Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Irresponsible commuters

Utter disbelief was what I felt when I read this BBC magazine feature (The new commuter belt). That people would even consider commuting weekly or almost daily to work by plane and that the article seems to be treating such a practice as acceptable just boggles the mind. I can understand if you plan to live in Lille and travel daily to London on the Eurostar, but to do so by plane from Barcelona?

Sure London may be a expensive but you can easily move to a town just outside Greater London. If you are desperate for more disposable income then walk or cycle to work. I just could not imagine people would even consider commuting by plane to work. My only hope is that oil prices continue upwards and that the Treasury considers implementing a huge aviation tax.

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10 comments:

howsy said...

Crazy people!

But no! Don't increase budget airlines' fares! I wanna go backpacking!

Jon said...

Personally I don't mind taking a slight hit in airfare ticket prices but people who travel daily or weekly will feel the pain almost immediately, especially those whose prime reason was to save money in the first place.

A better way is to create a solution to punish heavy travellers. Either way such practice should be discouraged and monerary punishment seems to be an ideal solution.

jamie said...

Maybe it's not a question of saving money. It could be that he/she can't uproot his/her family and is travelling back and forth so often just to be able spend as much time with them as possible.

andrew said...

I don't really think it's crazy. I'm not sure how the situation is like in London, but sometimes traffic congestion can be a real pain in the arse. So living in a town outside London may not be a good idea.

Tube, walk or cycle? It can be expensive, stressful and tiring... Compare that to having a short nap while travelling on the plane.

So don't just call them crazy, they may have good reasons to justify what they are doing...

Jon said...

If you read the article the reasons given was cost cutting. Some people may have good reasons (family), but then they shouldn't have taken a job hundred of miles away should they?

Traffic might be a pain but the best solution is to cycle or walk. Both are stress free (in my experience), and good for exercising the body. Air travel on the otherhand is stressful (again in my experience).

Tube travel, while on the rise, is pittance compared to traveling on the plane (which actually includes hidden costs of taking the train and/or tube from the airport). Plus the people running the Tube has made huge efforts in getting their parts of the operations to use renewable energy:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tube/downloads/pdf/reports/environmental-report-2005.pdf

jamie said...

Re. working hundreds of miles away. Sometimes, people don't have the luxury of a choice. My dad, for instance.

Jon said...

Understandable situation as a friend of mine from Greece is in a similar position. He travels monthly.

Still such things should be discouraged especially those who are doing this for economic reasons (eg. moving to a place warmer and cheaper).

andrew said...

Ok, now I see where you're coming from. So you are against them because of environmental reasons?

The thing is, how to discourage them? Ask them to find another job? Give them more allowance so that they can stay nearer to their office?

I don't think anything could discourage them, unless the price of air travel increased dramatically. But that's not something good for everyone of us too... LoL!

Btw, regarding your point about walk and cycle...yes, they are beneficial and healthier for commuters, but then again, who wants to walk or cycle to work if they stay miles away from their workplace? And what about the influence of the weather (cold winter, hot summer, etc)?

urban londonist said...

People do it all the time (ie. walking and cycling). I live seven miles away (Willesdean) from where I work (the City) and I cycle to work all the time. If I can do it, people can.

Jon said...

I think fuel rise is the only way to discourage them. Aviation fuel is currently the only fuel not to be taxed (in the UK).

The rise in petrol prices seems to be working and more and more people are willing to commute by train/tube/bikes.

Of course I wish TfL would just get of their arses and create more cycle lanes in London!