I THINK Roger Davies is rather overdoing things in saying Ribble fostered a family spirit throughout its area (Gazette, July 25, 'Trail blazing Ribble reached new heights').

In north Cumberland its drivers were helpful but then all bus drivers should be. But it was known that Ribble had to take the north Cumberland routes as a job lot and regarded Penrith and northwards as a far distant place e.g. in ordering bus heaters suited to our winters. In the 1970s ice often lay on the floors of the morning bus (Penrith 0738 to Carlisle). I was on it. I get cold feet easily. I suffered for 45 minutes each trip.

In remarking on this to a retired Ribble head office official about 20 years later he told me: "Yes, I'm not surprised. I'm afraid we ordered the wrong model, as if it was a Lancashire route."

Your photo shows Ambleside bus station. If Ribble was the family-spirited concern Mr Davies remembers, why did it sell it to developers and decant its users to a mere layby on a back street? I remembered my first visit (1972) to Ambleside bus station. It was a snowy Easter and everybody was ??? up, eating, at noon there.

Ribble's fares were dearer than the Whitehaven-based Cumberland Motor Services, which all too briefly took over Ribble's routes here, before Stagecoach swallowed them and fares went up again.

Jeremy Godwin