Katy from Brighton is looking forward to getting back on board for adventures with her family.
“We live in a ‘goldilocks zone’ near the centre and the edge of a small city, where we have amazing access to the sea, the hills and city centre – everything is close; so we didn’t need to keep our car. Before the pandemic, we used trains and buses to go further afield, to take our children out of town to walk and cycle, and to visit our relatives across the country.
“During the pandemic, we’ve stayed local, as we have enough to keep us busy and entertained here: but we’re really hoping to stretch our wings again this year as we did in 2019 (what a long time ago that seems!).
“If we’re travelling as a family with bikes, we are limited to rail travel as buses here can’t take cycles – that’s in contrast to our holiday a few years ago in Denmark, where the rural buses had large spaces for several bikes. (They also made the most epic bus advert ever.)
“If we’re not cycling, we like to take buses along the south coast and into the South Downs; we might combine bus and rail, as that can work really well to access a rural starting point and a town end to a walk.
“Our kids have fun on our journeys as we can give them proper quality time, and on rail especially they can get up and walk around sometimes, too. Strapping perpetual motion machines into car seats for several hours at a time is a very odd thing to do, if you think about it!
“When rural pub gardens are open, we grown-ups will be able to have a post-walk pint and not have to do the driving. We also hunt down the cafes, bakeries and good village stores to stock up on goodies for the journey home – that’s part of the day out.
“I’d love to support more rural attractions but most are too far from convenient public transport: The Bluebell Railway is unusual in having a bus link with Haywards Heath station, but places like Herstmonceaux, the Weald and Downland Museum, or Bignor Roman Villa mean either a taxi from a station or a day’s car hire. I’d love the Department for Transport to set up a fund for bus shuttles for attractions as part of the recovery.”