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Train versus the car

PUBLISHED: 12:07 31 December 2007 | UPDATED: 19:21 05 July 2010

I WOULD like to tell readers about my recent experience driving to and from Stevenage.

I had intended travelling by train. Unfortunately on the Saturday there was a lot of bus substitution due to engineering works.

I WOULD like to tell readers about my recent experience driving to and from Stevenage.

I had intended travelling by train. Unfortunately on the Saturday there was a lot of bus substitution due to engineering works. I could not be sure my bike would be allowed on the buses so I conceded to driving. Firstly, the outward journey was no quicker than had the trains been operating normally. Also, a train journey would have been without the stress of finding my way round a congested town I was unfamiliar with.

The road past the hotel I used is an urban dual carriageway. To get on the right road for the return journey required a u-turn on a nearby roundabout.

It should not be difficult to imagine the amount of traffic on that urban dual carriageway at 8.15 on the Monday morning. To do the u-turn I needed to be in the outside lane, which it was impossible to get into without being aggresive and dangerous. I had visions of having to drive to Hitchin to join the A505 adding considerably to the distance. As luck had it the next roundabout wasn't far. Again, I could have caught a train and have been home around the same time.

While stuck in the traffic queues around Stevenage I thought of M Breach's comments that it's the 21st century and we should not go back to the "horse and cart".

It struck me that the best way back to the horse and cart is to continuously build roads creating more congestion. Almost certainly the road was made a dual carriageway because it was thought it would ease congestion.

I suggest that to travel at 21st century speeds we need to stop building roads to actually drive faster overall and improve rail infrastructure. Much of the current engineering works on the railways are due to years of neglect.

I don't want Lowestoft to be like Stevenage.

JOHN THOMPSON

Dell Road

Oulton Broad


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