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Public Transport

I sat and watched “Politics today” at lunchtime and listened to the most appalling drivel about public transport as some gentleman living in cloud cuckoo land told us how the motorist should be paying to improve public transport.

HERE’S A THOUGHT, BUDDY – how about the people who USE public transport paying for it!! We’re too busy paying for FUEL!!!

We hear this nonsense all the time – get the trains on time and motorists will move out of their cars.

Here’s why I dislike public transport:

1. The plane
Since 9-11 the situation with planes has gotten worse and worse. The authorities insist on the ridiculous assumption that everyone, including middle-aged indigenous Brits are potential terrorists.

I ask you – when was the last time a middle aged indigenous Brit blew up or hijacked a plane? Even more so… when was the last time an indigenous British female hijacked a plane?Every insurance company on the planet works on statistics – which is why young males now get hammered for insurance – they’re the ones who have the most accidents – common sense as we all had less experience when we were younger! So why do we all get treated like criminals, resulting in boarding times of up to 2 hours or more, when only a tiny minority of people fit the profile of those who are likely to cause problems? I used to be able to rush to the airport half an hour before takeoff and sail through.

Flying used to be a joy – now it’s a chore. I fly only when necessary.

2. The train
I don’t think charging 180 quid for a one-way ticket to London is even remotely realistic – yet that or WORSE is the cost of a first class ticket to London from Newcastle. And what do you get for that? More room, free coffee and some nuts! I take the train to London – I drive everywhere else. I take the train because parking in London is a nightmare and I don’t like driving for 5 or 6 hours. There is no WAY ON EARTH driving would cost anywhere near that.

Why do I take first class? Because I don’t agree that in the main, second class is anywhere near acceptable. Those who DO take second class are either unfortunate enough not to be able to afford fist class – OR they seem to think it’s ok to sit in a closed room with no ability to open windows and enjoy the stink of alcohol as our friends from up North start drinking in London and keep doing so all the way up – if you you think that’s stereotyping – you don’t travel on that line. As for comfort I’m not partial to crowding so tightly you hardly have room to read a book never mind get some work done. There are times at peak hours when you have to spend the journey or part of it standing up as there are no seats – this is in a vehicle travelling at 130mph – imagine how much jelly you would become in an accident. No, not what I call acceptable travel.

If I want to spend my sober hours smelling alcohol I can easily do that by pouring some beer on the carpet in the car. I prefer to travel with the smell of fresh air and if I want to live dangerously I can just leave my seat belt unfastened and drive at 90mph on the hard shoulder.

Public transport should be safe, comfortable, cheap and free of the smell of alcohol, smoke and airborne germs. Today’s trains cannot manage this combination at all.

Regardless of which class you take, trains are invariably late. Of my last 3 trips, one was on time, one was 20 minutes late, one was 45 minutes late. Only the last one qualified for any kind of compensation and even then, not realistic compensation considering the potential hassle of ongoing connections etc.

3. Buses
I have not had the common cold or flu for years. There’s a reason for that! I drive from home to Newcastle all the time – it takes around 40 minutes – the bus would take half the day.

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