Posted by: crustynomad | June 17, 2007

‘Let’s Go Public on Transport’

Back in 1991 I was disqualified from driving due to a medical condition (Petit Mal) and have had to use public transport ever since. Over the years I have found the buses being run in my city (Peterborough, UK) extremely unreliable. They use curious routes and are often driven by some dour and unfriendly drivers.

Maybe they’re as fed up with all the congestion on the roads as I am because they get it in the neck from passengers whenever they are late.

While I am often quick to moan at StageCoach the real culprits for the delays are the other motorists who are clogging the up the highways unnecessarily.

Now come on admit it – are you one of the multitudes who are traveling to work in your car alone? If you are, you must be so disappointed that you have no one to talk to on these spring mornings. I bet you really wish you had a friend to travel with, someone who could even save you money by sharing the petrol costs.

Well, if you think this way you are almost certainly in a minority. I heard recently of a road traffic survey in Aberystwyth where 70% of vehicles traveling into the town were passengerless. How lonely they must be feeling in Wales.

In the village of Werrington where I live I remember counting eight cars out of ten waiting at a set of traffic lights that had single occupants and the other two were mums driving their children to school.

That was in the winter but it seems to be the same story whatever the weather because last week I saw exactly the same thing again. Now, I don’t know how close by they lived to the local schools but with three in such close proximity, I bet it wasn’t far.

I do have some sympathy with parents because of child safety as I have three children of my own but those working in town should seriously consider what they’re doing. The roads are becoming choked on the number of vehicles using them and the high levels of pollution is harming our environment.

The two main solutions appear to be car sharing and an increased usage of public transport.

Can you imagine how much less crowded the roads and more reliable the bus services would be if you cut the number of vehicles using them by half? Of course, many would decide that was the time to get back in their cars again and we’d be back where we started.

Could a 50% reduction ever be a realistic target? Not a chance while the general public continues to be so selfish. They prefer the freedom and the choice of traveling when and where they want and to hell with the consequences.

More traffic equals more delays, more fuel consumption, higher costs, more pollution and we’re all paying for it. It’s not one rule for one and one for another – how you use the highway and treat the environment affects all of us. Question is: ‘What are you gonna do about it?’

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