Planning a walk? Try taking the bus... we read that article by Ian Fleming (Herald and Post, Page 24 & 25, August 10) with much interest, since we both enjoy walking and travelling by bus.
However, as much as we support the Walk Alton group’s encouragement fr walkers to use public transport, particularly buses, it is our sad experience that reliable and convenient bus services in east Hampshire, certainly in the Alton area, are sadly lacking.
Following more cuts in the subsidy by Hampshire County Council , the service from Liphook to Alton has been reduced to a are minimum and, on occasions, not run at all.
Should the 10.35 bus be more than ten minutes late – it happens – we would miss our connection at Whitehill and would have to wait three hours for the next bus to Alton.
To put it mildly, this is a most unsatisfactory way to run a bus ‘service’.
Bus services, generally but particularly in rural areas, are clearly not a priority as far as central government is concerned. Studies show the recent deterioration, with bus services down 50 per cent and 8,000 services slashed.
The government announcing in the spring that it was reducing support for services by a quarter was another nail in the coffin for all the many pensioners (including ourselves) who are carless and rely on a good and reliable bus service to visit relatives and friends, go shopping or simply go sightseeing in another town – a change of scenery providing a much-needed distraction from the same old four walls.
We wish the Walk Alton group all the best in their laudable bid to link walkers and buses. But there certainly needs to be a big change in direction if buses are to restored to their rightful important place in the local community.
By David and Joy Lush