Editor’s blog: Welcome to transport hell

Excuse my metropolitan rant, but I have a few thoughts on transport. One of the many joys of living and working in London is actually trying to get from A to B within this city. Those of you who toil wretchedly each day with our public transport system in the capital will be quite familiar with the broken, useless, stroppy disaster that is Transport for London. Or TfL as it’s known to its mates. It’s now ten to ten and currently half of MT’s staff aren’t here because of failures in the system. And it’s hardly the first time. I’ve just spent half an hour down the tube in conditions that were I a young bullock or lamb, would have had the RSPCA down on the carrier like a ton of barnyard manure. And it’s now virtually the most expensive system to travel on in the world. But I mustn’t grumble – at least the train turned up and didn’t break down for four hours in a tunnel.

Ken Livingstone has done zilch to make things any better. However, the thought of Boris Johnson behind the deadman’s handle is enough to give anyone the willies. God only knows what the answer is – even with tens of billions chucked at the problem it will take years to see any improvement. And in the meantime our European neighbours just laugh, while those with the money tool around in their chauffeur-driven Mercs and BMWs.

This isn’t to say that all is well with the infernal combustion engine, either. I’ve just returned from my first visit to the Geneva Motor Show, which was an eye-opener. What took me by surprise were not the hordes of broad-beamed motoring hacks falling over each other to snap four square centimetres of the dashboard of the latest Kia sub compact. Nor, in the face of climate change, was it the vast number of new V12 off-roaders or the sickening display of Hummers. No, what took my breath away was the fact that as soon as you walk into the vast hall, the first thing that greets you is an array of semi-naked ‘babes’ with cheesy smiles draped across the bonnets of the cars. I thought this sort of thing had died out years back. It just summed up the mentality of the car industry – purblind, blokey and stuck-in-the-past. It’s five minutes to midnight and they just don’t get it.

Lest you think me a total misery-guts, there has been one good transport angle to my week: London City Airport. What a dreamy experience flying from City is. Quick, efficient, no-nonsense… Compared to the hell of Heathrow or Stansted, it was very Elysium.

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    Aren’t you victims of your own habits. The fact that you are all slavishly working a 9 to 5 day needs to be questioned. Write this column at home before setting off, get in early and leave late for less days [London roads and transport are deserted at 7am]. Do anything not to be part of the problem and you become part of the solution. a 5% drop in commuter level will vaporise most of the overcrowding.
    Do something ..don’t just complain!!

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    Aren’t you victims of your own habits. The fact that you are all slavishly working a 9 to 5 day needs to be questioned. Write this column at home before setting off, get in early and leave late for less days [London roads and transport are deserted at 7am]. Do anything not to be part of the problem and you become part of the solution. a 5% drop in commuter level will vaporise most of the overcrowding.
    Do something ..don’t just complain!!

  • http://

    Aren’t you victims of your own habits. The fact that you are all slavishly working a 9 to 5 day needs to be questioned. Write this column at home before setting off, get in early and leave late for less days [London roads and transport are deserted at 7am]. Do anything not to be part of the problem and you become part of the solution. a 5% drop in commuter level will vaporise most of the overcrowding.
    Do something ..don’t just complain!!

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    I use a motorcycle to commute. Cost effective, green and quick. It would even be safe if the Mayor allowed us to use bus lanes. It’s been proven to work and it’s in his power to change but to date he’s chosen not to.
    Ed

  • http://

    Aren’t you victims of your own habits. The fact that you are all slavishly working a 9 to 5 day needs to be questioned. Write this column at home before setting off, get in early and leave late for less days [London roads and transport are deserted at 7am]. Do anything not to be part of the problem and you become part of the solution. a 5% drop in commuter level will vaporise most of the overcrowding.
    Do something ..don’t just complain!!

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    Pete Yates really does know hoe to get a point across!