Why have public transport, and speak of its’ importance, and try to make it a top priority for public spending – if all it achieves is the ability to get people (slowly, painstakingly, and miserably) from A to B? Are we, in London, such a backwater that we must put up with below par transportation in the 21st century? Are we under the misapprehension that any transport is good transport?
Our buses and trains are badly timetabled, frequently either overpacked or empty, mostly inaccessible, dirty, cramped, stuffy… I could go on. And these same buses and trains are the ones that newly re-elected Mayor Boris Johnson will be charging more and more for the ‘luxury’ of travelling in.
Bus and train drivers are paid decently in London, yet they do not stop people irresponsibly using the back doors of their buses to overpack already crowded vehicles. They sit comfortably whilst healthy passengers are not required to give up their seats for the incapacitated – despite signs encouraging them to do so. Essentially we pay to have our vehicles controlled by people no better than computers. We are paying for miles of inaccessible corridors and staircases, for insufficient seating, for wholly inadequate service.