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NickR

A Pedestrians Point of View

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Am I the only person who has noticed that there is a huge oversupply in the number of cars in the UK and it's getting worse?  Recently I have noticed an increasing amount of cars parked in gardens, on grass verges, odd corners of pavements or just blatantly on the pavement. We live in linear car parks. Yet on the busiest days of the year, when you know that the motorways will be solid and traffic barely moving in the cities, walk along these same roads and you will see that less than 10% of these parked cars have moved. Surely this means that we could scrap say 85% of the country's cars and share the remaining 15% using a car hire system like Zip car. 

 

https://www.nimblefins.co.uk/number-cars-great-britain


Londinium 1, Pharos, Ceado e37s, Gene Cafe, Aerobie

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Most people don't have a car because they want one, its because they need one. If you live out in the sticks, you need a car. If you want to go off somewhere at the weekend, you need a car. If we want to go climbing we need a car that fits all our equipment and allows us to go out of the country with it. 

Cars are expensive and if we didn't need ours we wouldn't have it. 

Its easy to think that we could get away with not owning them but there would need to be an automated, self driving network of probably 60%+ of the current total to take up the strain. Thats ignoring the edge cases where a shared network doesn't work very well.

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Public transport needs to meet 2 criteria for people to reduce car ownership.

1. To be much cheaper

2. To be available and plentiful

Currently it is neither.

 

I have had to drive my mother to a lot of hospital appointment recently (she no longer drives), there is absolutely no way I could have got her there using public transport for  2 reasons.

1. There was no transport between home and the places I needed to get her to in any reasonable time or without the use of intermediate taxis

2. She could not have walked the distances required, or managed the steps and changes needed moving from road to rail to bus etc..She requires a walker and who would have helped her with that

I don't even mention the cost which would have been horrible as she has to be accompanied...and no we don't qualify for hospital transport and for many of the places large distances were involved for specialised scans and an operation where hospital transport is unavailable.

I used to live in London and sure, if you can grab a season ticket/oyster card for the year whatever, you don't really need a car....but outside London, you are in difficulties without a car in most places. Shared self driving cars might be the answer, although looking at the average state of public facilities in this country or on aircraft after a few hours and I am not sure I would want to travel in a shared car after it's more than a week old..

Edited by DavecUK

 My reviews at https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpress.com/ - Various Machines and grinders, Amazon Dalian 1kg Drum Roaster: YouTube channel at https://tinyurl.com/szhgxzl .......

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9 minutes ago, DavecUK said:

Public transport needs to meet 2 criteria for people to reduce car ownership.

1. To be much cheaper

2. To be available and plentiful

Currently it is neither.

You missed out two other criteria, it should also be reliable and clean. It certainly is neither of those either.

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1 hour ago, Mr Binks said:

You missed out two other criteria, it should also be reliable and clean. It certainly is neither of those either.

Agreed but I didn't want to be seen as over egging the pudding.

Another thing....when I used to commute into London via train and tube, which was a dreadful experience....I had so many colds all the time. There is always someone coughing their guts up in a crowded carriage and by the time the train pulled into Waterloo the entire carriage had breathed the shared air multiple times and was probably covered in a viral load that would make a chemical warfare general very excited.

 

Oh and you forgot to mention seats....often you have to stand as a reward for the exorbitant fares, oh and the strikes...yeah forgot about those!

Edited by DavecUK

 My reviews at https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpress.com/ - Various Machines and grinders, Amazon Dalian 1kg Drum Roaster: YouTube channel at https://tinyurl.com/szhgxzl .......

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Sorry guilty in this - we, as a company, supply/lease approx 10k cars & vans pa.

I agree though there are too many on the roads, public transport needs alot of investment and let's really not go there on the electric vehicle infrastructure. 


A machine, a grinder & some beans

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As a dog owner that likes taking dogs with me I can confirm that few public transport systems regularly welcome dogs. Many car hire companies will not allow dogs or charge considerable fees for cleaning. Maybe 20 years ago a friend and I had a 5 day back packing trip in Scotland we parked at one end with a plan for catching a bus at Fort William for return journey. The bus companies assured before setting off dogs would be permitted driver had other ideas ended up sitting with 2 dogs for about 3 hours while my friend returned via bus alone for car recovery.

my suggestion would be make a space for all passengers before any ideas of reducing car ownership   


La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi 2. Eureka Mignon. Sage dtp

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One of the few public transport systems I have can remember taking dogs is the tram in Edinburgh, and that has it's own problems.

Most cities lack the infrastructure and even cities that spend a lot of money on infrastructure still have problems with reliability and ease of access.

