A tale of transport woe - BMDUBYA
After three years of commuting a 200 mile round train journey, I cannot take anymore of the delays, so in two weeks time I am leaving the job and people I enjoy working with, and I
am swapping my two hundred mile daily round trip for a 100 mile round trip car journey.

So far this week the total delays I have had to endure are approaching 6 hours. 2 hours on Monday night, on a brand new train with five coaches, two where the A/c had failed.
The trains we so bad Monday night and the following day that I was forced to stay at home, as I work for myself I didnt get paid. Wednesday 1 hours delay, this morning, Thursday,
3 hours delay. The chap next top me was bemoaning the cost of his £80 ticket. And I still have too get home tonight and a return journey on Friday.

Whilst I agree that people must use public transport to inject the cash needed for improvments, the current situation that has not been unusual over the last three years, cannot continue. True over the three years, things have been better, and this week is an exception, but not in any means isolated not a day goes by without at least one 10 min delay.
In Monday nights Evening Standard there was an article about commuters in London having to face temperatures so extreme on the underground and buses, that if it was cattle being
transported, then they would be breaking european regulations on humane transportation of animals. This is how bad public transport is in this country, how much worse will it get
before it gets better. The government and liberal environmentalists dispise car drivers, but there is no viable alternative. The car is fast becoming a RIGHT to eveyone, purely
and simply just to earn a living.

Gets down from soap box and retreats behind wall wearing hard hat. Apologies to Mark if this is offends, if so please remove.
A tale of transport woe - Dan J
Spot on post BM - No need to worry about offending...

When I lived back up North, my g/f at the time had to travel from Holmes Chapel to Manchester.

Direct train line. No changes.

Even though her train was due in at 8:40 ish (forget exact time), it rarely got in before 9am. Trains would both frequently and without warning be cancelled leaving people stranded. On more than a handful of occasions I had to drive right into the city centre to collect her due to yet another night of cancelled trains. Couple that with the strikes which at the time (2001) were happening every 3-4 weeks it got to the point where she was contemplating changing jobs.

What gets me is, outside of London, how the hell can you get into work or do anything without using a car? We had to live in this time for the "convenience" of the train. Most surrounding towns it would not have been possible to get into Manchester using public transport.

The whole set-up is a joke. Whilst I could actually live with it, the incessant rants of the "greens" and the government regarding reducing car usage drives me absolutely spare.

And what is their answer? Improve public transport?

No - tax cars and their usage more and more and claim to be helping to solve the problem. Hope they're pleased with their 30 billion...
A tale of transport woe - hootie
Well, if we're in a ranting mood, here goes.

Mr H has a company car on a 3 year/60,000 lease, on which he pays tax at top rate (not a boast, just a fact)
At the beginning of this year his company relocated into central London, and he now has to take the train whilst the car sits idle on the drive (actually I drive it some days, just to keep it going, but I have my own car anyway, which strangely is the same make) The company allowance for London weighting (before tax) doesn't even cover the cost of the ticket :(
The company are not being very reasonable IMHO.

The train service (Connex, need I say more?) is appalling, which is well documented, so much so they've lost their already shortened francise. The trains are late, break down, and filthy. There is unsufficient capacity to run the new sliding door electric trains, and there are insufficient carriages to carry the customers. They have problems if it's hot, if it's wet, if it's cold and if the trees are losing their leaves!

He used to leave home at 07.10 and return about 18.40 - 19.10 ish depending on traffic. He now leaves the house at 05.45 and it's rare to see him before 19.30, he often gets in after 21.00.
We only live 50 miles or so from London.

Part of my problem in finding a new car which was suitable for our daughter to drive (as I explained) is that we assume he is bound to lose the company car when the lease is up, and it's not worth selling mine (6 years old) when we get the new run-around, because if the company car goes, then we'll need mine as the main car. It's been very hard to make a sensible decision in the circumstances, and meanwhile we just have to put up with leaking money.

I can't see people giving up the benefits of their own cars, to suffer the catalogue of disasters that pass for public transport in the south east. The issue of safety alone, has to be addressed, not only transport safety but particularly personal safety for lone women. And as for cost to the taxpayer ..... read it and weep!

