Wednesday, 20 November 2013

How Not To Travel

On the Tube the advertisements are hard to miss, one said £200 rail fares, £15 Taxi, £12 coffees and 30p to spend a penny.  Then why travel?  It was for a video conferencing internet site, a sort of Skype for business.  This is the firm powwownow offering a free level, a paying medium level and then a premium service.

Already, I have mentioned a contact needing to do international video conferences and business at our place.  It took about three hours and then we enjoyed a sociable evening before they took their laptop the few blocks home.

Yet we are being told by lobbyists and interested parties that quite fantastic sums and efforts are needed for many new runways for air travel never mind special rail lines for business men.  Just how much of that business travel is going to be there?  Already it seems to be tailing off.

The claim is then being made that tourism will grow so much.  But will it?  Will the disposable incomes of the last couple of decades be there in the future?  Also, the internet has made available images etc. of so many places.  Do I really want to make all that effort to go to Machu Pichu when it is fully online? 

And what if the world becomes a more dangerous place.  Where the tourists are is too often where the crooks, pickpockets, muggers and others are.  There are signs that some favoured areas are now becoming riskier by the year.

Lastly, there are all the information exchange and research reasons for travelling about, perhaps more local than long distance.  Even so, now I spend little time even going to the local library, never mind up to London for research. 

When we do travel by train out of peak commuter hours, often it seems that a good many are travelling only for reasons of non essential consumer spending or entertainment.  How long is this sustainable?  Moreover there seems to be an age gap with the younger much less in evidence.

In the 1950's the government were still thinking of personal travel largely in terms of the patterns of the 1920's and 30's.  The Dartford Tunnel under the Thames was only single carriageway. Since then there has seemed to be the same kind of time lag in the awareness of the future realities.

There are all the signs that transport policies are being based on patterns of the past because that is what the big companies only know which means that is really all the government knows and they all think it will go on forever as it has been.

Nothing is forever.

1 comment:

  1. "Just how much of that business travel is going to be there? Already it seems to be tailing off."

    Interesting question this, one I've been mulling over for some years. What if video conferencing becomes more and more realistic - 3D for example?