From trains to buses, we need to rethink UK transport | Letters

Guardian readers respond to recent stories about local bus services and railways

Renationalisation of the railways is a rightly popular Labour policy. But as Owen Jones points out (Don’t sneer at Corbyn: for millions, buses really do matter, 6 July), far more people rely on buses for everyday travel than on trains. Since giving up my car, I have lost countless hours of my life waiting for buses. And at my age, with many ambitions unfulfilled, every hour is precious. We are urged in the name of combating climate change to use public transport rather than private cars, but were I still in employment, it would probably be impossible to do so. Together with rail renationalisation, a programme of reintegration and coordination of bus services nationwide, with consumer input contributing to the design of the services, would be a popular addition to Labour’s manifesto for the next election, appealing in particular to those traditional supporters whom Labour is alleged to have been neglecting in recent years.
Frank Jackson
Harlow, Essex

Your correspondent Wendy Mulville wonders how many of those mocking Mr Corbyn have ever been on a bus (Letters, 7 July), and this reminds me of a story Peter Ustinov used to tell. Two well-heeled and privileged old gentlemen are in their Pall Mall club having a good-natured argument about public transport, in the course of which one of them accuses his friend of never having even been on a bus. Sheepishly he admits this is true, but vows to rectify the situation at once and catch a bus home that very afternoon.

He leaves the club and stands at the bus stop outside. When the bus arrives he gets on and says to the driver “Take me to 7 Belgrave Square, please, quick as you can.”
John Franklin

• It can come as no surprise that the government is thinking of not electrifying the Manchester – Leeds railway route (Report, 2 July). From the start HS2 (the design bureau) has designed stations in Leeds and Manchester for HS2 (the route) which cannot form part of the east-west “HS3” route. What are they playing at? But a wholly new high- speed route is in reach. It is described in and closely follows the M62 which was designed and built in 10 years. It goes on viaduct over the village of Newhey at gradients which high-speed trains can easily climb. Why this foot-dragging? Is the elephant in the room the realisation building HS3 would create a ring of cities round the southern Pennines, so closely linked as to amount to “one city” bigger than London?
Michael Bell
Newcastle upon Tyne

• I would like to express my thanks to the many staff at Clapham Junction and East Croydon stations who were unfailingly kind, courteous and helpful amidst the chaos that has prevailed on the Southern and Gatwick Express network. They were all so cheerful and went out of their way to answer questions, look up routes and times and help people on the platforms. And handed out free water!

While Network Rail must answer for the failure properly to invest in infrastructure and maintenance, the hardworking staff must be complemented and admired for their care and concern for passengers.
Pamela Mayorcas

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