"Appearances can be Deceptive"
A tale of transport woe - BMDUBYA
hootie, fantastic.....

"The trains are late, break down, and filthy. There is unsufficient capacity to run the new sliding door electric trains, and there are insufficient carriages to carry the customers. They have problems if it's hot, if it's wet, if it's cold and if the trees are losing their leaves!"

You know what I mean, and trust me, ONLY the people who HAVE to use the trains on a daily basis, TRUELY know just how bad they are.
A tale of transport woe - hootie
BM - you have my sympathy - I too use these trains, I was going to say for 'pleasure' HAH! (I mean social transport, rather than work commuting) THEY ARE THE PITS.

Mr H used to complain about the massive traffic delays, jams, roadworks on the A21, but he'd gladly go back to it, with his climate control, choice of music while he waits, and clean and comfortable personal space.

Just don't let me start on the ill mannered, often stinky, and sometimes creepy passengers you have to endure when the train's broken down for the duration and there's no buffet service!!!!!
(I'm sorry about that last bit, but it's true)

"Appearances can be Deceptive"
A tale of transport woe - joe
Well, I have a hundred mile round trip every day, and I use the train. I travel from Attleborough (just south of Norwich) to Cambridge. It is a direct service. I have been using it since last October, and it has only let me down twice (gales brought trees down)

Th rolling stock is new, clean and smart. The staff are friendly, and a monthly season ticket works out at about £10 a day, the same as petrol to drive. You can forget parking in Cambridge.

Now that the train has been in use for a bit, the odd bit of scratched graffiti is beginning to appear, but this is hardly the train company's fault.

I arrive at work (and back home again) much fresher and more relaxed that I do if I drive. I do not have to worry about speed cameras, pile ups, mad drivers, breakdowns or dozing off.

The journey takes 50 mins on the train and 1 hour 15mins by car, despite the fact that large sections of the road have recently been dualled.

I had never commuted by train before, and it is an absolute revelation.

I suspect that my experience is completely untypical, but it shows how good things could really be if the trains were properly planned, maintained and run.
A tale of transport woe - BMDUBYA
Joe thats great news, and you are right, it CAN work and work VERY WELL, and I am sure it will work again one day, but I just get so cross when the environmentalists target the car as an object of evil (bit strong maybe). Truth is I would use the train as much as possible if it didnt make my life hell. Typcially the 100 hourney I make, I can do it by car in 1.30 mins, the train timetable says 1.40, it is usually longer than that.

In all fairness the problems are not usually down to my train company, more often that not its the actual infrastructure, or so we are told.
A tale of transport woe - joe
I know what you mean. The Norwich/London service is appalling. I heard somewhere that is is now 20 mins slower than it was 100 years ago.

If the army were in charge it would work beautifully.

I alos agree that demonising car drivers is wrong. It is in everybody's interests for us to have proper public transport. Improving and maintaining the infrastructure is expensive and will have to be paid for, but I do not see how it is fair for this money to be raised by ever increasing taxes on drivers. We already put in far more than we get out.

We had millions of quid to blow on a stupid millenium dome, we seem to have unlimited rescources to spend on speed cameras and speed humps, and reading the jobs section in the Guardian shows that we have millions to spend on idiotic public sector jobs. It is all a q2uestion of priorities.
A tale of transport woe - Baskerville
My O/H has a similarly excellent train commute of about 25 miles. In four years I reckon she's been delayed five or six times, only once enough to make her late for work. Meanwhile I had a half hour drive this afternoon. It took an hour and a half. I hope your new 100 mile commute works out, but I have to admit I'm not optimistic you will find it any more predictable. Plus now you'll lose the time to driving when you could be reading, sleeping, or catching up on paperwork.
A tale of transport woe - Stargazer {P}
To respond to the public transport bashing.....although I love driving and motorsport I am also a believer in using public transport where practical.

My daily commute is only 16 miles into the very centre of Oxford. No parking available within 2 miles of my work and the multistorey carpark charges over 8 pounds for the day.My options are car, bus or train.

Car, 30 min to the park and ride, 10 min wait then 15min to the centre of Oxford, virtually door to door, 55 minutes, cost 5litres petrol plus 2.00 for the park and ride. total about £5.80 excluding other car running costs and wear and tear. High stress levels due to traffic.

