I was talking with my mum earlier this week and she was telling me about a trip to Birmingham to visit the National Trust Back to Backs Exhibition, which in itself was a fantastic day out showcasing a row of terraced houses each depicting a different era, including a wartime house complete with Dig for Victory garden. But that’s not the reason for my post!
Having the good intentions to be greener and reduce the carbon emissions to get to Birmingham, my parents were looking at going by train. Until they found out how much it was going to cost them. On top of £12 return ticket (which in itself wasn’t the worst part), in order to get to the train station in the first place, they were looking at either car parking fees at the station itself, having driven there, (not cheap) or £6 to get them both to the station by bus and home again afterwards. So you can see when the choice is between £30 to go by public transport… or £10 in petrol to go by car… especially at the time of recession when everybody is watching the pennies anyway, you would have to be a seriously hard-core greenie to stick to public transport.
I think public transport has always been an expensive option personally. I used to travel by train to Portsmouth to visit my partner at University every other weekend, and even with a young person’s railcard knocking a third off the travel costs, it used to cost me my wages for working three nights packing CDs into boxes at a warehouse each week to get there. Although cars have the initial outlay, insurance, MOT, servicing and any repairs to foot the bill for even before you put any fuel in the tank, it is very easy to see why people choose to go by car instead of by train. And buses are even more costly… but I’ll save that for another day!