Lewes Forum thread

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Lewes-Eastbourne ... 20 mins by train..

On 1 Jul 2014 at 4:08pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
boasts a big yellow sign on the A27.
I need to be in Eastbourne from 8-4 on Wednesdays and Mr C-T wants the car tomorrow. Great, I thought, I'll go on the train, it's only a short walk from the station at the other end.
The train that arrives at Eastbourne at 7.56 is cutting it too fine, so I'd need to get the 6.51, so I'd have to leave the house at 6.40 at the latest (even earlier if I didn't have a lift to the station).
It's a similar palaver on the way back, first train I can get is the 16.31 which might just get me back indoors by 5pm.
When I drive, I leave at 7.15 and am back by 4.40 in the afternoon, so the "20 minute" train takes over an hour longer than driving, even if the trains are running on time. And it costs me around 6 in fuel, as opposed to 11.80 return on the train.
No wonder people drive. Trains are inconvenient and expensive and it beats me why people bother with the things for local journeys.
On 1 Jul 2014 at 4:15pm Historian wrote:
Just let's scrap the trains too eh ? netty
On 1 Jul 2014 at 4:29pm TheFacts wrote:
I see Madame Petrolhead is back. Your 6 is not a fair comparison, as it doesn't include the cost of the car, insurance, tax etc. And the opportunity cost of having to use the 20 minutes to stare at the road rather than doing something useful or pleasant like reading a book or watching a programme on iplayer.
As for 'no wonder people drive', car use (although not car ownership) is actually in decline in Britain whereas train use is increasing relatively quickly.
On 1 Jul 2014 at 5:21pm Brrrm wrote:
In addition, there is no guarantee you will get a seat, there is no guarantee the train will get you there at the ETA. You are also not able to carry a large amount with you on trains.
The 6 is a fair comparison as the other mentioned costs are spread out and are for all journeys made by car, not just for one journey.
Whereas it is 11.80 return for one journey (there and back) on one day.
On 1 Jul 2014 at 5:35pm TheFacts wrote:
You WILL get a seat from Lewes to Eastbourne at that time.
Well, ,the standard Inland Revenue rate for expenses and tax calculation is 50p per mile - this takes into account all the other costs I mentioned. If I drove from Lewes to Eastbourne and back (33.4 miles) for business purposes I would be entitled to claim back 16.70 from my employer. That's a fairer comparison of costs.
On 1 Jul 2014 at 5:36pm TheFacts wrote:
"there is no guarantee the train will get you there at the ETA." There's no guarantee a car will either. Traffic jams are not unknown on the A27, and accidents do close the whole road occasionally.
On 1 Jul 2014 at 6:09pm sensible driver wrote:
Parking at the other end is not cheap & I quite like a beer - so train. If I've a lot of stuff to buy, Lewes not having the range of shops, then I go by car. Short run benefits either car or train. Good we have a choice.
On 1 Jul 2014 at 6:17pm trooper wrote:
Well well Madam CT is at great pains to tell us all how dreadfull is is to have to travel on the train, well good for her, there are many of us who do not have a motor car, we HAVE no option but to use the public transport system with all its problems.As for her comment on trains being inconvenient and expensive, I presume she has a alternative form of transport ??
On 1 Jul 2014 at 6:36pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
I'm no petrolhead, Facts, quite the opposite.
I happily managed for years on end without a car. I had my full licence for 17 years before I bought one. But I lived in Surrey then, a 10 minute walk from a large shopping centre, about 10 different bus routes (including night buses) nearby and stations with frequent trains to London and the coast only 15 minutes walk away.
Bus and train fares were much cheaper and it seemed daft to bother with a car.
HMRC's 50p per mile is based on someone buying fairly new cars and includes depreciation and regular servicing, not an old skinflint like me who buys old cars and scraps them the minute they need a bit of money spent on them. At around 350 a year combined, tax and insurance are pretty negligible. No way does my motoring cost me 50p a mile. I was making a fair profit on it when I got paid 40p for my work mileage.
Around a fiver seems like a fair fare for a round trip to Eastbourne. Later in the day, it's around 8, which would more or less match the cost of using the car if I had to pay for parking. I'd think about wasting an hour of my life, and lugging heavy reference books etc to and fro if it was 8, but I expect the car would win (especially when I add the bus fare back from the station to that).
I wonder how many more people would opt to use the train, or bus, if it were cheaper? Or if they introduced a carnet type system that would give cheaper travel for people who don't work 5 days a week? I think it would be an interesting experiment.
On 1 Jul 2014 at 7:07pm Local wrote:
Trooper - why don't you buy a car, or are you happier moaning?
On 1 Jul 2014 at 8:24pm Woody wrote:
ACT - Where can you live in Surrey with a 15 minute walk to the coast? Do you have a pair of Seven League Boots?
On 1 Jul 2014 at 11:30pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Sorry, poor punctuation - the trains to the coast were only a 15 minute walk away!
On 2 Jul 2014 at 12:07am Horseman7 wrote:
I make the journey for 3.90 using a day saver on my B&H Buses key card. It's a lengthy process, travelling 2 sides of the triangle on BH#28 and BH#12, giving me plenty of time to catch up on my Radio4 recordings. The self-employed mileage rate for car use is (as opposed to apportioning motor costs) is 45 pence.
On 2 Jul 2014 at 9:24am se22jjs@gmail.com wrote:
No getting away from the fact that yep, sometimes cars are quicker and in some ways more convenient
And yet I still (mostly) prefer trains. Instead of driving and being "on", I can have downtime and read, catchup with others or just.. do nothing
If I was in your situation I would look at some kind of season ticket to get the cost down, speak with whoever you need to in Eastbourne about possibility of missing 8am start (if possible) - otherwise the earlier train isn't that much earlier - up a bit earlier but a stress free start to a day
On 2 Jul 2014 at 10:22am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
I opted for the 8am start as it is less stressful than driving in later.
I only have to go one day a week, and there's no "one day a week" season ticket.
If I lived nearer the station, the difference in time terms wouldn't be so great and I might be more inclined to give it a try, but it's just not worth it.
On 2 Jul 2014 at 10:46am Peasant wrote:
ACT's last post explains exactly why people make the decisions they do. Lewes has 30% of households without a car, and only 20% with 2+ cars, because it is a public transport hub, with many households having good access to buses and trains to everywhere else.
Ringmer is only 3 miles away, and has very similar median household income, but only 13% of households have no car (mostly those too old to drive) and 40% have 2+ cars [see East Sussex in Figures]. No train of course, and 5 per day to park at Lewes station; a good bus service for a village, but it only goes to Lewes. Enough to persuade people to make spending on private transport (rather than, say, other consumer goods or entertainment) their priority. And once you have the car on your drive, you will use it, even for journeys where it isn't really the best option.
Clear moral, anyway. If you are keenly "green" and want people to use public transport, you will support building housing for them in Lewes, or in other public transport hubs. In Lewes District, Lewes town is the only such transport hub.
On 2 Jul 2014 at 12:35pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
It's a good transport hub for those in the town centre, but the bus service cuts will make public transport less attractive for those in outlying areas.
The walk to the station from the top of the Nevill is fine if you're reasonably fit and don't have much to carry, but the work home at the end of the working day must be a real drag.
The proposed service reductions will make it more difficult for people to get to/from the station at anything approaching the right time, and the fare increase will reduce the differential between driving and getting the bus. If you can share parking costs with a mate or a colleague, there's probably nothing in it even now.