Bus, Virtually door to door service every 30 min at peak times, 100% reliable, usually 50min but if there is a major traffic problem can be 75min. Stress free and can read, work etc. £3.20 return

Train, 15min walk to station, 5min wait+buy ticket, 20min journey, 15min walk to work, 55min total, only 80% reliable, apart from delays stress free, can be very overcrowded and many carriages have failed A/C. Only get 15 minutes to read/work. Cost £4.40 return.

Given the above costs, I choose to use public transport and keep the car for shopping and pleasure, keeps the stress levels down, if I go out for a meal with visitors at work I can drink without worrying about driving. It does impart some reduced flexibility on travel times but that is often not a bad thing as my 3 year old likes some structure to her daily routine.


A tale of transport woe - BMDUBYA
Ian, thanks for your response, I am again pleased that we do have a system that works somewhere in the country, thank you for your reply. However I have found that the journeys that can be made with minimal disruption are in fact those that take no longer than 30 mins.

Yes I am Public Transport bashing, but like I say, I can speak with experience, I travel on average inc delays oner 3 hours a day for a 200 mile return journey with a cost of £500 per month in train fares alone.

I also have to drive to a station thats a 50 mile round trip, why? Well the main line station that is literally 5 mins from my house has an even worse service, so I have to travel by car
to the station in Bristol that has a better service.

As I say I am very pleased with your reply, and I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has or does travel for an hour or more on a daily basis for longer than any one month period to contradict what I am saying.

Trust me when I say that the in gerneal the service provided by PT in this country is abismal and isnt getting better, although like you there are exceptions. One of those places that I think is just fantastic is Manchester, you can catch a train into
Picadilly and get into a taxi a bus or even jump onto a tram from the station, yes the trams actually come to the station, now that is a truely integrated PT system that ALL cities and towns in the UK MUST follow, that is the only way forward if the government wants us out of our cars, in the mean time, the car is KING for many people.

Other points, what about rural communites that rely on their car because of poor or non existant PT services? As for disabled people, you should witness the problems I have seen the blind and wheelchair bound people have to put up with whilst using the trains. One blind lady regularly has trouble getting onto the train because of the gap and stays standing in the Vestuble area of the train, Shocking, again why? Because the trains are too full when she gets on, when it came to get off she would never, make it in time to the doors before the train pulled off.

Give me my car anyday.
A tale of transport woe - Stargazer {P}

I actually live in a very rural village/v small town of 3000 people outside of Oxford, the bus service is a small local company that provides a truly excellent service compared to the likes of Stagecoach or Oxford Bus, the trains (Thames and FGW) are now so good but still just about useable given that in emergency I have two backups (bus and car).

In fact I drove into the park and ride today because I have to travel on somewhere late this afternoon....it would have been ok except for the prat in the Scoobie WRX who decided to go for the last minute overtake down the hatched area on a narrowing road and threw up loads of junk...hope she gets a puncture.

Unless I have to use the car for commuting for other reasons it simply does not make financial or elapsed time sense to drive into work.

I accept that this is not always the case in rural Britain, in fact coming back from country NSW where the nearest train station was a 4 hour coach ride and no public buses at all and the local air service had just been closed by CASA (airline safety) I am amazed by the provision of services that still exists in an unregulated era.

I have been travelling into Oxford like this for 2 years now, despite many cancelled trains and a single broken down bus
and solid traffic due to a smash on the A34 I have never failed to be at home in time to pick up my daughter from nursery.


A tale of transport woe - BMDUBYA
Thanks Ian, I know you didnt take my post personally, it certainly wasnt written to be taken personally and I thank you for that. To me, this is a very emotive subject at the moment. Once again thank you.
A tale of transport woe - Hugo {P}
This is a good thread BM...

I have to say I do not like british public transport as a whole. The undergrond services in London work well, but it's the national services that are a pain.

Also, I live in a village in Cornwall, where we have our own railway station, that connects to Plymouth and other villages along the way. The problem we have here is that on more than one occasion the damn thing left early, meaning that when I drop family off there with time to spare - no train.

