Hm. I’ve just been checking out the price of the train fare to go to my sister and the cheapest return fare is £45. That will be more than the cost of the petrol, and in addition my husband will have to drive me 15 miles to and from the station and my sister will have to drive 9 miles each way, and there will be the fare across London too. And it will take at least an hour longer.
There seems to be no incentive at all to use public transport rather than the car, does there? I know there’s the wear on the car tyres, but I’m not sure that this is enough to sway me.
And if going by train is not the most economical option for one person, how on earth would a couple or a group of friends justify it?
I think that every MP should resolve, for a year, to use public transport, the Health Service and state education and, in the case of the transport, should pay for it out of their own pockets. And I mean public transport, not taxis, unless there is simply no other way, such as transport to or from a station to somewhere not within a mile of a bus route. Furthermore, they should have a child in a pushchair with them on at least one journey in ten, and be confined to a wheelchair for a similar proportion of trips. They should receive no special treatment or queue-jump, nor go First Class. Those who live in a city should exchange places with country dwellers for half the year.
This is not suggested as a punishment, just so that they understand what it’s like for the rest of us. I think things would improve very quickly.