Thursday, October 3, 2013

Cars

There has been an interesting discussion elsewhere about the nuisance of overcrowded roads due to all those  people who use their cars without really counting the cost to the environment, etc.  My reaction was of course most people need to use their cars to get around for shopping, work and children, society has evolved that way and there is little we can do about it.  Buses are rare beasts out in the country and a quick search will tell you, many services are taken off because they are little used.  In fact when I checked on Bodmin Moor the one service they did have was to be cut in November of this year....
Both my children growing up and now, use buses and trains because they have never learnt to drive, and images of my daughter and a couple of children at foot emerging from a train with a great deal of luggage strapped round the buggy still haunts me.  The reason they do not drive is because having been brought up in Bath, trains were on hand to take them anywhere in the country, and buses were efficient especially as we lived near a hospital - a 15 minute service, the same applied to Bristol, so university and jobs could be achieved by an efficient bus service.
But my logical side tells me, not everyone can get on a bus, suburbia is often situated miles from the centre of town and cars become a necessity.  Out in the country it is impossible to carry home all the shopping home on a bus for a family, cars are needed.
Travelling can be a bind, I used to love the journey from Bath to Whitby, though it took all day, early start catch a train to Bristol, then 4 or more hours wending our way through the Midlands and then through the countryside.  York station, I have stood on that station many times, arriving in the snow and worrying that  as there were not many trains around could I continue? Round the corner to catch the Scarborough train, which took an hour, and then hanging round waiting for the bus, which took another hour, then to Whitby arriving exhausted at the bus station  and maybe someone from the family waiting  to help carry my luggage up the steep hill.  At one time you could catch a bus outside York station, it took two hours taking detours, picking people up and dropping them down in the villages, we would go through Goathland, the 'Postman Pat'
song ringing in my ears as we went over the little bridge that was so like the cartoon one. 
Once waiting for that bus in York with my 18 year old son, we had taken up different places as we waited the long hour for the bus to arrive.  A girl came up and gave my son a 'sob' story about how she had no money for the fare and could he lend her some, being a wicked mother and observer of the human race to boot, I watched amused to see how he would handle it, and of course as he was kind  was in a turmoil on how to react.  So I intervened much to her fury, and she gave me the 'evil eye' but it was an interesting interlude....
What will happen though in the future? as this government takes a firm grasp on all public spending, how will those in  the countryside survive if they do not have access to cars or buses, shops are being closed down everywhere, villages and small towns, supermarkets spring up outside town making a car a necessity. Progress moves forward all the time, less use of cars and lorries on the road will lessen the environmental destruction, especially of the ice melt at the two poles but how do we move from one scenario to a more sensible state of affairs?

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