Thursday, November 01, 2007

Public meeting to save the Romsey bus rail link

Public meetings are an occupational hazard and sometimes generate more heat than light - but a politician ignores them at her peril.
Was relieved to find that it was standing room only at the public meeting tonight - after all no one wants to be trying to save something that people are completely indifferent about. Much of the credit needs to go to Matt and Nadine (mentioned in an earlier blog) for a sterling job in publicising the problem.

Things are slowly moving on though. In the last 48 hours SWT have agreed to fund some early morning and late evening buses until next June/July. This gives everyone a breathing space even though the future service is slower and less convenient than what we currently have.

I was quite shocked by the lack of grass roots knowledge displayed by some of those from Stagecoach and South West Trains. There was no clear consensus on what proportion of bus usage was linked with a rail journey, no one from SWT knew that if you type in Romsey to London on their own web site then the bus link is not shown as an option and no one appeared to know that many of the buses were running without the appropriate ticket machine so people could not buy a rail ticket on the bus.

Hopefully something positive will emerge from all the angst - an action group is going to be set up and hopefully something positive will come out of this.

Bizarrely - it appears that usage has increased over the last couple of weeks. Could it possibly be that now people are aware of this service (which has been poorly advertised in the past) they realise what a good thing it is?