At least from looking at those statistics, car numbers have increased but mileage has decreased. This means that since 2002 there has only been a 1% increase in total miles traveled (from those numbers), which is interesting at least.

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There's no public transport that'll get me too or from my regular work spots. Outside London, busses and trains at 3am are a mythological beast. And out in the sticks, they're almost a myth during the day too.


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I'm not advocating public transport. I'm just observing that most cars seem to sit around doing nothing for most of the time. Even in a small village in the Peak District I would guess that if people shared cars instead of owning them you could get rid of at least 50% of them and everyone would still  have a car when they needed one. In London the oversupply is huge, people do use public transport and yet most families have at least two cars. Parked cars which rarely move are everywhere taking up at least a third of residential road space, and now they are overflowing onto pavements and verges.

 

 

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Londinium 1, Pharos, Ceado e37s, Gene Cafe, Aerobie

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I disagree that shared cars are a good solution. I've tried it before when I lived with family and it's constantly a nightmare.

 

It is a problem, and investing in public transport is the only way to solve it. If we want less cars on the road we have to make it easier, more reliable, and cheaper to get public transport instead of driving everywhere.

 

Or we can wait a decade or two until we have autonomous cars that don't need to sit in a parking space for the whole day and can just pickup & dropoff car sharers.

 

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47 minutes ago, AJSK66 said:

Or we can wait a decade or two until we have autonomous cars that don't need to sit in a parking space for the whole day and can just pickup & dropoff car sharers

 

Can you imagine what they will be like on a Friday/Saturday Night and early Sunday Morning.....Full of condoms, body fluids, vomit, needles glass, spilt food and drink and old beer cans amongst the underwear sharing the floor with old takeaway containers. Whilst you try and find room to sit amongst the remnants of a Doner or Curry the last passenger couldn't eat.

Not to mention those who couldn't make it to the toilet on time!

 

P.S. Just thought, the toilet one could happen any time because the NHS will draft them in to ship the very elderly around to hospital and the like.

Edited by DavecUK

 My reviews at https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpress.com/ - Various Machines and grinders, Amazon Dalian 1kg Drum Roaster: YouTube channel at https://tinyurl.com/szhgxzl .......

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1 hour ago, NickR said:

I'm not advocating public transport. I'm just observing that most cars seem to sit around doing nothing for most of the time. Even in a small village in the Peak District I would guess that if people shared cars instead of owning them you could get rid of at least 50% of them and everyone would still  have a car when they needed one. In London the oversupply is huge, people do use public transport and yet most families have at least two cars. Parked cars which rarely move are everywhere taking up at least a third of residential road space, and now they are overflowing onto pavements and verges.

 

 

I hope I appreciate that you would like less private transport just sitting doing nothing. Problem in a village in the Peak District some would eat crisps leave rubbish in for next occupant some would smoke not pleasant for next user who cleans and maintains them and pays the bill. Think of property with multiple family occupancy and management committee can’t decide on replacing fences, cleaning communal areas, who pays and when just my 2 cents but it does not sound like a runner.

Edited by Border_all

La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi 2. Eureka Mignon. Sage dtp

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I'm one of the people that has a car that may not move for various lengths of time. I also use public transport when it can get me where I want to go. The car is for when it can't or maybe I want to get something that I couldn't get home any other way. The could even be a bulk shop ;) or an espresso machine etc.

People work at all sorts of time periods in the day may even be over night into the next day. They may need cars to get them where they need to go. That wouldn't be unusual as people tend now to spend more time and travel greater distances to work. Plus more time due to congestion of course.

Lots of parked cars around here too for other reasons. Shop workers etc and also train users who will walk a fair distance to catch a train rather than park in the station park which might be full anyway. Perhaps these aren't free. The streets are. The police have little interest in obstruction.

One thing does really bugs me about buses and trains. Why do I see such a lot of them with so few people on them. Or at certain times of the day not enough of them. If costs are going to be kept down the companies that run them need to meet needs in one case and people need to fit in with when they run in the other. Curiously when councils ran bus services that is how they ran. Some still do after a fashion. A village that is a bit remote. Need to be waiting for the bus at 10am to go to the nearest town and have 2 services for the return. Otherwise tough. A bit OTT perhaps but ............. In other areas thing may run every 15mins - doesn't encourage people to be concerned about when they go to catch one

John

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Can you imagine what they will be like on a Friday/Saturday Night and early Sunday Morning.....Full of condoms, body fluids, vomit, needles glass, spilt food and drink and old beer cans amongst the underwear sharing the floor with old takeaway containers. Whilst you try and find room to sit amongst the remnants of a Doner or Curry the last passenger couldn't eat.
Not to mention those who couldn't make it to the toilet on time!
 
