Chris Rea is going to have to have a rethink this year.
Anyone driving home for Christmas? I certainly won’t be enjoying the luxury of a well planned commute any more. Dodgy steel has put an end to that and quite right to. I am certainly no die hard environmentalist but could some good come of the nightmare Forth Bridge scenario? No? You’re probably right.
However, increasing the use of public transport could have some positives - but it will need some serious thought, particularly from those who are being asked to take up the mantle.
More carriages on trains...from where? Alternative bus and coach routes...how? Ticket prices? Staffing? It’s all going to take time, resources and manpower to achieve any level of acceptable service were it to remain a permanent state of affairs, and I am not optimistic that these are issues easily surmountable.
Luckily I am a recently converted train bod and the only real grumble I am going to have is sharing my daily journey with those lacking in basic train etiquette.
Very quickly achievable, you must, at the most basic level: keep yourself to yourself and refrain from smelling.
However, for some reason, lump people onto a train and it all starts to unravel. It is not acceptable to use my arm as a rest for any one of your belongings, or yourself; my feet have every right to occupy the space they are entitled to, regardless of my short stature; this is not an ideal opportunity to engage me in what you think is interesting conversation and no, I do not want to discuss the plot of my book, what I am wearing or where you are going. Hush your mouth.
Grumpy I may be, but at 7am, surely nobody is in the market for a leisurely journey?
Everybody is trying to get somewhere, for some reason, for a particular time.
The problem with this scenario is that folk who are used to their own space, smelling away happily in their own personal vehicles, snorting, coughing and talking whenever they please, have been plonked in amongst the rest of us.
Well practised at adhering to the accepted conditions of travel, those regular train commuters, and I hesitate to assume, also bus and coach commuters, appear nothing less than affronted.
Although, I am willing to share, for after swapping from the luxury of car travel recently, I have discovered there is something devishly delightful about the borrowed minutes the rail track ride gives me.
Permission to do nothing other than get home, it is pure novel-time.
Whether relegated to standing, scrunched into the luggage rack or enjoying the grandeur of an actual seat, the 50 minutes of escapism can be something close to bliss, admittedly in its most basic form.
Perhaps for some of those people, forced into the decision, will adopt the same attitude as I and continue on the same lines (apologies) when, or if, the bridge re-opens.
I hesitate to make light of the situation, knowing that for some, it causes a daily struggle but there must be a sliver of positivity amongst the mayhem, musn’t there?