Bloke on M4 Makes a good point…


13 thoughts on “Bloke on M4 Makes a good point…”

  1. While broadly agreeing with M4’s analysis I would also mention the privacy factor: not having to sit among the great unwashed munching on a buckets of chicken bits – being cocooned in relative luxury in my own heated/air conditioned environment, sitting on a comfortable seat, listening to my choice of music. That said of course, if I lived in London I wouldn’t bother with a car.

  2. How did Labour manage to get the population to believe that it wuz them Tory scum wot did the cuts? It was mainly Wilson’s Labour government.

  3. dearieme,

    I was going to make it longer, but I thought it better brief. More about security, but you’re not wrong.

    “That said of course, if I lived in London I wouldn’t bother with a car.”

    The media obsession with trains and anti-car is partly about living and working in London. It’s very hard living without a car somewhere like Swindon or Northampton, and cars work fine. The roads aren’t that busy.

  4. I did see an article once that the death rate from transport, all forms combined, was pretty constant for ages once population is accounted for.
    Long time ago and I can’t remember the details, but basically as more people died in railway accidents fewer people drowned in canals or fell off horses was the general idea.

  5. @BoM4

    I was with you all the way until that final sentence: “The roads aren’t that busy.” Most of the principal roads in Central England (which I think of as the rectangle with corners at Liverpool, York, Dover and Bristol) are pretty busy most of the time, and horrendous in rush hour (and outside that box, you’ve still got horrors like the M8). But that’s what you get with a population density of ~2,000 per square mile.

  6. I had my car in the garage to have the brakes replaced, but after I’d booked it work nagged me to do a call-out. No bother, thinks I, that’s a direct train ride to that site.

    Instead of a total of three hours driving, it took me eight hours by bus, wait, train, wait, bus, wait, bus, wait, bus, wait, bus. And then I checked the tickets – I’d spent more than my wages on travel! And a 7am to 7pm day for one hour’s work.

  7. Trains: invariably quicker & less expensive by car, plane and often bus

    @Chris Miller October 29, 2019 at 6:56 pm

    There’s always the M9 if you want little to no congestion

  8. A big part of the problem with trains is that they are too safe to be economic.

    Everything on a railway costs four times what it does on an equivalent road project, because of the expectation that no risk is to expensive to mitigate.

    This isn’t helped by ever closer control of franchises by DfT, as well as ever increasing accessibility requirements which impose huge costs on operators for very limited returns.

    The whole thing is an utter mess, but one which reflects more on the effects of letting the UK government be involved in running a railway network (or anything else more complex than a welk stall) than on any inherent problem with railways as a concept.

  9. @ Chris Miller
    Quadrilateral, but certainly not a rectangle. That’s taught to 8- or 9-year-olds in any decent school

  10. @ Pcar
    Good quip: however not necessarily quicker by ‘plane if you include travel to the airport and the two hours it takes to get on the ‘plane and for it to take off and collecting baggage on arrival. I assume that you mean long-distance coach when you say ‘bus.
    Occasionally quicker *on foot* (on very many occasions I have found it quicker to walk, let alone run, than take a bus in London and many, albeit fewer, occasions I have mistakenly taken a bus thinking “this time it will be quicker” and found that it took longer than walking), but on journeys long enough for me to consider using a train it’s normally quicker to use the train than to run or walk.

  11. The accessibility requirements seem to be screwing it up for everyone, they are removing toilets on the small trains in South Wales because it’s not possible to fit an accessible toilet on them.
    There has to be a point where we accept it’s not possible to meet every requirement and say best effort is enough.

  12. @john77 October 29, 2019 at 11:56 pm

    I was referring to domestic commuter flights (thus hand baggage), but applies to more too – eg Bristol/Cardiff to Edinburgh plane vs train


    Accessibility was originally “if economic”, as expected extremists have demanded and been given more, thus everyone must suffer the problems of the 1%

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