The Stunner newspaper has been carrying stories recently about the cuts in bus services in parts of the Moorlands. Of course, in Draycott, we know all about cuts in bus services.
Two years ago, we had four bus services in the village, including an hourly bus service to Hanley – the X50, the 249, the 184, and the 7.
Now we only have the 4 service, the Stone to Longton bus which runs through our area (through Cresswell and along to Blythe Bridge). Even that only runs – depending on which direction you want to go – three times a day!
This is a pretty miserable state of affairs, but it seems like everybody has more or less accepted that this is the way things have to be.
Bizarrely, it means we now have two completely redundant bus-shelters in Draycott – the one at Totmonslow and the one by the Draycott Arms – as, no buses call at them anymore.
Find out by text
So, with so few buses, what bothers us most is missing the bus.
Bennetts, which operate the 4, are pretty good at not leaving a bus-stop too early – but, they are a small bus-company, and sometimes a bus will be suddenly cancelled.
How do we know if a bus has been cancelled??
Well, if you have a mobile phone, you can find out.
All bus stops in the UK have been allocated an eight letter ‘SMS code’. To use the Traveline SMS service, simply text the eight-letter SMS code to 84268 and you will receive a text back telling you when the next bus is due from that stop.
As an example, the code for the Draycott Stuart Avenue bus-stop is ‘stagmgtg’, so you would just text that to 84268: and within a few seconds you would get a reply with the times of the next bus.
That’s a relief at least.
(To see the timetable for the 4, click here. To see the SMS codes for your nearest stops, you need to scroll down the page, past the timetables, to get to them.)
But sometimes it’s also nice to have a proper paper timetable at the bus-stops; and one thing some people have complained to us about is the lack of them.
Yes, at Cresswell bus-shelter some kind soul has put up a timetable, but the others in Draycott have none, or just one that is out of date.
Is it so hard for the parish council to organise a few volunteers to make sure that paper timetables are up at the bus-shelters?
But – to show we are not completely miserable (!) – here is one bus-user who is happy: one lady told us she uses the bus for her special weekly day out. And it sounded fun…
What she does is catch the 10.22 from near her home – to Blythe Bridge. She has a bit of breakfast at the cafe opposite the mini-Tesco, then uses the public toilet by the library (!), then has a flutter at the betting shop (yes, she does..), then reads the papers at the library, then buys some bread at the Tesco – and then comes back on the 1.05pm.
It does her nicely, she says. So… at least someone likes the buses!
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