On the buses again

Yesterday, there was a bit of a shock to the system. As well as some disappointment because I had thought travelling to work on public transport would have meant less wear and tear on my vehicle.

However, the car failed its MOT on a fair number of points, which were quite costly to put right. Thus, I had a poor night’s sleep, thinking about ways to keep my wheels for that bit longer.

At the same time, this week there has been discussion on the radio about how we might need to radically alter our lifestyles if we are to prevent an imminent climatic catastrophe. So, if I can reduce unnecessary car journeys that bit more it can be no bad thing.

The upshot of my nocturnal machinations was the immediate decision to take the bus to work, rather than the train.

Heading towards Leeds city centre this morning on the bus.

What’s the difference, you may ask… Well, unfortunately, the train station is slightly too far to walk comfortably there and back at both ends but a car journey to the station is particularly damaging to both the vehicle and the climate. On the other hand, the bus is a more time-consuming journey, although I do get to sit down and the service is more frequent.

It is frustrating that climate change does not really appear to be appreciated at a policy-making level. People travelling at all is a major issue but without an adequate number of decent public transport services to get more cars of the road, it really feels to me there is little hope.

Of course, I shouldn’t have a car at all – or a fridge freezer, central heating, clothes made out of man-made fibres and …. the list could be very long. And what can be done about all that?

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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12 Responses to On the buses again

  1. skyeent says:

    Good luck with the transport changes. Hopefully you’ll save wear and tear on your car as well as money in the long run. I’ve been particularly poor at managing to walk to work this year, but if we can’t make the effort we deserve what is coming….

    • Helen says:

      Very true! How far is your walk to work?

      It is hard to forego the car for journeys you could do on foot, once you’re used to having wheels. Until my daughter was 7 months old I didn’t have a car and so the only options were of course walking or public transport but it did mean I missed out on the things I love to do out in the countryside.

      • skyeent says:

        I have about a one mile commute, so a pleasant 20min walk downhill in the sunshine. A less pleasant walk uphill in the rain carrying something heavy home….I definately feel less fit for not walking though.

        • Helen says:

          Uphill with something heavy – mm, I can see the pull of the car. At least you are aware of your impact, though. The radio programme I referred to in my post said that 20% of people (I think in Britain or in the West, for wont of a better term) are very aware of the consequences of climate change and its causes. At the other extreme, 20% are deniers and the rest just aren’t concerned. So, realistically it is hard to be radical in your own lifestyle when all around it’s as though we were still living with the climate of the 1700s!

          • skyeent says:

            We all have to do what we can be comfortable with. It is easy to get depressed, but small things like growing your own food do make a difference. Bigger things like not flying are up to individual concience.

          • Helen says:

            I might well be flying myself next spring to see a friend in Stockholm. There may be the option of the train and ferry but that would probably lengthen the holiday beyond what we can do. Still, it might be interesting to do it one way (for me at least, if not my daughter).

  2. I have long thought the answer is free, efficient, accessible, public transport. It will never happen

    • Helen says:

      No, it is extremely unlikely. I have read of an experiment in another country where public transport was offered free. I can’t remember why this experiment failed but it was something to do with user participation. The reasons we choose to do or not do things is so complex – it’s no wonder finding solutions is so difficult!

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