The RAC Foundation in conjunction with Ipsos MORI, have produced a report based upon results of a survey on car use.
Amongst the interesting findings is the fact that over half of motorists would rather risk getting stuck in traffic, than use public transport. The report also says motorists are not convinced about alternatives to the car and don’t support ways to reduce congestion unless these are paid for out of the public purse. It also found opposition by motorists towards road pricing (or should I say – Highway Robbery) schemes had hardened over the last 8 years.
Bring in Cilla Black here, well “surprise surprise” Who wants to walk to a bus stop or train station in the rain, then wait there until the operators decide to turn up with your transport, only to be squeezed onto some uncomfortable carriage or bus, and assuming you can get a seat at all, then find yourself sitting beside the passenger from hell, which for those of you that use public transport, know exists and that’s on a good day, for as I write, Anglia rail are now on their second 2 day strike, so if I didn’t have a car today, I wouldn’t get to work.
Public transport is dirty, expensive, slow and unreliable and exposes you to what ever illness the coughing and sneezing bloke sitting beside you has. Even when its running right, its subject to strikes, wrong kind of leaves, broken signals, rail improvement work and even high winds or heavy rain falls, which indeed not long back caused all of the busses in our region to stop running at 5.00pm with a bus company spokesman saying “travelers will have to find alternative transport”. I got the 20 miles home that night in my car OK!
Fact is, in most conditions, you’re going to get there in your car, even if it means you have to set off a bit early and short of a breakdown, or a crash, well you’re going to get where you’re going. You can chooses the music or radio station you want to listen to, choose the temperature you want to be at, open the window for some fresh air, stop for a break when you want and of course, you’re in your own private space.
If you live in a city, particularly somewhere like London, there are good bus services and tube links pretty close at hand. Move out to somewhere like East Anglia and using public transport to replace my 20 mile 40 minute car journey takes me onto 3 busses, and 1 train, a lot of walking and waiting and something like 90 minutes plus. That’s over 50 minutes longer each way, so that’s almost 2 hours a day. You do the maths as they say, so it really is no surprise this survey produced the results it did.
At this point, we were going to talk about another of the surveys results and that’s the hardening of opposition against road pricing, but we feel the subject is significant enough to justify its own investigation, so check out our story on road pricing, but don’t expect to read anything that’s going to cheer you up.