I was going to Southampton for a few days. Normally I either get a lift or take the bicycle with me, but times of the day etc. gave reason to take the bus instead.

Luckily the bus stop is up the end of the Lane, a mere 80 yard walk or so. I walked up to the stop. It isn’t actually there anymore, a car knocked it over two weeks ago and closed the A28 for two hours; not exactly a confidence booster for doing the green thing and personal safety etc!

The double decker duly arrived at 0927 on the dot. It was good to see so many people on it. The bus goes via Sainsburys, so I guessed that’s where they were heading.
I sat in the downstairs seating. This felt quite good as it appeared from the 20 or so people on board, I was the youngest by a good 5 years!

It soon came to light the reasons I had tried to work out as to why the 3 mile journey takes 25 minutes. Off we went, all over the place, it took me down two roads I never knew existed!
At another two or three stops, the numbers doubled and I become the second youngest.

We arrived at Sainsburys, no one got off atall, neither did anyone get on. Oh well, at least it gave me a chance to look into a few peoples gardens on the detour.

When the bus finally reached the edge of town, we hit the queue. In their wisdom, a past Ashford Council deemed a four carraigeway one-way ring road would solve all traffic and shopping problems.
They didn’t envisage that as society changed, this would become a haven for boy racers after 7pm everyday.
So, they’re changing it back to two-way. This naturally being carried out at the same time as four other major road maintenance schemes on the approach roads.

Seeing this I thought I should alight the bus early and walk to the Station through the town centre.
This is quite a nice walk and takes you through the quiet old church yard, which at this time of year is serenely surrounded by blossoming Cherry trees, half empty fast food packets and broken bottles.

To get past the final 50 meters from the town centre edge to the Station means a bit of map navigation. There are two underpass’s, one semi overpass and a zig zag walk around Car Park ‘B’ (no one knows where ‘A’ is).

Door to door took 55 minutes. The Moped takes about 6 minutes and I’ve walked it a few times in 50!

But what did my £1.60 fare give me?
It gave me the brief moment of being young again, I explored parts of Ashford only seen from a Bus, I had the adrenalyn flowing as the Bus overtook at least 7 cars on the only 200 meter bus lane in town and for once, I was glad to get on a train!

PS. If it were a Sunday, there’s no bus service!


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