Saturday, 5 May 2012

Public Transport Discussion - Part Two

After last week's two and a half hour round trip to Bricket Wood an alternative had to be found. The Abbey Flyer - pictured on the last blog entry - seemed to be a viable alternative. Stopping as it does at Bricket Wood, on the side that isn't by The Black Boy, closer to the business park, I decided this was the way to go...

The Abbey Flyer leaves Watford Junction at 08.04. Arriving at Watford Junction in time to buy a ticket and make your way to Platform 11 - which happens to be a pretty long schlep from the ticket barrier - is another PTC (Public Transport Challenge) to be negotiated. After fruitless searches on my friend Google, calls to Traveline, and a walk to the bus stop to look at the timetables printed in black and white on the inside of the bus shelter, I decide the only viable option is the 320. It doesn't stop at my local stop but that's not an insurmountable problem - it's only a ten to fifteen minute walk away and leaves at 07.27.

So I set the alarm for 06.00. I get up, I shower, wash my hair, put on some make up (would not want to scare the bus passengers...) eat something (remembering yoghurt and bananas are not particularly welcome on Arriva services...) empty and reload the dishwasher, put on a load of washing (all the usual morning stuff) and make a sandwich.

I grab a cereal bar, more yoghurt and fruit, my anorak and a brolly. The walk takes less time than expected and I have ten minutes at the bus stop to check emails and tweet. Cannot resist channelling Sting. "Wet Bus Stop, she's waiting...."

Bus is late. This sentence does not require explanation or expansion, it is a fact and not to be questioned or commented upon. Bus goes round and round the houses, the ring roads, housing estates and the highlands and Loch Lomond - or perhaps I imagined the last bit. At 07.5something I arrive at Watford Junction, leg it to the ticket machine, stress and fuss while someone very slow - probably inexperienced when it comes to these things - negotiates the buttons that lead to the delivery of a ticket to somewhere they will have to take  a replacement bus service to - and finally, eventually, I get my debit card into the machine, key in Bricket Wood, break out in a cold sweat over the cost ( the first half hour's work today will fund my travel ...) and obtain a ticket.

I run to Platform 11 - which seems to be located in Berkhamstead - and throw myself onto the train...

To be continued.....

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