On another occasion, when the line was under repair, we were told there would be bus to take passengers on to the next stop.

I dropped my wife at the station, and she called me after the bus should have been there. I phoned the train company who insisted it was on its way or was there, but it never materialised!

We've given up complaining about our public transport, which is probably why it continues to be a national laughing stock.

A tale of transport woe - Garethj
I travel for 15 mins (by car - no busses from my village) to the railway station, 45 mins by train to London Kings Cross and then 25 mins by tube. A 5 minute walk at the end is just to make sure that I'm really not being followed by spies.

I've been doing this journey for 4 years now and my findings are pretty common with commuters: the car always starts and gets me to the station in good time; the parking at the station is overcrowded (getting busy at 5:40am!) and is £60 per month; I often have to stand on the train for my £330 per month and the tube is dangerously overcrowded at 'peak times'.

I'm starting work early to avoid the worst of the rush but trains and tubes not working are far too common. This week has been particularly bad, but not the worst ever, and I've spent an extra 3 hours on the train because of breakdowns.

To put it in perspective, if my car was that unreliable I'd have scrapped it years ago but driving into London is even less sensible than using public transport.

I'm glad that PT exists for most of my journey, but it's expensive for the rubbish service it provides. As passanger numbers have increased by about 30% over the last 4 years what are they doing with all the extra money?

A tale of transport woe - James_Jameson
GarethJ said: "...As passanger numbers have increased by about 30% over the last 4 years what are they doing with all the extra money?..."

I hear that salaries and bonuses for running these railway companies are pretty good.

An additional point: if a large number of motorists abandoned their cars in favour of public transport, the government would have good reason to be concerned - because of the significant loss of tax revenue.
A tale of transport woe - hootie
Since we moved here, my younger daughter, in particular is quite aggrieved, as we are about 1 mile outside of a hamlet (no shops there) which is not on a bus route. The nearest bus can be caught about 4½ miles from the house. A lot of the time she feels pretty stuck really. We do however, have a mainline railway service (parking £2 per day) which goes into the nearest town, and further into Charing Cross, which Mr H uses for work. She is allowed to use that during daylight hours.

(My feelings about this service are expressed above, and are from experience)

The issue of track and train safety, plus the further issue of young women's personal safety, and the unreliability of the service is one of the main reasons why we have indulged in the purchase of a further vehicle for our elder daughter to use. She'll also need more flexibility if she's ever to get a part time job.

If we want to get a pint of milk, a stamp, a newspaper or anything else - then personally I don't really want to have to wait for the one train per hour which stops at our station - and so therefore, the car is essential. If we had a PT system that worked for us, we'd use it more.

At the moment it's chicken and egg - the revenue's coming in for roads and railways, but it does seem that too much of it is diverted into golden hellos, golden handshakes and goodness knows what else.
"Appearances can be Deceptive"
A tale of transport woe - SteveH42
Two thoughts I've had on reading this thread:

If you have to drive 200 miles a day to work, wouldn't it be more sensible to either move or get a job closer to home?

If you choose to live in a place without shops etc then that's your choice surely? If that means you have to miss out on something then move somewhere that does have the facilities you want.

Public transport can't serve everywhere, nor can it compete over all journeys. Or I should say that it can, but that would come at a price. If you want cheaper motoring then use public transport where it makes sense and stop giving the government excuse to keep pricing people out of their cars.
A tale of transport woe - hootie
If you have to drive 200 miles a day to work,
wouldn't it be more sensible to either move or get a
job closer to home?
If you choose to live in a place without shops etc
then that's your choice surely? If that means you have to
miss out on something then move somewhere that does have the
facilities you want.

Steve, I presume you're generalising, but in our own particular case

1. We bought the house when my husband's job was located much nearer home. It's not feasible to move closer to work due to house prices/moving costs, and if we could afford it, it would mean further disruption to schooling. In any case, the journey he makes is only just over 50 miles, but is into central London - the time taken and the cost (by road or rail) doesn't reflect the distance. Another job is not a possibility without relocation.

