The independent London newspaper

More people chasing fewer buses will make for a less civilised city

11 April, 2019

Cartoon by John Sadler:

• THE sudden upsurge in concern about our toxic environment is welcome ­– with new measures to put the most polluting vehicles off the road and a massive hike in parking charges planned.

We’re being urged to stop using cars, and start walking, cycling or using public transport. So why has the past year seen a definite decline in the quantity and quality of bus services? I can tell by the number of desperate queues I see in Camden Town in a week.

And this week I saw four. Most bus queues are reasonably orderly ­– not perfect (there’s always a bit of queue-barging) but overall it’s respectful. I define a desperate queue not just by its size, but by a total breakdown of the protocols that made us one of the world’s top queueing countries.

Good manners go out of the window – particularly towards those less fit or able. So elderly folk are left gasping for breath as an overcrowded bus pulls away without them. A child in a push-chair? Forget it!

This isn’t going to get people out of their cars. And more people chasing after fewer buses will make a less civilised city for everybody.



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