Traveling by coach in the United Kingdom
|Coach travel UK|
If, for any reason, you need to travel by coach in the United Kingdom, and the route happens to take
in Bristol as a stop over or change, there are some important points that you will need to be aware of.
In my case, it was travelling last Sunday,(12th October) as a passenger with National Express from Dorchester to Swansea in Wales, with changes at Bristol and Cardiff. The journey had a duration of some 6 hours, including changes and some minor diversions to obscure pick up points along the way.
A lengthy time traveling, which would in any circumstances require "comfort breaks" even with the provision of toilet facilities on the coach. As it so happens, the "facilities" on the first coach were in fact blocked and therefore unusable. This must have been even more inconvenient, (no pun intended) for those traveling with this coach to its ultimate destination, which was in fact Blackpool, some distance away up the M6.
On reaching Bristol, there was the usual scramble for the station facilities, particularly as a number of coaches had arrived at the same time, spilling their cargo's of human travellers into an already crowded concorse, (and I thought that this was Sunday!) Eventually, we reached a turnstile, rather similar to those which used to be found at the gates of football grounds (perhaps the builders of the Bristol bus station has managed to secure a job lot of turnstiles at a knock down price during the construction work) to be confronted by a sign which demanded a 20p entry fee and moreover, would only accept 20p coins as a means of entry. After obtaining the necessary coinage, by the purchase of a Bounty Bar and a Crunchie, I gained entry to the convenience.
If the management of these bus stations are compelled to charge extortionate prices for the use of their amenities within the station, they might at least ensure that the facilities are clean and usable. The Bristol facilities are dirty, uncleaned and when seraching for toilet paper to wipe hands after discovering that the hand driers did not work, found that all of the WC's in the cubilcle were blocked. All of them. Not just blocked but overfolwing with paper and other matter.
Not un naturally, I obtained a complaint form from the station office and indicated that I was not very happy with the situation. Bizzarely, he said that they have received lots of complaints about the state of the loo's from many users. Weird that nothing has been done to resolve the problem.
If by chance you travel on to Swansea, the charge is 30p!