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post #26 of 28 (permalink) Old 11th October 2006
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Couldn't agree more. My own experiences of public transport around Manchester have been quiet pitiful. I really would be better on a push bike but I'm too much of a fat, asthmatic ba$tard to be bothered

Everything else you've said above - spot on...
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post #27 of 28 (permalink) Old 11th October 2006
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Originally Posted by selwonk View Post
Couldn't agree more. My own experiences of public transport around Manchester have been quiet pitiful. I really would be better on a push bike but I'm too much of a fat, asthmatic ba$tard to be bothered

Everything else you've said above - spot on...
Unlike most large towns and cities.. Mine was designed and built around the car. There simply isn't an infrastructure in place to support mass public transport.

Some cities have proved that reintroducing trams can cut pollution and traffic congestion in and around town centers. The problem with a privatised public transport system... if it's not profitable, it's not worth it. So the people living on the outskirts of a town, of a newly developed part of a city.. Have practically zero access to public transport.

There is one bus that comes through my estate... It goes from the north west, down to the town center and then out to the north east. If I want to go to the south of the town center, I have to take more than 1 bus. The previous job I had was actually midway between the north east/west points of the city... Could I get a direct bus there.. no, I had to get a bus into the town center and another out again. A bus that takes a 7 mile route to do 3 miles.

Because we have lots of seperated estates, each one practically isolated from the rest of the city... Each one with it's own little pub, shop, chippy... we have main dual carriageways throughout the city... Do the buses use these, and the specially built laybys with bus stops in them... only when they have no choice to get from one estate to the next.

I mapped the route of one buss travelling from North to South of the city... 13 miles it drove, and the timetable shows it takes 50 minutes to do it. That same route, going via the main roads that go between each and every estate in the city, past the train station, and through the main town center... Was 7.3 miles and would take around 30 mins.

I'll stick to my car... and keep saving so I can leave this country.
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post #28 of 28 (permalink) Old 12th October 2006
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Public transport will only ever work in this country if they actually start using some of the punitive taxation levied against the motorist to subsidise decent public transport for the masses.

I very rarely use public transport in this country - we used the tube when we were down in London a couple of years ago, and I once caught a bus from the Holiday Inn Bristol to the centre of town, but only because the bus stop was right outside the hotel.

When working abroad, I tend to use it more and am generally a lot more impressed than I am in the UK. Take the underground railway in Lisbon for example - very frequent trains that (in my experience) run on time, and you can go anywhere in the city for 1 Euro (off peak, at least.)

Rail travel in this country is ridiculously expensive. When, in spite of the ludicrous fuel tax, it's still cheaper for a friend of mine to drive from Plymouth to Bristol than to get the train, something must be wrong. When it comes to buses, as Heckler says, there's too much emphasis on profitable routes, and some places don't even have a service to speak of. My dad has retired and can no longer drive - there's one bus out of his village and one bus back every day. I know he's in Wales, but he's also less than 5 minutes off the A55 so he's hardly out in the sticks.

My favourite example was when I lived in Humberside. Okay, this was nearly 20 years ago but it still tickles me. Of a weekend, there was one train for Doncaster in each direction that stopped at our local station. The problem was that if you wanted to go to Doncaster for the day, you had to catch your return train 20 minutes before you arrived.
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