I live in St Albans and I use a motorized wheelchair to get around. The lack of bus services where I live definitely makes my life more difficult.
Recently I moved house and one of the non-negotiables I had was that it needed to be within 10 minutes from a train station because the bus services are just too infrequent. Because I need a house that can be modified for my wheelchair it made it that much harder to find an appropriate house. At the moment where I live I’d need at least two buses to get to St Albans station.
When you are in a wheelchair, catching a bus involves even more challenges. If the weather is bad, you end up getting wet and then you stay wet – we can’t stand up to dry ourselves. So if a bus is running late and you are out in the rain you end up damp all day.
Reliability of public transport is also an issue for me living in the West. It’s one thing to plan a travel journey, but if something happens – say trains are disrupted and I need to go to a different station, or different bus stop – then I can get into some real challenges. My wheelchair only has batteries for a certain number of hours a day, and if I need to use it to travel further than anticipated, I risk of running out of power part of the way home.
Accessibility of stations is also a huge issue. Watergardens only has lifts to access the station. So if there’s ever an issue with the lift, people who have mobility issues can’t use the station. It’s ridiculous.