Posted 9/11/2012 13:53 (#1146) Subject: train missed in Reading
Last week I was visiting my daughter who now lives across the bridge from Reading-about 2-3 miles away.
So last monday morning we set off 40mins before my train was due to leave at 9.11 am.
We met nose to tail cars very soon-mostly with 1 occupant.
Is there a bus lane I asked when we passed a bus stop( 1 person waiting) No was the answer.
About a mile from the station I get out with my pull along case and bag with lunch, books and knitting and started to run, well walk fast, very fast, past rows and rows of cars and 1 bus, to get over the bridge.
I made it to the station, found the platform and ran to the closing doors only to be barred by a burly station employee! well the train was moving!
I have to admit they were very helpful and I did get to Wolverhampton, and Lancaster and Glasgow and am now home.
So power to your / our legs all million milers--may the message spread.
Posted 12/11/2012 08:35 (#1149 - in reply to #1146) Subject: Re: train missed in Reading
A bit more encouraging news from Edinburgh. They have done rush hour surveys for the last 6 years and seen increasing bike use such that they are now talking about 'peak car'. The last survey was nearly a year ago so it will be interesting to see this year's figures. http://www.spokes.org.uk/wordpress/2011/11/more-bikes-and-less-cars...
There does seem to be a shift in thinking among young adults living in cities about whether a car is even desirable. My son Daniel (22yrs living in Cambridge) commented that he got into a car for the first time in months recently and only because the driver needed directions. Despite passing his test a couple of years ago he has driven our car about twice since and can't see the need for a car when cycling is so much cheaper. About 1 in 4 journeys in Cambridge are by bike. Julia (19 living in Edinburgh) has lifts in friend's cars more, particularly to hill walking expeditions but still thinks a bike is much more practical and affordable for city living. The challenge we've got is to translate this shift to a rural community where distances are that much greater, but my electric bike has been a really good solution for me. It goes about twice as fast as I could cycle on a normal bike mainly due to speedy starts at junctions and not slowing down up hill and puts a lot less strain on my knees which were previously a problem. I got to Findhorn and back on Thursday with a combination of electric bike and train and didn't really feel tired. The mileage on my car has dropped from 12,000 the year we moved up to 5000 last year.
Posted 14/11/2012 12:15 (#1155 - in reply to #1149) Subject: Re: train missed in Reading
Interested to see this thread. I noted that in the immediate aftermath of Storm Sandy the Mayor of New York banned single-occupant cars from entering the city and enforced it with roadblocks. It sounds as though Reading should do the same!
Maybe attitudes are changing... of my two grown-up children, my son (+wife and 3 year old daughter) do not have a car. He only took and passed his driving test some years ago because he got a brief part in Casualty as the relief ambulance driver! They were longstanding Edinburgh residents, now moved to Queensferry, and rely entirely on public transport. My daughter and her husband (in Gloucester) have a car but she rarely drives it - she has been quite content with a provisional licence for about 17 years!
I see that electric cars are beginning to make an increasing appearance (full marks to Renault in particular) but of course they won't deal with the problem of congestion. Still, it will be good to know, sitting there in the traffic jam, that you're not being choked by the exhaust fumes or adding to global warming...