There are times when the transport madness in which we find ourselves is so depressing that I want to give up even contemplating that we could create a better situation. I was sent a copy of the Coventry freshers supplement of the Coventry Evening Telegraph as I had a submitted a short piece and started reading an article headlined ‘cut costs by taking to life on two wheels’.
Ah great, I thought, they are advising students to ride on bikes. But only when I got to the second par did I realise that I was mistaken as it read ‘students could make significant savings by opting ot use a scooter or motorcycle’. It was, in fact, some kind of publicity campaign by a motorbike lobbying group.
This was depressing in two ways. First, why had the author of the article not suggested cycling or even mentioned it. But secondly, it shows the extent to which it is assumed that students need their own form of transport, rather than using buses or trains. Indeed, when I was back in my old hunting ground of Leamington Spa the other day, the biggest complaint about students was not their rowdy behaviour or their dope smoking, but the fact that their cars meant it was difficult to park. In a way, I can’t wait for the inevitable oil price rise that will come soon to change their behaviour.