Recently I had the joy of attempting to get to, and return from, Anglesey by bus. My destination was Llangefni; the purpose of my little excursion to interview the Island’s Council Leader. Already in a foul mood from having to get up earlier than 9am on a Friday (in Reading Week, no less), I traipsed my way out of my nice warm halls to catch the 10 o’clock bus.
Not only was the bus late, I was charged a hefty three pounds for a single ticket. A single ticket, i.e. one way only, no return included, cost me three pounds. People say London is expensive, but for less than that you can get a bus halfway across the city at two in the morning. Call me a tight-fisted grump, but as a student struggling to survive on what’s left of my loan after various nights out that I can’t quite remember (money well spent, I know), three pounds for a single bus journey borders on the ridiculous. It’s not as if Arriva Wales buses are luxury coaches complete with air con and plush seats that lean all the way back in case you fancy a quick snooze. Not that many buses are like that, but hey, I can dream. What’s certainly true is that Bangor’s buses aren’t any better than those in London or any other big city for that matter, so why the nasty price tag?
The task of actually getting back to Bangor from Anglesey proved to be equally headache-inducing. I was a little dismayed to see a Bangor-bound bus go past me as I walked to the stop, but, being a city-girl and generally an optimistic type, I naively assumed that another bus would be coming soon. This was at about twelve in the afternoon so my expectations weren’t exactly unreasonable. As it turns out, the rare creatures that are Llangefni to Bangor buses only come out of hiding once every hour. Okay, so I’m aware that it takes around forty-five minutes to get from Llangefni to Bangor, but would it really be so difficult to put just one more bus on the go? Other cities manage it, and Bangor is supposedly a city, albeit a very small one with no cinema and an incredibly grey pier.
The moral of this tale would probably be something like; don’t go to a small-town university unless you (a) have a car or (b) are prepared to spend money on ridiculous fares for buses that come once in a blue moon if you want to go exploring.