A couple of years ago, I was asked to go to Farnborough to collect an almost -new BMW and ferry it back to Oldham.
Bus to Oldham, 4 miles, ~£2.50 then, stay on the bus, or swap to the congestion- inducing, clattering tram to Manchester Piccadilly (2 minutes difference in scheduled times )
Why did we scrap a perfectly good local rail network to rebuild a Tram-system which replaces the one scrapped ~ 60 years previously, as outmoded, not cost-effective ?
Bus was clean, comfortable, and bang on schedule....no complaints, except cost.
Arrived a rail-station put code in machine and out popped tickets booked on line.
Train very smart, smooth and modern. Change en-route....Poor station-signage and building-work, but helpful railwayman pointed me in the right direction.
somewhat down-at -heel Virgin train trundled out to the sticks. Amazed to see that the UK's centre of Aviation has a rural halt, where Pax have to walk across the line !
Car was waiting. Journey back would have been a full hour quicker, had I not hit the bottlenecks and rush-hour gridlock of the M60 Manchester ring-road.
Now! Fuel cost, door to door, the same as the total Public- transport fares..... BUT the various PT's were anything from 50% full (the Virgin leg) to 90=% full.
Admittedly, I didn't have to drive, - however, had at least 2 car-seats been occupied, the total pax cost of the car -journey would have been the same....3-up and total cost of a limousine-comfort journey would have been considerably cheaper than P.T. (which, theoretically should be a lot, lot cheaper. Were it not for the handicapping of our inadequate road-system, the interminable roadworks convoy through Birmingham
and the sometimes- crawling road-block that's the M60, the return- trip would have been at least 25% quicker too.
Nearly 50 years ago, my sister and B.I.L could not afford a car They, with their 2 children, made a 6-mile journey, to visit, by taxi. I gave her some earache about claiming poverty ,yet using cabs...she showed the figures that it was actually cheaper, including the 4d phone-calls, to go door-to door, than to use the buses. plus ca change as they say in furrin .
2 offspring live in Netherlands. P.T. is cheap, frequent and convenient. one has a car that is basically used to carry mountain-bikes and camping gear, weekends and holidays . otherwise, it's bike or P.T.
Our rates- bills include a huge subsidy for Public Transport.....cut out the bureaucrats shuffling money from one hand to the other...direct subsidy = low fares, more end-users, less congestion.......Oh, wait!- they're already crammed in rush-hours and then you get 50 seaters with 4 pax trundling around off- peak....be cheaper and less polluting to send a free black-cab around for them