I feel I must reply to Tony Rigby’s letter in The Observer of October 18. Perhaps describing Tesco’s free bus as being a ‘vital lifeline’ is a bit strong but I would ask him to get off his ‘high horse’ for a moment and try to put himself in the position of the users of the Tesco bus.
I suppose his investigations of local shops were carried out whilst swanning around in his car, not in the shoes of shoppers like ourselves who have given up driving through being honest in not claiming we are still fit to do so, are elderly and have very few shops in the vicinity of their homes, and in case he doesn’t know, where there is no longer a bus service rendering free bus passes useless.
Yes, there are a few local shops where one can fill their shopping bags as he puts it and survive for a limited time but is that how he expects us to live?
To put him in the picture, the Tesco buses pick their customers up from surrounding villages too far from the local shopping centres he mentions.
The drivers are extremely helpful in helping people on and off when necessary, they stack up the shopping trollies (not a few bags) and secures them on the journey home.
They also drop passengers as near to their homes as is practical.
At Tesco, besides grocery requirements, almost anything else can be obtained, most of which is unobtainable from the local shops anyway.
I am afraid his letter gives the impression ‘blow you, Jack, I’m OK’.
Len Mates, Merrivale Court, Southbourne