Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
a very sad story
When the original S&D closed 'replacement' bus services were implemented as a sop to those who rightly lamented the end of modern transport along the route. These services didn't last long as they obviously couldn't begin to offer the speed and comfort that the trains had - even in pre-modernisation days.
Wellow, which once had a superb rail service (along with Shoscombe and Single Hill to the south) was thrown back into the transport dark ages with villagers having to either move back to civilization (ie to somewhere with a train service!) or, horror of horrors, having to buy a car to keep themselves mobile. Because of the lie of the land and roads the replacement bus services couldn't begin to compensate for what the villagers had lost. This is what passed for progress in the horrible sixties.
When the replacement bus services inevitably stopped the villagers came up with an idea - to buy their own bus and keep some semblance of belonging to a wider world. This was four years ago. Today that bus (or more correctly minibus) hit the road.
This was featured on the local TV news. It was one of the most achingly poignant pieces of reporting I'd seen for years.
Poor Wellow, once a stop on the world famous S&D, with regular local trains connecting with expresses to the south coast, Midlands and north, site of numerous heavy freight workings, was reduced to relying on a tiny, uneconomic toy bus to keep their foothold in the 21st century.
But of course it won't be that many years before Wellow gets its trains back. With regular PPMs and electric units once again connecting at Bath, the villagers of Wellow (and Shoscombe and Single Hill) will once again be able to get where they want to quickly, cheaply and cleanly. This brief few decades where they were abandoned by the rest of the world will soon be forgotten. Roll on the New S&D! Perhaps we'll even nab that minibus for our museum of transport!