Monday, October 31, 2005


“You mean you can’t drive? How do you get around?!” is the oft cry I hear from many a people upon discovering my inability to control a motor vehicle. They seem shocked when I tell tales of walking or cycling everywhere.
“Walk?! But it’s up hill and it takes at least fifteen minutes!” Was one utterance of exasperation I’ve had when describing my journey home. Oh no, fifteen minutes – so inconvenient. I enjoy it though it’s like a buffer between work and home Time to gather thoughts, reflect, plan your evening meal or just hum along to the iPod.
Still this is nothing compared to the disgust I get when I tell people that I use (get ready for this) public transport…

“But you must always be late, it’s dirty, expensive, hot and now thanks to 7/7 it could even spell certain death.” To be honest I no longer use the public transport around town. That, I agree is ridiculously expensive for such comparatively short journeys. However people who rely on cars seem completely oblivious to the fact that public transport is actually relatively cheap and reliable, especially over long distance. In three years of travelling back and forth to university the bus was only late twice – once because it got stuck in a major traffic jam which would have effected me had I been in my own car anyway. I used to relish the 90 minutes journey – sheer escapism often to the sounds of Mark & Lard (when Radio 1 mid-afternoon was good) through gorgeous Herefordshire/Gloucestershire countryside.

Recently I travelled to Birmingham by train. The carriage was clean, comfortable I had a seat and the air con was lovely and refreshing. The train was bang on time through all its stops and I got to the centre of Brum without the hassle and expense of finding parking. On the way back however the train broke down – this lead to an hour delay. Cries of disgust from many a passenger. I shrugged it off and enjoyed an hour wandering around Worcester where we’d stopped. No big deal.

So next time you need to take a journey why not think twice about your own car. Help save pollution and fight the continuing price rise of oil by going on public transport – it’s not nearly as crap as its image would make believe.

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