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The cost of living

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moneywalletIn recent years, whenever I’ve heard about the fare increases for the tube/buses, I’ve always taken the news with indifference.  It is almost expected that the train fares will increase with each passing year.  I have never thought too far into what the money is going into as the services are still the same albeit bearable.

This year is different however.  The weeks leading up to the announcement of yet another fare increase, there were several debates on the conditions of the underground system as well as the new legislation being discussed to put automatic speed monitors into every new car being manufactured.  Being someone who both uses the public transportation system as well as owning a car, I’ve been dismayed by the information I’ve been receiving.

The current mayor of London is someone who enjoys cycling and believes that most Londoners should do the same.  He is a firm advocate for cyclists increasingly calling for new road measures to ensure their safety and comfort on the roads.  I have no problem with that.  What I do have an issue with is the fact that the Mayor seems to see the ordinary road user as the problem and so is working on imposing penalties on those who do not choose to cycle in and around London.

Cyclists do not have to pay road tax.  Cyclists do not have pay congestion charge. Motorists do.  Even with the already stringent fines imposed on us, there are more still in the works and no room to voice our concerns or disagreements.  Every opposing voice out there isn’t against climate change or working actively to reduce our carbon footprint. Congestion charge is increasing and MPs are discussing new monitors that would be fitted into a car to issue out fines if the driver goes over a certain limit.  For those who no longer drive, you are not safe neither from Big Brother.  You have to deal with inadequate train services, overcrowding and unacceptable running issues with fare increases added as a bonus.

I was reading an article written by the Mayor to justify the increases and I must say I was far from pacified at the end.  I completely understand that the current public transportation system that we have is far superior to most in other western countries.  The problem is that it is hard to enjoy when it is so broken and nothing works as it should.  The extortionate prices we have to pay would be bearable if this money was evidently going into projects where the effect is felt.  The current state of the underground for example means that I can’t go without a car.  Most lines are not operational over the weekends and those that are undergo ridiculous delays.  This is an on-going problem and my patience is beyond tested.  I keep hearing promises from politicians that things will get better but they just need a little more money.  Well I’ve been giving and the return on interest is beyond pathetic.

In a society as advanced as this, it is understandable that we would need to pay towards our cost of living but the price paid is now a constant yoke.  Where is the respite promised not so long ago? Regardless of the political party, the tune sung is the same.  I cant stop the fare increases coming in January but I wonder if there is anyone else out there who is wondering how far this is going to go before voices are raised in protest? I’ll pay more but the current infrastructure has got to change and if it isn’t, give me my money.  No more handouts Mr Mayor – lets see some action please!

2 Comments »

  • susan said:

    Im converting my car into a hot air baloon, lets see them try and make me pay road tax

  • bryan said:

    When I’m in charge things will be different…watch this space

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