After four years of living here, I have learnt that the Balderton to Newark bus service is by far the worst I have ever experienced anywhere in the UK in more than 70 years.
I needed to travel from Main Street into Newark for an appointment. Forty minutes later, I was still standing at the bus stop.
The total route, from Balderton to Newark Bus Station and back, is only about a 25-30 minutes’ round-trip, so what causes such disruption?
Most organisations now penalise people for late or non-attendance at appointments. This service makes it virtually impossible to keep any appointment.
To get home I made the mistake of going to the bus station. The noticeboard said a bus for Balderton was due in 13 minutes.
Twenty minutes later I was still in the station and then two buses arrived within minutes of each other.
Is all this an unusual experience? No it isn’t.
I have often heard others say they get a taxi rather than try waiting for a bus.
The unreliability of the ser-vice seems to be the main issue.
As it is now supposed to be three buses an hour instead of four, it becomes even more important that there is a reliable service.
Three an hour is not enough, but it would be tolerable if the service was reliable.
Hold-ups have been blamed for the poor time-keeping for the buses in Newark.
The only trouble with this is that I have experienced long waits even on days when the roads were quite free of such traffic problems.
Given the propensity for this service to be erratic, you would think that at least good provision would be made in terms of safe and comfortable bus shelters, but no such luck.
Most of the stops on this route are fortunate to even have a bus stop at all.
Most bus stops and the signs thereon are uncannily placed in such a way as to obscure the view, if you are sitting down, when you want to see if a bus is coming.
There is a fairly new bus shelter near me. The so-called seats are so awkward and uncomfortable that I frequently see people standing rather than sitting.
As for weather protection, these shelters tend to create problems from wind and rain rather than shield people.
To my knowledge, no explanation as to the reduced bus service has ever been forthcoming.
It is just ridiculous to cut the service to save money when the population of Balderton is clearly increasing.
Last winter every bus that I got on was covered with dirt.
Was that also saving money?
The recent fare increases have brought prices even closer to taxi rates.
The end result is that travelling by bus has become a miserable experience, for me and many others.
You can’t help thinking that the last people who seem to matter in this are the people who need and use the buses. — Barry Dunnage, Balderton (Full address supplied).