The availability of public transport across the UK varies so much; not just from region to region but quite often between nearby towns and communities. In my mind the term public transport is becoming more and more misleading as its public service value is becoming more dependent on whether a particular provider can make a profit out of a particular route. Yes, cynical, but with local authority funding cuts continuing to strip away the fabric of public services then what other conclusions can be drawn.
Anyway, taking the political angle out of this a bit, its true to reflect that major cities will have a better transport network than those of smaller connibations, towns and communities. Far mor people, due to the larger urban areas, will use public transport and hence the network will be better served and resourced. Take London for instance, it has a fantastic network of buses and trains and an great underground network. Its accessibility is enhanced by the widespread use of audio/visual announcements on most modes of transport; giving all passengers the reassurance of knowing where they are at any particular point in their journeys. However, London is a large city; an expensive and forboding place for many. Where opportunity through the choice of transport supports some, the sheer size of the city is restrictive for others.
Economically, on the other side of things, many smaller areas (including smaller cities), suffer from a lack of funding and support to develop effective transport networks. This in effect reduces choice of movement and choice of literally where some people live. Whereas a smaller community can be more accessible in terms of its size, the lack of transport and other opportunities can make such areas difficult
To access. Where public transport is available, its accessibility can be quite limiting because access initiatives such as audio announcements and frequent service patterns are ararity.
This is a rather generalised picture; what are your experiences of accessing transport in your particular area of the country? Does the prospect of evening trying to access the bus or train fill you with dred or have you any hints and tips to help others overcome this understandable fear. VI talk is a great place to share experiences, I’d love it if you could share yours on travelling and transport in this series of blog articles.