jai - no offence taken. just me being a bit tetchy, after spending FAR too much time on this board! and getting tired of me-me knee-jerk reactions and some people's refusal to accept our collective and individual responsibilities. you know, the 'I HAVE to have a car because....' (insert any one of a hundred excuses).
sorry if i suggested that only carless people are rational! of course that's not true, but car drivers really can't complain about traffic jams... can they?
or congestion charging for that matter - as someone pointed out, car tax doesn't pay for the true cost of motoring. carless people also pay for motorists - collectively we all pay for the environmental damage, police, ambulance and hospital services after an accident, insurance increases across the board due to car theft, and council costs of road repairs, signs and marking. all of which could better be spent on public transport.
i'll try not to be so polarised in my views though - i am probably completely biased, and spoilt. living near borough high street i can't find one excuse for owning a car.
maybe we could all get together and start our own car-share club - at least we know we are all only nutters in that we spend so much time on mesage boards! whoah... that's a bit rad, innit?
I totally agree, I love driving and I love driving my car, it maybe a sports car but it's also one of the most economical cars on the road !! There seems to be hardly a road in London that isn't currently being dug up or re-dug up, and this is all part of the ploy to falsify the numbers in favour of congestion charging (not that I am against it). As you also pointed out the traffic light fasing has been changed to decrease traffic flows, staying red for longer !!
May I also add that most car-owners are also rational people , but have chosen made, for whatever reason, the decision to own a car.
-- I completely disagree that most motorists are rational about motoring. I would argue that motoring is best seen as an addictive disease, like alcoholism.
In my experience, they consistently delude themselves about whether their journeys are necessary, about whether they really need their car on the journey, about how difficult it would be to do the same journey by public transport and, perhaps above all, about the real costs of motoring.
An example of the latter is when people reckon up their petrol costs and perhaps their maintenance overheads, but hardly ever take account of the cost of depreciation, i.e. a regular allowance against the time when the car will have to be replaced.
And once people have a car they often become incredibly lazy, using it for short journeys which it would be just as quick to walk.
On top of all that, many people seem to be easily taken in by the propaganda of the road/oil/automobile lobby, much of which is objectively absurd. Car manufacturers spend a fortune on advertising designed to convey an image of glamour and status for what is in fact just a tin box on wheels. In so far as some people fall for all this tosh, it seems to me unarguable that they are being highly irrational.
Jai - that's beauty of message boards isn't it? a place where a somewhat
alienated community can put their views, and get a response. and, some would say sadly, media access for the masses results in us being as subjective as we like! we wouldn't want a board that was restricted to (rational) information only, with no (emotional) content - you'd miss the cut of my job, wouldn't you? i'd miss yours!
so, would you be up the 'no rubbish day' idea?
You're absolutely right, every one of the entries here is posted by someone with a subjective view of the situation and a variety of points rational or otherwise to put - and quite right too.
However, the odd thing is this debate has revealed a strange effect. First, one side of it has identified anyone who drives a car as not part of of the community and tries to portray them as outcasts, whereas most people are probably like me - they use a car, buses, tubes, trains, planes etc. But, I probably use the car or more than 50% of journeys so maybe thats at one end of the spectrum, others are at the other end.
Second, and probably more worrying, it has produced strings of invective and accusations against anyone who dares to mention a car, that ranges from, being ultra right wing, selfish, egotistical, addictive, lazy, easily taken in by political lobbies(something that all sides of the debate need to look at) and child killers. You can imagine that in a public debate it would degenerate into people being shouted down and intimidated.
Southwark Council's website now has information about the charge scheme. It says what Southwark are doing, how it affects people in Southwark and links to other websites for more info. This is the page: