The Transport we use, I’m becoming a Grumpy Old Man

The world is in a big debate as to global warming, are we the human race effecting the warming of our world, the only place we can exist?
Yes we have a space station where less than ten people live for just a few weeks. Yes we have been to the Moon many years ago, but sorry, we are stuck on this round thing floating in space for many, many years to come, there is not room on the space station to house the billions of people if our world fails due to global warming tomorrow.

Oh Poo Poo.

So we are told that we have to reduce our carbon emissions, use less coal, use less electricity, use the car less to reduce petrol consumption.

The lifestyle of the human race has changed rapidly over the last hundred years, and one of the changes has been how the human roams or move about in the environment.

Before the existence of motorised transportation, people only traveled within a few miles or kilometers of their home, for the average person, to travel more than say ten miles, (16 kilometers), would take a day with meals stops, rest, etc. Now, with cars, we will go and buy a packet of crisps (chips for my American readers), and be back home in half an hour and think nothing of it.

We used to shop, buy our food at the corner shop which was within walking distance, now we go to the large out of town supermarket, maybe ten miles from where we live, and even if we had a day to walk there, we cannot because the supermarket is on a motorway, an autobahn, which does not permit pedestrians, and the shopping would be too heavy to carry back. We need our own transport.

Our jobs, the factories, the offices are located often far from where we live, in central city centers or business parks, we need transport to get to them.

Our entertainment, restaurants, theaters, cinemas are located long distances from where we live.

In the UK as in many countries in the world, we are being told to use the car less, to use public transport, to walk, and this way we use less polluting fuel, and we get healthier.

Being that I drove less than 400 miles last year in my own car, and have done for some years, I have not taxed, licensed, my car to be on the road, so I am car less, I have no transport of my own I can legally use.

So I walk, I use public transport. It is cheaper than paying out for petrol, having to pay to park the car when I get to my destination, and as I am entitled to free public transport in London, it is very much cheaper than driving.

I have a supermarket immediately opposite to where I live, so my daily needs are easy to acquire. The major town center is 15 minutes walk away, so good for my health, and I work from home. I do not need a car.


Yes, until I have to travel beyond my normal living existence.

My quest to research and look at the Blackburn Buccaneer jet fighter aircraft, took me to visiting the RAF Hendon Museum. That is easy, a quick train journey into London’s Waterloo Railway station, about half an hour, a ten minute transfer to then catch a tube train (metro, underground) to Colindale Underground station about another half an hour, (actually it is on the surface not underground), and a 15 minute walk to the museum. Let us say about one and a half hour journey, a journey by car which would perhaps take half and hour by car door to door.

I was asked to give my services to allow local school pupils to experience what it is like to have job interviews. To get to the school by car would take about ten minutes maximum, but by public transport, I had to take two buses, waiting for over 15 minutes for each one, plus the bus rides took nearly one hour.

Last night I went to a meeting which would take about 20 minutes to drive too, and an exceptional meeting it was, making many new acquaintances, but my journey back took one and a half hours, catching three trains, walking through dark country lanes to a deserted train station, where there was only one train per hour, to change to another train with a 15 minute wait, to change to another train with another 15 minute wait, and then a ten minute walk from my home railway station to home.

Then there was my trip to the wonderful Fleet Air Arm Museum of the British Royal Navy at RNAS Yeovilton. This journey meant that I took a train into London to catch another train back the way I had just come from, for on a two hour journey to Yeovilton Junction railway station. I relaxed and read, watched the changing countryside, having no stresses of driving a car.

On reaching Yeovilton Junction railway station I asked how I could reach the Fleet Air Arm Museum, and was told there was just one bus a day, but that left the station at 10:30 am, goes to the museum site, I expect through the villages, and leaves the museum to return to the station at 1:30 pm.

Um. That is useful as it was mid day when I arrived, and I did want to see more than the front door of the museum before I took the bus back again.

The only other options were walking, well it was ten miles away I was told, so I could do it if I walked fast only to see the “Closed for the Day” sign being put up, or I could take a taxi.

I took a taxi. Nice and quick, but £22 each way.

I am trying to do my little bit for the environment, replacing my light bulbs with low energy bulbs, (see Energy Saving Lights, becoming environmentaly friendly ), switching off electrical equipment when not in use, not having the heating on as much as required or set at a lower temperature, using public transport, but I am paying the price of convenience, of my time, of being at the mercy of a train driver, a bus driver or a taxi driver.

Have they turn-up for work that day?

Is there going to be the train, bus or taxi?

Have they taken an extra five minute break meaning that I miss my next connection?
Are there going to be engineering works, closing the rail network?

What are the timetable changes for evening and night time travel, they could be every hour instead of every 15 minutes because there is little demand in the evenings?

We have to start somewhere to stop global climate change. The infrastructure has to be set-up, the extra modes of public transport put in place so that people have a way of moving about no matter what time of the day or year it is, and the organisers of events also have to do think about people doing their little bit to save the planet by using public transport.

I will keep my state, for my NLP’ers, Mustafa, Fred or Antonio, to tell that little voice in my head to shut up and stop complaining, and to relax and enjoy downtime sometimes sitting on a slow bus or train, and stop being a grumpy old man.

Phillip Holt a Grumpy old man?

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