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Why does Britain still love the car so much?
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nexus



Joined: 16 May 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love public transport. There I said it.

Plus I like bikes and my feet.
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nexus



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, why are people who hate public transport quite happy to fly?
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Kentucky Fried Panda



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nope, i hate flying too, unless i'm turning left.
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DominicJ



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nexus
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doomsday wrote:
I hate public transport, there I said it.


You've probably got a couple of years to either get used to the idea or get fit for walking everywhere.
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Pepperman



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The really thorny issue isn't urban transport, which can be solved relatively easily although not without a lot of investment, it's rural transport.

Bus services have declined so far that people are now committed to their cars but are getting hammered by high fuel prices (higher than urban fuel prices). And because people are committed to their cars, bus services are sparsely utilised, with very low load factors so they get axed.

The biggest question to my mind is, as fuel prices go up what will it take to get bus operators to provide increased services so that people have an alternative?
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JohnB



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pepperman wrote:
The biggest question to my mind is, as fuel prices go up what will it take to get bus operators to provide increased services so that people have an alternative?

Including evening services. I couldn't use public transport to go out for the evening, unless I've got somewhere to spend the night.
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the_lyniezian



Joined: 17 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pepperman wrote:
The really thorny issue isn't urban transport, which can be solved relatively easily although not without a lot of investment, it's rural transport.

Bus services have declined so far that people are now committed to their cars but are getting hammered by high fuel prices (higher than urban fuel prices). And because people are committed to their cars, bus services are sparsely utilised, with very low load factors so they get axed.

The biggest question to my mind is, as fuel prices go up what will it take to get bus operators to provide increased services so that people have an alternative?


Regulation requiring them to provide it perhaps, and possibly subsidy but it's hard to see the money from that coming from anywhere.

Seeing how the bus companies in this area seem to be cutting out a few unprofitable rural services just around now, Ican see what you mean. The trend only seems to be going in the opposite direction.
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the_lyniezian



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnB wrote:
Including evening services. I couldn't use public transport to go out for the evening, unless I've got somewhere to spend the night.


An urban problem too. The old night-bus service that used to run down our road- which I used to get all the way back from college or the local retail park I used to meet a group with for coffee on a Friday evening (the closest I tend to get to 'going out'!) was cut a year or two back, and now if I want to get the bus back from college I must first brave the high street (10mins walk away), fairly dodgy at night, and then that only takes me as far as outside the local library,school, and pub- a further 10min walk.

Granted it probably wasn't the bus company's fault, since it was a subsidised service and the local authorities probably lost money as a result of the credit crunch.
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Pepperman



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the_lyniezian wrote:
Regulation requiring them to provide it perhaps, and possibly subsidy but it's hard to see the money from that coming from anywhere.

Seeing how the bus companies in this area seem to be cutting out a few unprofitable rural services just around now, Ican see what you mean. The trend only seems to be going in the opposite direction.


Bus operators already get a grant. It's paid on a per litre basis and equates to about 75% of the duty:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/regional/buses/busgrants/bsog/rates.pdf

There's a modest fuel efficiency incentive but the bulk of the BSOG doesn't encourage high load factors.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pepperman wrote:
The really thorny issue isn't urban transport, which can be solved relatively easily although not without a lot of investment, it's rural transport.


Actually, the thorny problem is why people think they need to travel so much. Tackle that first.
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Pepperman



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For sure, but only up to a point.

There's plenty of important travel that is difficult to avoid - visiting friends and family, buying food, getting to work etc and in a rural location the distances for all of those aspects of life are necessarily greater than the average.

Commuting is a good one to tackle and it would be good if people lived closer to work, but that's not always practical or even possible. Neither is working from home for many jobs.

The breakdown of miles travelled by purpose in the UK is quite interesting:

Quote:
Commuting - 19%
Business - 8%
Education (including escort) - 4%
Shopping - 12%
Other escort and personal business - 14%
Visiting friends (1) - 20%
Other leisure (2) - 22%

(1) Visit friends at home and elsewhere.
(2) Entertainment, sport, holiday, day trip and other including just walk.

NTS0402 Purpose share - average distance travelled: Great Britain (with chart)


People need to move about and there should be a useful and sustainable transport system in place to enable that.

Surely it's not beyond our capabilities?
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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One problem is the very small numbers of people who (can) actually live in the countryside: most people merely sleep in it, and if they want to work, get food, go to a good school, enjoy themselves, or visit friends, they go into the nearest town.

Very little of this is the countryside's fault. There could be more work, school, friends and enjoyment, but somehow it doesn't seem to happen at the moment.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pepperman wrote:
There's plenty of important travel that is difficult to avoid - visiting friends and family, buying food, getting to work etc and in a rural location the distances for all of those aspects of life are necessarily greater than the average.


Peter Harper from CAT said, at a conference that I attended, that it is easier for a rich man to get through the eye of a needle than to live a low carbon lifestyle. By rich, he meant you and I and the reasons he said it are all the above points.

They are not things we have to do but are things we have become accustomed to doing and choose to do. In the third world now, as it used to be in this country, our friends would be people living around us; family would live in the same village and if they moved away we wouldn't see them very often, if ever; buying food would, maybe, be a once a week thing as we would grow most of our own food; we would work within walking distance of home; and you wouldn't live in a rural location unless you had work there.

If you wanted entertainment you walked to the pub or rode your horse there or you made your own entertainment with your friends or family. More likely you were too knackered from work to want to do anything other than go to bed to sleep. Occasionally you might go to a local fair or fete.

Most people now living in a rural location do so because they choose to do so. It is a lifestyle choice of the rich. As the economy readjusts to higher oil prices fewer people will choose to live in rural areas because of the cost of travel to the town. House prices will therefore reduce and it might, one day, once again become affordable for working people to live in the country, especially if many of the former multiple cottages are returned to that status rather than being converted into one large cottage.
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Pepperman



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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn't the more likely scenario that with high energy prices and without a good transportation system, rural areas will become ever more a place for a mobile, wealthy demographic rather than an immobile, worker demographic?

I reckon a strong rural public transport system is absolutely essential to rebalance the social make up of the countryside.
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