A couple of weeks ago I was at a conference abroad, and I needed to get from our motel to to the conference centre for 9am in the morning. A quick search for bus information didn’t turn up anything useful (and the country I was in isn’t known for having good public transport). I bought a map, planned a route, and set off on my bike. As I travelled I found that several of the roads I was on, despite looking fairly harmless on my map, were not really great for bikes. Fortunately, I didn’t mind that too much, and I had plenty of time.
The other girls at the conference came in by taxi later in the day, but they were travelling as a group.
I mention this as an example of how easy it is to start looking into transport options but then as it becomes complicated to just say “sod it” and ~ well, in this case to take my bike, for the other girls to take a taxi, but for the average homeowner it might well be to take a car. Similarly one can spend hours looking for sane and affordable rail fares, before saying “sod it” and hopping in the car ~ after all, it makes the luggage so much simpler as well. And Sunday evening travel is no worse than any other day.
In Peterborough a new scheme has spent £20,000 on providing personal advice to people encouraging them to use public transport and cycle more. Advisors armed with maps, timetables and practical advice make individual visits to people’s homes and discuss routes and options with them. The use of personal travel plans has apparently resulted in a 10% drop in car use among those contacted.