Thursday, October 22, 2009

Public (that's me) Transport (that's often debatable)?

Directed by an RT tweet (ta) from myzerowaste to this:

Sustained - Stranded

I must say the story, and picture, resonated, as I hark back to last week's London experience at the Invention Show in Ally Pally.

From the outset I must stress that this was an unusual situation, and in no way matches the issues surrounding daily commutes (though hearing my urban chum's tales there is much needs addressing here too), but it is telling, at least in the context of this story.

On the Wednesday I drove in from the West and set-up my stand. My intention was to drive to my chums' home in Staines that night and return only by car on break-down day on Saturday.

However my ill-fated media opp intruded and I stayed overnight. So I did not go back for the first time until Thursday. 6.30pm. North Circular & A4. 1 hr. Door to door. About 25 miles. 1 gallon of LPG. £2.50.

Next day, train and tube in. 2 3/4 hours. Wet. Late. £19 return ticket. Missed the last train from Waterloo at 11.35pm (City that never sleeps?) because the tube didn't come for an age. No extra cost as I was the beneficiary of some truly human kindness having ended up at Heathrow T5 in the wee smalls and given a lift as there were no taxis. Dragged hosts out of bed, them having stayed up to midnight, my eta.

I will avoid London at all costs if I have the choice. If I don't, I will be in my car. £17 LPG tankful return door to door. £5/hr parking outside CC (folding bike from boot within). No peak hour surcharges that can take a Gloucester (and forget bussing from Ross to there, so I am in a car anyway and parking is £5 already) ticket from £30 to over £100 and leave me stranded at Swindon 1 in 5 trips if I wait until after the peak period to save money.

That's not eco. But it's simply how it is.

And not what 1st class, pre-booked, 'other folks' money', 'but our time is precious' pols and some major media sweetness and lite green journos picked up either end in chauffeured Priuses seem to have got their heads around.

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