I remember in first year when I’d spend a weekend at home. The coach was normally a 90 minute journey and door to door the whole journey would take about 2.5 hours, when adding on traffic jams and getting buses to and from the coach stations. But now, three years have passed and the public transport services in and between my university town and my home town seem to have got worse.
In second year, I discovered that actually, buying an open return train ticket was cheaper than the coach and it meant I wasn’t kicked off the bus in Leicester and made to wait half an hour whilst the driver had his break. Although the train requires two changes, it was just as quick as the coach and with there being trains every hour, the timings were better than the coaches, of which there were only three a day.
Now I’m in fourth year and I’ve just arrived back in Nottingham, after coming from Coventry. From door to door, it took me over 4 hours to get from my family home in Cov to my student home in Notts. A journey that by car takes under an hour without traffic. The journeys to and from just seemed to take forever and I couldn’t make the most of my hours spent on public transport.
On Monday, I got to the train station in Nottingham with no problem, I missed the first 34 bus, but within five minutes another one came along. I sat on the first train, final destination London St Pancreas, and saw some students taking out their laptops to work or watch a movie. I was so envious. Meanwhile I ate my packed lunch and wondered whether it would be worth taking out my book, as I’d only be on this train for 26 minutes before changing at Leicester. I started to read my latest book for my course Castigo Sin Venganza but I couldn’t get into it as I knew I’d be getting off soon and I normally panic when we go past Loughborough and think I’ve missed my connection.
At Leicester I had a 17 minute wait in the cold waiting room on platform 3, before going outside when the train had 5 minutes to arrive. I’ve travelled this route before and know that the Leicester – Birmingham train gets very busy and I wanted a seat. I got off at Nuneaton and quickly made my way from platform 7 to platform 1 where the oldest and loneliest Cross Country carriage waits to go to Coventry. Usually this train is good and if the Leicester – Bham train is a few minutes late, it will wait for passengers to go across rather than having us wait another hour for the next one.
Then came the long part…
Back in the good old days, there was a bus route in Coventry numbered 27. It was everything I wanted from a bus service, I could go to the hospital, to my school, my house, to Ball Hill, the city centre and the train station. It was one of the first and only bus routes to have a bendibus in Coventry and it was just brilliant.
Then, what happened? The buses changed hands and new routes came along. The 27 changed into the 4 which now goes to the Ricoh Arena (after city centre, which would just take forever for us Wykeners) at the expense of the train station stop it seems.
So now, if I want to get to the train station from my house, I have to either get the 8 or 9 from the train station to Ansty Road and walk 15+ minutes, or walk through the city centre for 20+ minutes to get to Pool Meadow to take the 4. The latter involves bashing into people accidentally, telling chuggers I’m not going to give them any money and also walking around the over excited Christians who are preaching in the city centre. For some reason I always choose the second option, even though it takes longer and is more trouble.
Then what’s more, is that they’re destroying Coventry with roadworks at the moment, it even affects pedestrians as to get from the train station to the city centre, it now takes a further 5 minutes as you cannot go over the roundabout, you have to go around it and down the horrible underground tunnels that I thought had all disappeared (it seems they kept a few for nostalgic reasons).
I don’t know if anybody reading this will get to this part, this post is just me ranting about how long it took me to get home and how I was unable to do anything on my journey besides chatting on my phone and playing games. The main points might not have been written or expressed well as I’m still getting over the trauma of my sickness and return journey that took four hours and five minutes but here they are summarised in bullet points:
- To travel a mere 49.7 miles it took me 4x the amount of time to travel by public transport than by car, I probably could’ve cycled it quicker!
- I miss the 27 bus route, please bring it back
- Nobody wants to travel from Wyken to the Ricoh on the new number 4
- Coventry needs to get rid of ALL of the underground city centre subway passes
- If the coach was cheaper and more frequent, it would be my preferred method of transport
- I like to complain about these things because I’m feeling ill.
Over and out. I won’t be going home again until Christmas so please, train and bus providers feel free to improve your services in the future! Why not introduce a Coventry – Leicester direct train? The train tracks are in place, just put a train on them and make my journey home quicker!