2. There had used to be a shop, and a post office - both gone now (but that's a whole new issue and not meant for here)

I wasn't moaning about my own situation with regard to facilities, rather explaining why we have felt it necessary to purchase yet another vehicle, when the government is trying to persuade us all out of our cars. At least we're buying one with low emissions!

"Appearances can be Deceptive"
A tale of transport woe - BMDUBYA
Just like to pick up on a few points.

Hugo - "On another occasion, when the line was under repair,
we were told there would be bus to take passengers on to the next stop."

This is a particular gripe of mine. If I wanted to take the coach/bus to my place of work, I would do so. It is certainly considerably cheaper, so why then, when there are problems and
I have to be ferried about by coach/bus, do you not get a refund on the more expensive train ticket?

Gareth J - "I often have to stand on the train for my £330 per month and the tube is dangerously overcrowded at 'peak times'."

When this happens, with some frequency on my train journey, I wonder what the HSE would do if they could see the conditions? I pondered this on one of my delays and at first I thought that they would stop the train and make people get off. I Eventually
came to the conclusion that they wouldn't because of the following incident that I witnessed.

This happened whilst awaiting my train home and the trains were having a particularly bad day. An already heavily delayed and busy train pulled into the station.
When everyone who was due to get off at this station did so, and the people who were waiting for the train got on, the train manager realising that the train was overcrowded refused
to let the train move until people got off. Eventually the station manager had to be called to try to talk the train manager into letting the train continue. Why? Well if the train manager continued to refuse to let the train eave the station then I think that a riot would have ensued. Believe me when I say
that the passengers were almost fighting amongst themselves. Those who had a seat were trying to get the standing passengers off, it escalated quite qickly and the situation was very close to deteriorating. Anyway the train manager under pressure from both the station manager and the passengers decided to let the train continue.

Gareth - "As passanger numbers have increased by about 30% over the last 4 years what are they doing with all the extra money?"
A very good question indeed? Maybe the answers are as follows.

Are people finally being taxed from their cars?

Or are people fed up with sitting in traffic jams due to the severe lack of investment in the national transport infrastructure?

It proves that the system is in a bad way when freight is begun to be moved away from the trains, i.e
Royal Mail have eventually give up on the trains and are now investing heavily in HGV's.
(Unless this decision was reversed?).

James - "if a large number of motorists abandoned their cars in favour of public transport, the government would have good reason to be concerned - because of the significant loss of tax revenue."

It makes you wonder?

Hootie - "The issue of track and train safety, plus the further issue of young women's personal safety"

This is a concern that I share with you. I have seen a number of incidents of threatening behaviour and physical assult. I have actually been threatend myself not at 6,7 or indeed 8 o'clock at night no, this was 4pm on a very busy Friday afternoon. I am pleased to say however these are few and far between, but
is another reason to use your car. Yes I know you can get into a road rage situation, but you have more chance of contraolling that situation than someone stand by you using threatening behaviour.

I dont want to slate, moan, deride anyone I just want a first class 'integrated transport system' including cars. And I dont think that it is acceptable to have to wait any longer, we have endured enough. Someone MUST deliver and deliver very quickly. Why must it be 10 years before be get back to pre Hatfield levels, thats 10 years before we get back to the poor state we were originally in, not good enough. I wonder what will happen when the train companies can increase the fares above inflation, a ceiling that was recently removed? Will this just contribute to even more congested roads?
A tale of transport woe - Dan J
Some very interesting views coming up on this thread. Good reading.

Two extra points I'd like to make are:

i. It's come up before but in any non-train situation there are very specific limits which govern insurance. Having too many people in a car and certainly in any kind of other public transport (taxi/coach etc) renders it pretty much invalid. In the case of the tube, I've seen the Northern Line so bad that people who out of misfortune have ended up in the middle of the train have no hope of getting off the thing before it leaves for the next station. How does this affect insurance in the case of an accident?

ii. Good story BMDUBYA re the train over-crowding and the method of dealing with it. An Indian colleague of mine assures me that in an instance like that or bad delays etc then there *would* be a riot. This would also be directed usually not at fellow passengers but the station and staff. He has several stories of actually being witness to mainline stations being set on fire over delays. Can you imagine that happening at Waterloo or Liverpool Street the next time some overhead electrical wiring fails?!
A tale of transport woe - hootie
I think the issue of insurance and responsibility is incredibly important, and one, given the disasters that have taken place over the last few years, that will become more and more so.

