Rural Britain 2021


So much changed here and so quickly ,I moved to this gorgeous Town of Dartmouth in 2010 ,since then we have lost all semblance of our once public services, our bus services have been cut dramatically, our banks gone, our police station in town gone, and then came the killer blow, we lost our 120 year old Hospital and all the NHS services within it and our paramedics too.

Our nearest main hospital takes approx 3 hours each way by public transport because there is a river to cross or drive around .

Our nearest minor injuries unit is even further away .

It takes two busses and a ferry to get there and none link up (despite the bus company’s claim) and its exhausting especially when you are ill.

As there are only 8 buses a day ( every two hours) the chances of lining up travel times with an appointment are rare .

There is no public transport at all out of Town after 7pm ,nor all day Sunday ( apart from one single bus mid day ), the ferries close at 10.45pm until 6am and we are miles away from healthcare provision and completely abandoned .

It has only taken a few short years for things to spiral backwards in the residents mindset ,our older residents no longer call for nor ask for assistance ,they have seen their friends and loved ones be shipped out of town never to return, in echo’s of Victorian England ,so they now die at home alone ,without care or comfort ,yards away from our empty hospital building, as the capitalist vultures are circling the prime riverside plot and building, for profit, to satisfy their insatiable greed and despite it being gifted to our community and a live charge remaining via the deeds of covenant .

This means a whole day traveling around the County for our sickest and most vulnerable .

If you have a late afternoon Hospital appointment there is real anxiety about missing the last bus and getting home at all.

I have friends who are carers and have seen them cry in despair at the hopelessness of accessing any form of public service for their very sick or disabled loved one , for them it is an absolute nightmare ,not just because of the hospital closure, but also the continuing cuts to community services such as respite, recovery and care in the home.

Some of our residents, unable to walk very far, pay £45 each way for taxis out of meagre pensions, it's so unfair, if it costs £90 to access, it's not FREE .

I have myself spent nightmare hours in the sun, wind and rain waiting for a bus that didn’t come or is late, only to get back from a day being shuttled around the South West, to achieve a distance of 20 miles there and back in 7 to 9 hours, feeling worse than I did before I went, that is unacceptable to me, as I know others are sicker or less mobile, how do they manage?

We are also slowly loosing access to cash as the outlets providing cash machines here either don’t have cash in them or are now charging.

Our local recycling and waste tip was also closed.

I love living here but it is becoming more difficult for me to see my own future here, as I am physically isolated simply by lack of public services, which after all is the intention, to come to this beautiful historic place and run it down until the public give up, then sweep in and take the lot for the ultra greedy few.

I can't get out of town on weekends or evening for family or social events its so restrictive .

I intend to resist as long as I can and hope others will too.

Last Updated: Thursday 9 June 2022