Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Missing the bus

I was recently browsing the Good Beer Guide and was struck by the entry for the Black Cock at Eaglesfield in Cumbria. Apart from Sundays, its opening hours are 8-11 (midnight on Fridays and Saturdays). But the Guide says “A daytime bus service runs through the village between Cockermouth and Cleator Moor”. That will be really useful for pub visitors, then. And does it even run on Sundays?

While some in CAMRA like to harp on about the opportunities for visiting rural pubs by public transport, the reality is often like Dr Johnson's comments about a dog walking on its hind legs, that the wonder is not that it can be done easily, but that it can be done at all. If people are going to visit pubs by public transport they will naturally choose ones that they can reach conveniently, and very often the journeys proposed will appeal solely to the gricer of obscure bus routes.

It also fails to take account of the fact that most rural bus services only operate during the day, whereas pubs like the Black Cock are increasingly evenings-only businesses.

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