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Old 29th September 2015
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Wally Wally is offline
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Re: Is this the Thin Edge of the Wedge? :(

I have a bus pass that I very seldom use, preferring to walk, even into Durham City - just over two miles. When the weather is good, I take the scenic route, four miles. My car sits on the drive and is used mainly on long journeys to visit family members split over different parts of the country. For this reason I'd prefer that a certain tax were added to fuel. OK for those that can afford it whilst pushing forward for better public transport. Making politicians use public transport, and making them pay for it, would go a long way to getting the transport system we need in this day and age of getting to and from work etc.

As for 'mono-rail', Wuppertal, in Germany has such a system. which was opened in 1901 and is still up and running. Having used it, I can see why it is still in use... clean, quick and efficient. All qualities we seem to lack in much of our existing public transport systems.

The system can't be so bad as it has been copied in Japan, - Shonan Monorail - which has extremely high density city problems. Considering, like Star Trek, "it goes where no car or bus has gone before," If it can work in such conditions, there is no reason as to why it shouldn't work here.
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Old 29th September 2015
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Naughty Nigel Naughty Nigel is offline
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Re: Is this the Thin Edge of the Wedge? :(

Originally Posted by Jim Ford View Post
Except for the very rare trip into London, it never crosses my mind to use public transport.

You surprise me Comrade.

Depending on where I am going public transport (train) is usually my first choice, and I have no hesitation to use the bus either.

For me there is little pleasure in driving long distances these days, and I have to say that I regard driving for business as a complete and utter waste of my time. On the odd occasions that I drive south I usually regret it by the time I get to Scotch Corner!

(Heading north to the west coast of Scotland is another matter, but I would dearly love to take the train all the way from Glasgow to Mallaig one day.)

As I see it we did have a comprehensive public transport network until the early 1960's, but this was dismantled in favour of road transport. The establishment of whole new communities in areas not served by public transport in the 1960's and 70's made car ownership a necessity. But how do we ever reverse this process?

The fact is that many people don't actually need to travel to work nowadays, (most things can be done remotely via the internet), but for too many managers still like to see their staff trooping in an 08.59 and out again at 17.01.

Speaking for myself I could do a lot more of my work remotely, but few clients are happy with this arrangement so for now I have to travel to wherever I am needed.

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Old 29th September 2015
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Re: Is this the Thin Edge of the Wedge? :(

Originally Posted by al_kaholik View Post
Monorails are over-rated! Despite what an episode of The Simpsons will tell you...
The Simpsons do present the facts in a way everyone can understand. But as I was talking about the aspirational viewpoint and a long time acceptance in science fiction, Futurama's suction tubes is a good example.

Originally Posted by al_kaholik View Post
Personal rapid transit (a la Heathrow POD) is a better alternative but involves a significant initial outlay.
An investment is necessary. Yes. Many Europeans are still benefiting from good infrastructure build up since the 70's. Public transport is never designed to make a short term profit on fares. As it attracts tax paying businesses and has other benefits to society.

Originally Posted by Jim Ford View Post
Except for the very rare trip into London, it never crosses my mind to use public transport. The last time I used a bus. It was a short journey that I could have walked in the 20 mins the bus took to arrive, and it cost a quid.
For a chauffeur driven joy ride a bargain!
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Old 29th September 2015
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al_kaholik al_kaholik is offline
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Re: Is this the Thin Edge of the Wedge? :(

ET3 making it more plausible. Sealed pneumatic systems have been thought about and trialled a number of times. Under the Thames, Crystal Palace, under Holborn etc.

Once again, proven, safe system and initial outlay will push these things out unfortunately. Especially at the speeds they are looking at making them travel. Its unfortunate as I'm an advocate of new systems and new solutions to the problem of transportation (see bedtime reading above...).

I'm convinced that PRT could have a part to play in new towns and planning of them, but its a brave person to make that decision versus light rail/tram, bus rapid transit systems and a good healthy mix of pedestrian, cycle, bus lanes and high occupancy vehicle schemes to streamline. Notably, the car is not the enemy, just that journeys which could be made by other modes are more efficient in an integrated transport system.

Couple them with solar panels and regenerative braking systems and they can work wonders to make clean alternatives at point of use and generate a high (questionable?) percentage of their fuel.
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