I'm in the process of shopping around for car insurance, either in the name of my daughter, or for her as a named driver. I have been absolutely, scrupulously, honest with the advisors who I have been talking to. I wouldn't want *anything* to risk, or invalidate the cover. Once the policy is taken out, I shall ensure that the terms and confitions are strictly adhered to.

I've only ever carried passengers in my car when there has been a proper seat and seat belt for them.

The same can't be said (ie meeting with their obligations) of the corporate bodies who undertake to transport thousands of passengers every day, as has recently been proven.

One journey I undertook on the Docklands Light Railway was worse than any third world travel I have undertaken. The only consolation was that if there'd been an accident the sheer volume of bodies pressed together (it was unbelievably intimate I can tell you) would probably have meant very little injury!
"Appearances can be Deceptive"
A tale of transport woe - BMDUBYA
Steve - "If you have to drive 200 miles a day to work, wouldn't it be more sensible to either move or get a job closer to home?

If you choose to live in a place without shops etc then that's your choice surely? If that means you have to miss out on something then move somewhere that does have the facilities you want."

I have tried to think how to answer this question without discussing my personal situation. I do however want answer it. One point that I have tried to make is that the PT is so bad that if your journey takes longer than 30mins, then you are asking for trouble. So it doesnt really matter where you live anymore, things have deteriorated to such a poor state.

A tale of transport woe - SteveH42
One point that I have tried to make is that the PT
is so bad that if your journey takes longer than 30mins,
then you are asking for trouble.

But is it fair to compare public transport to the car over longer distances? It's often not worth running trains with a high frequency and where it is it's not always feasible due to capacity constraints. Also, on longer journeys the service often has a very long diagram, so small delays can add up. Basically, public transport can't be as flexible as the car in these cases. It could be better though, I do agree. Without more investment it simple can't provide the service everyone wants though.

The point still stands though - expecting to be able to travel that far by any means of transport without problems is asking a lot.
A tale of transport woe - alex

Surely the answer must be to avoid some or all of the commuting by living closer to your place of work.

In the UK commuting long distances is more commonplace than in mainland Europe.

Cities in mainland Europe don't tend to sprawl like their counterparts here so employees live closer to their place of work.

Yes, public transport (PT) can be made better in the UK given the political will and the cash. But is the public at large prepared to pay higher taxes to fund the improvements bearing in mind that only a tiny percentage of total trips are made by PT compared to the private car ?
A tale of transport woe - SteveH42
I wasn't too sure if it was the best idea to move to the other side of Stockport so I had a 3 mile journey to work rather than a 15 minute walk. I'm even more reticent about taking a new job that is 15 miles away. I wouldn't dream of travelling hundreds of miles just to work - I like time to myself let alone the costs involved. Even with a really efficient car, 200 miles is £15 a day or so in fuel - that would last me 2 weeks normally!
A tale of transport woe - Stargazer {P}

Not taken at all personally, I am enjoying the thread....just putting the other side!

Ian L. (who still missed 1000km of open dirt road in his Subaru even with no public transport!)

A tale of transport woe - BMDUBYA
Just like to have one last word as I will be away from my PC until Monday now.
Thank you all for the thought provoking and sensible discussion which I have thoroughly enjoyed.
It is however Friday afternoon, so I just want to wish you all a fantastic weekend. If you are using PT this weekend then just sit back and enjoy. And IMHO, it is the most civilised way to travel.
A tale of transport woe - hootie
Yes, enjoy the weekend (I spent all of yesterday thinking it was Wednesday, so I'm quids in) ;) We may take a drive down to the coast if the weather holds. Lovely countryside, and coastline within easy reach - now that is stress free travelling.

One thing I'd like to say to those in other parts of the country, is that commuting by train is new to our family (as I've said) and further more we have been relocating progressively south. I'm not a southerner, sticking up for southerners incase you wondered.

You really, truly cannot imagine what it is like for the working community down here, until you actually see it.
Many people have no choice but to live far from their work, as there is simply no available, affordable housing, and jobs in rural communities are very hard to come by. The trains from Brighton and the rest of the south coast area up to London, in the early morning and evenings have to be seen to be believed, honestly, there's another sub culture going on there.

