Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Commuting hell - there must be a better way than the car? Not in Norwich!

Normally it takes me 20 minutes to commute to work by car. For 2 days a week, I need to drive because of childcare needs (one going to nursery and one to school, and pick up later).
Just now, I was on the A47 southern bypass in Norwich for an hour and 30 minutes. Clearly something serious must have happened as the road was closed next to the turnoff for Trowse, and I hope no one was hurt.
I abandoned the journey and came home, thereby wasting time, fuel and emitting CO2 for no real benefit.
Apart from the need to look after my children's needs, it would be great to cycle to work. The reality is though that for me, an unfit thirtysomething bloke, the 20 mile roundtrip along busy roads in Norwich, particularly now the weather is turning is not a tempting prospect.
If I had an electric bicycle, such as the ones a colleague let me know about at work from Gocycle, that might help, if I could be brave enough to get back on a bike saddle after about 14 years! The sad reality though is that the tipping point for me financially falls on the side of the car, and not via the Gocycle-To-Work scheme.
Public transport for me is poor. Park and Ride buses have a later timetable than the regular buses but of course, they have few stops and do not pick up fares on route. Instead I see them driving around Norwich virtually empty later in the evening, contributing to congestion, and adding fumes and greenhouse gas emissions.
This is madness.
At the moment, I have to look at what meets our needs and the costs, with the environment and the social considerations taking a back seat. Excuse the pun! ;-)

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