on its "avoid public transport at all costs" messaging. So effective was this that almost immediately bus use fell to 10% of pre-pandemic levels (train use fell to 5%). Even now, with all restrictions lifted and life pretty much back to normal for most people, the buses are still missing about 20% of the passengers they once had. With the last of the "emergency support package" funding due to run out in October, and service cuts expected to follow, I thought it was high time to get back on the buses and do my bit by resuming my journey.
Not all the issues that led to the original suspension of the project in 2019 have been resolved, so I had to start slowly and see how things went, but last week I was able to restart, visiting the Isle of Ely and Cambridgeshire on a two-day trip "Around the County Towns". I have a separate blog for the trip and anyone interested can read all about it here.