I have no particular axe to grind, as I'm not employed anyway, but what I would say is, that if you have affordable housing, access to good PT and/or roads and parking, and a choice of jobs, then enjoy those facts and appreciate what you've got. Just realise that it's not the same all over the country.
"Appearances can be Deceptive"
A tale of transport woe - tunacat
"He now leaves the house at 05.45 and he often gets in after 21.00."

Blimey, is that a life?

Here we are arguing the toss over stuff like whether to specify alloy wheels OR parking sensors - all seems a bit irrelevant now: Does he have any time left awake to even drive ANY car?

How long will he want to keep that up?

Well, sincerely, best of luck to him - I couldn't do it!

A tale of transport woe - hootie
Suffice it to say TC, that he sees the same faces each way - it really isn't all that unusual down here.

Not sure how long he'll keep it up for - a lottery win would soon answer that though :-D

On the up side, he loves where we live, and we make the most of the weekends, which is what a lot of people do down here. He's very appreciative of his time off, but I for one wish he didn't have to do this, it's no pressure from me, he's decided how we both organise our daily lives, following the restructing of the company he works for.

Thanks for your good wishes. Have a nice weekend.
"Appearances can be Deceptive"
A tale of transport woe - Flat in Fifth
it's no pressure from me, he's decided how we
both organise our daily lives, following the
restructing of the company he works for.

I found Michael Moore's "Downsize this!" an interesting read. Especially Chapter 1 (if I recall correctly) which amongst other things compares the aftermath of Timothy McVeigh the Oklahoma bomber with General Motor's "restructuring" on Flint, Michigan.

Just for the record I decided to move but sometimes wonder when the Ryder Rental van (as Michael Moore puts it) will be needed again.

However the 1h15m each way commute on a good day (heading rapidly to 2h-30m 50% of the time) was swapped for a 20 minute drift through country lanes with the smell of hay, flowers etc. Had to stop to let Bambi wander across the road this morning.

Have a good one all. In the morning I'll be down by the river on the 10 minute walk up to town for the paper and a bit of light shopping trying to support the local farmers and traders.

A tale of transport woe - hootie
Just to add F-i-F that this morning, we took the car, visited a local cottage and got a dozen of the biggest, brownest, free range eggs (for £1.60) that you'll ever find (flock of 70-80 free range hens)- lady threw in a free bunch of fabulous sweet peas from the garden, and then carried on to our local village for the Farmers' Market, with my wicker basket in hand (purchases were made, homemade jams, walnut bread, olives, quiche and cheese) Where we live without a car we wouldn't have been able to do that.

We came home and had a brunch and then went motoring again through beautiful Kent countryside.

Mr H thinks this is a wonderful way to spend his weekends, and that's why he accepts the weekly trade off of the commute.

However, there's talk that they may soon relocate again, and he will be driving about 30 -35 miles each way again (mostly through the countryside) If it happens, he'll be chuffed to bits.
"Appearances can be Deceptive"
A tale of transport woe - philcook
If the public transport system were to improve so that it was efficent and more people were to use it, then car usage would fall and so would the revenue to the exchequer. Its not going to get better and the government don't intend to it make better for this reason, we are all being conned
A tale of transport woe - Flat in Fifth
"Its not going to get better and the government don't intend to it make better for this reason, we are all being conned"

What really brasses me off is this Government thinks we are stupid. This one seems to be worse in this respect than previous ones.

The £7 bn that our little Darling has "announced" in road spending is not new money. Its the same money that was set down 3 years ago, and its still the accumulative sum over ~ 10 years. Compare that to the aggregate treasury income from road users. Pah!

Why oh why do we put up with it!

About two years after Blair came into power in connection with some election we had a door knocker from Labour accompanied by his smug fresh out of college sidekick.

I'm ashamed to say that a short time later they fled down the drive, and his college friend was even close to tears. I don't think they'd ever experienced a really good telling off before.

Looking at the situation today obviously wasted my time and breath!

Don't vote it only encourages them.


Ask Honest John

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