On 2 Jul 2014 at 7:26pm Peasant wrote:
Best not extend the Nevill then. Put the new houses needed somewhere central like, say, the Phoenix area
On 3 Jul 2014 at 9:38am Yeoman wrote:
There's a pretty good rule of thumb used by planners - a public transport link is only viable if there is a density of around 30 dwellings per hectare within 10 minutes walk of the station or stop. This doesn't take into account frequency of service, but it does explain why Lewes station works but rural bus services dont'; it's also why areas of spacious detached houses aren't easily served.
Of course, the other factor is that Lewes station is a link into central London for commuters and occasional visitors. You'd have to be utterly nuts to attempt to drive into the West End or City on a regular basis.
On 3 Jul 2014 at 9:40am Yeoman wrote:
I live on Nevill and know a few London commuters. None of them use the bus as is. Most of them cycle.
On 3 Jul 2014 at 10:05am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
That's interesting, Yeoman. I just wish I could visualise how dense 30 dwellings per hectare is!
The problem with all these cost/benefit analyses is that they often end up with a cheap, but otherwise undesirable, solution. The public transport "rule" means that people in rural areas, who are a long way from shops, doctors etc have to run cars and use them to go almost anywhere, while people in town centres, who are near enough to walk for most things, have loads of buses.
The same applies to road building. It's much cheaper to build a road through unspoilt countryside as the land costs very little, so in cost/benefit terms that's where new roads tend to go.
We're becoming a society that can't recognise the value of things that can't be valued.
On 3 Jul 2014 at 11:46am Yeoman wrote:
I'd guess Nevill was about 30 dph, ACT. Same for Landport and Malling. More typical spacious suburbia, somewhere like Patcham in Brighton, would be about 15dph. Pells or Southover are probably more like 40dph. The Georgian bits of Brighton would be close to 100 dph, as are similar bits of London, but nowhere near what you'd see in Paris which would be double that at least.
It's not just transport; the same applies to things like neighbourhood shops, pubs; you need a certain amount of people in walking distance for them to be viable businesses. It's why a lot of suburban areas with big houses have little in the way of services, for example.
Arguably as it's easily to lead a sustainable lifestyle in cities they are "greener" than the countryside.
On 4 Jul 2014 at 1:39pm ar10642 wrote:
Realistically, a public transport facility can never fit all situations for all people as well as a private car in a place like Lewes, but it's good to have the choice not to have to drive everywhere. Especially going east. Walk up train fares *should* be much lower but I can't see it happening, well, ever really. The only way would be increased subsidy from the government or a company choosing to make less profit and that seems about as likely as Nick Clegg winning the next general election.

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