I recently returned to my hometown in Abergavenny from Australia to visit friends and relatives, and I also visited London, Newport and various other places in the UK.
On my return to Abergavenny Railway Station at 7pm there was no bus or taxi service available. To my dismay, it seemed that there is no bus service at any time to or from the station and no bus service anywhere in the town after 6pm. I made several calls for a taxi, but none were available. So, I had to walk, dragging a suitcase to the top part of the Llwynu Estate, no mean feat for an elderly (79) person. It was quite daunting. As I walked it came to mind how would visitors and tourists cope (elderly and disabled) with the same situation. No bus, no taxi service and who might not be familiar with the town.
Another incident occurred when I travelled to Crickhowell. The bus I intended to catch (11am) – Brecon Bus didn’t turn up and the 12 o’clock arrived at 12.20pm. I was told by locals who had also been waiting that this situation with the buses was not uncommon.
There was no information centre at the bus station to enquire as to what was to happen next. People may not have access to a mobile phone for information or the technical knowledge required to contact anyone for assistance. You’re really left in the lurch.
How should visitors cope? On my return from Crickhowell, again no bus service after 7pm.
I had to rely on a friend to drive me back to Abergavenny.
I went out to a restaurant in Abergavenny, a taxi was prebooked to pick us up at 9.45pm which did not turn up and no bus service was available. Again, I had to walk. I am sure I am not the only person to have experienced these transport difficulties. I’m sure it is a real problem for the elderly and disabled who may rely on public transport.
“Taking a Trip up to Abergavenny” which featured in the hit parade (1970) now seems far from achievable as problems start as soon as you step off the train. The public transport unfortunately seems more about cost than providing a service to the community, particularly the elderly and disabled, of which there would be a large proportion of elderly on the Llwynu Estate.
Efficient and reliable public transport would give much better accessibility to the town and surrounds which would give them much more freedom.
The Llwynu Estate is the most difficult area to walk because of the hills, it’s virtually built on the side of a mountain. There really is a safety risk at night for young and old.
Why would a new bus stop be built by the monument when there are so few buses?
Money could have been spent more wisely and the bus stop could have remained round the corner on Brecon Road. I was born in Abergavenny (Tudor Street).
I find it very disappointing that these century old buildings were demolished. So sad. This area had the potential to be a mecca for visitors and tourists to the town and may have provided a boost for local business.
Abergavenny and the surrounding areas is still a lovely place to visit provided you don’t use public transport, or if you do, you leave or get back before the 6pm public transport “curfew”!
Derek Hulbert, Australia