Saturday, 14 August 2010

Is your journey really necessary? TrwawsCambria and Devolution.

In the 80’s as a mature student, I often used the TrawsCambria bus to get to Aberystwyth University. Today I would make the journey on the X40 and change to the X32 to carry on to Bangor and North Wales.
It linked what was then all the University towns in Wales and was a useful if frustrating link for students with their homes
You can see from the map that there are no direct routes and you would not want to follow it by car.

I have began to look at the journey as an analogy for devolution.

The first part of the journey Cardiff-Swansea was long and frustrating clearly my attention was to go North bur the Bus seemed to be making no progress in that direction.

This can be seen as the period from the election of the Plaid MP’s to the second Devolution referendum. The journey had begun (Though the bus had broken down in 1979) and it had become clear that we cold go further.

The Second part Swansea-Carmarthen. . Was a sign of real progress and you could feel the passengers spirits lift as they began to feel they were finally heading for they destination.

This can be seen the election of the first Assembly (Ironic that this would be Carmarthen after the referendum). Some felt the journey was over but others were now used to the difficulties of along journey and wished to go on.

The Third part Carmarthen-Lampeter was seen as some as unnecessary as they wished to go strait on to Aber. Buy some of the passengers wanted to stop there.

This is where we are at the moment some progress made but clearly this was not the end.

The forth part Lampeter- Aberystwyth was a real spurt for those heading to Aber there was a clear anticipation that their long journey would soon be over.

This will be the result if the 2010 referendum is successful. For many it will seem unnecessary to travel any further.

For many the Fifth part Aberystwyth-Portmadog was in reality be a new journey bur Portmadog has many attractions and give you access to a Wales they had longed to see.

This will be the creation of a Welsh Parliament with full law making and Tax raising powers the final stage for some.

The final part of the journey Portmadog-Bangor would have been taken by hardy soles some of who may have already broken their journey in Aberystwyth say. But you can imagine the joy they will feel when they see the outskirts of Bangor and realise the long journey.

This will see an independent Wales taking its place in Europe and the rest of the World the destination of a minority but perhaps some would like to do so when they realise it is achievable..

But what of the drivers and Passengers?

Carwyn: The Labour driver would like to go to Aber he’s not sure how many of his passengers want to but the indication is that even some who were reluctant to take the journey now wish to.

Nick: The Tory driver is not sure where he wants to go and knows that most of his passengers never wanted to be on the bus in the first place but he to will probably like to stop at Aber.

Kirsty: The Lib-Dem driver indicates that she would like to go on to Portmadog but finds that some of her passengers wish to stay in Carmarthen and has been distracted that her bosses are behaving rather oddly.

Ieaun: The Plaid driver would dearly love to go all the way to Bangor but feels he must concentrate on getting to Aber first. This is frustrating some of his passengers who would like to bypass all the stop.

You too can make this journey and get off the bus when and where you like and have a look around. Get back on again and continue. But remember there is no return ticket.
Is the journey necessary?
Yes but it will be a long one.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post - as a fellow TrawsCambria traveller in the 1980s I fully agree. However, to use the analogy, I was so frustrated with travelling to Aber from Cardiff on the TrawsCrwban (TransTortoise as we called it) I used to take the direct (indepedent!?) route to Aber - hitchike! Quicker, more fun, more risque, more direct ... like the independent route I'm now taking politically!