It occurred to me, sitting in a car on the M6 and going absolutely nowhere, that we haven’t really thought it through when it comes to transport policy. We build a new dual carriageway to beat the jams in towns and villages, and soon drivers are able to make journey’s they previously avoided. Similarly, we widen motorways because of congestion, and all those who previously avoided the congestion start using the widened motorway. The result, eventually, is inevitable – yet more congestion.
So why not go by rail? I would, if it cost less, wasn’t so crowded, and the trains stopped at more towns and villages. Oh, and they’d need to run on time. But our railways are run for shareholders as well as passengers, so unless they are re-nationalised and receive the investment they need, then little will surely change.
Then there is the bus. I’m sure if I lived in London or another big city I’d uses buses regularly. But if you live anywhere remotely rural you’re stuck.They simply don’t run at times I would use them and to places I want to go.
Which really only leaves two wheels. I have a push-bike, but I also have a motorbike. Cheap to run, and able to dodge the jams. In fact I love going by bike. But you have to deal with ignorant car drivers, and it can be a little unpleasant in heavy wind and rain.
So I guess what we really need is some joined up thinking from the policy makers. I won’t hold my breath.