P.S. Just thought, the toilet one could happen any time because the NHS will draft them in to ship the very elderly around to hospital and the like.
Yeah that's an issue for the idea of getting the autonomous car you bought to act as a taxi for others but I was more thinking for a group of people who know each other. For example a family who normally have 3 cars sitting on the drive could reduce to one with this idea.

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I would hope autonomous cars would have cameras inside so they could stop people doing anything too crazy in them, or so they could go and get themselves cleaned. Maybe with fines for the passenger in the same way uber has that system.

Cameras constantly monitoring all passengers does lead to a problem with surveillance and a reduction in privacy.

I could see a shared vehicle between family members working, but if the cost of autonomous vehicles is still high it may not be as financially viable.

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44 minutes ago, AJSK66 said:

Yeah that's an issue for the idea of getting the autonomous car you bought to act as a taxi for others but I was more thinking for a group of people who know each other. For example a family who normally have 3 cars sitting on the drive could reduce to one with this idea.

Sent from my SM-G955F using Tapatalk
 

What if those 3 people work in entirely different directions from where they live? Car sharing between neighbours and friend etc when it's possible isn't that unusual.

Some of this sounds like arguments used against HS2. They don't take any notice of fundamental problems.

John

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When I said car sharing, I was not thinking of an ad hoc arrangement. I was thinking more in the line of a car club such as Zip Car or Enterprise car club. I've been using these for the past 8 years and never had a messed up car. If a system like this was vastly expanded, even if someone did mess up a car, a replacement would be nearby.  Clubs such as these would save people from  the awful embarrassment of having to drive a huge ugly SUV about when all they actually  needed was a Polo. On the other hand, if they actually needed a large car, one would be available.


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How much does something like enterprise car club cost for a daily commute purpose? Obviously the cost would be reduced as it is expanded upon and used more frequently. And how viable is it in smaller towns or with multiple family members that commute to different locations?

If expanded upon it could work especially with automation allowing cars to park in multi storey car parks or other large car parks when not in use, and to then be dispatched when needed which would alleviate their presence on the roadside at least.

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Guess you need take into account not all agree huge suv are huge and ugly perhaps would not like a polo that’s the difference between need and want.  


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On 08/02/2020 at 07:48, Border_all said:

Guess you need take into account not all agree huge suv are huge and ugly perhaps would not like a polo that’s the difference between need and want.  

I think that its indisputable that all SUV’s are ugly, very ugly. They are an eloquent symbol of man’s gullibility, stupidity, selfishness, and pride. Nothings says so blatantly “I am a climate change denier” and I don’t care a damn about other road users safety or the air they breath.

 

Read this from the BMJ

https://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/10/31/psychology-suv-use

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Londinium 1, Pharos, Ceado e37s, Gene Cafe, Aerobie

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No, you're not the only one. It's been cemented by the realisation that cars mean that you can live further and further away from economic hubs but still be economically active. Equally, big retail parks of one-stop-shops have moved away from the centre and made it more attractive to travel long distances. It has also led to town planning and design being car-focused rather than human-focused.

My fear is that the slow incremental change over the last few decades cannot now be quickly reversed, and incremental reversal of change will be too slow. It has to start on a micro level based on people's choices.

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7 minutes ago, NickR said:

I think that its indisputable that all SUV’s are ugly, very ugly. They are an eloquent symbol of man’s gullibility, stupidity, selfishness, and pride. Nothings says so blatantly “I am a climate change denier” and I don’t care a damn about other road users safety or the air they breath.

 

Read this from the BMJ

https://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/10/31/psychology-suv-use

Dear me...where to start!


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On 07/02/2020 at 22:07, NickR said:

When I said car sharing, I was not thinking of an ad hoc arrangement. I was thinking more in the line of a car club such as Zip Car or Enterprise car club. I've been using these for the past 8 years and never had a messed up car. If a system like this was vastly expanded, even if someone did mess up a car, a replacement would be nearby.  Clubs such as these would save people from  the awful embarrassment of having to drive a huge ugly SUV about when all they actually  needed was a Polo. On the other hand, if they actually needed a large car, one would be available.

I like the idea of Enterprise Car Club. A branch has opened within spitting distance from where I live. I did seriously think about selling my car and renting one as and when I need it for business. The hit I would take on the sale of my car was too great, unfortunately. It will be a real choice when I am ready to get rid of my car.


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