Thursday , October 18 2018
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Park and Ride

Ding ding fares please – Two to the local park please Mr Conductor. What Three farthings each Thats a bit steep isnt it Once upon a time Granddad & Grandmama Headlander may have travelled this way to the park for their Saturday constitutional. But, with a few exceptions not anymore!

This town is slowly being redesigned for motorists. Whilst most places do have a bus service connecting them to the centre of town, try travelling anywhere else. For instance you cant get to and from West View to the Marina either before 9am or after 5pm not so user friendly for those working at Garlands really is it and theyre a major employer in the town. Should you really have to buy a car if you work shifts there

In a similar vein, how many buses go to Navigation Point – home to trendy bars, restaurants and shops Well thats easy none! Its another popular destination which is easily reachable by car but is a bit of a walk from the nearest bus stop at Asda. This is simply ridiculous as its full of people at the weekend and its design reflects the method they want you to get there by the car parks are massive.

Talking of parks there are very few buses travelling to our major, local outdoor activity centre, Summerhill in fact I only know of the Badger Bus during the school holidays but once again theres acres of parking for those travelling by car.

Similarly if you want to see a film it can be difficult to get to the Vue Cinema, but once again there is a whopping car park. And whats that just over the road Why its MacDonalds A DRIVE THRU (Sorry for the terrible spelling but its how Filthy McNastys themselves spell it)! I once went on a pushbike to the drive through Smackdonalds and was astonished to find that they wouldnt serve me I couldnt enter the sit-in portion of the restaurant as it was fairly late in the evening and I couldnt get served at the drive through window as I wasnt in a car! Whats a man to do Ill pee through their letterbox one night.

Our council needs to take a bit of care and make bus operators serve some of these places and they also need to stop making shopping and entertainment venues largely only for those who have cars. The people who cant afford a motor either dont go or, in the case of shopping, have to take taxis. This is simply not fair.

A lot of towns are getting like this as shops are closed in the town centre (look at the state of Middleton Grange for heavens sake!) and are replaced with large, edge of town complexes such as the Anchor Retail Park. All these places are designed to be easily accessible by car but no-one asks for provision to be built into their design for bus stops or anything similar. This needs to change and our town planners need to be reminded of this. Far be it from me to suggest that anyone would accept a bung to approve a development but who in their right mind would let another out of town development open when the town centre shopping experience needs updating. Well just watch it happen here in the next few years, as it has happened elsewhere.

When Grandpater & Grandmater Headlander took their trolleybus ride out Im sure they would never have imagined the way that the beating heart can be ripped out of a town by a town planning department. Its not quite happened here yet but I urge you all to keep a close watch on whats happening as the rot is starting to set in.

Im off to the Pint & Fight for a drink and Ive already booked my taxi home!

Cheers!

Headlander

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