Whatever happened to innovation and progression?
The answer to our packed roads yet again is to provide billions of pounds to increase road capacity, in particular the ever jammed A27 which stretches from Portsmouth all the way to Peacehaven on the South Coast.
We have a myriad of electric cars or hybrids which run on electric and petrol yet the uptake is slow and no one seems intent on making the switch any quicker from petrol to electric and I don’t know about you but I rarely see charging points for cars at service stations.
Even bus travel is ancient in many respects. The idea of mass transit is surely beneficial but where private companies run the services the prices are in places extortionate. Even less financialy beneficial than owning your own car and we know the kinds of costs involved there. Many people spend a huge portion of their wages on running their cars. Why have costs still not come down despite the fact we have reached beyond the tipping point of car ownership?
Meanwhile our railways are increasing their prices year on year yet many people experience nothing but delays, cancellations, ‘ram-packed’ services or generally poor facilities in an industry that relies on profit before anything else. The government meanwhile invests in routes that will bring further prosperity go the South whilst claiming it will be ‘good for the North’ when what people really want is investment in local services in the North but with £50Billion alone spent on HS2 what investment will there be for the forgotten Northern towns?
Travelling by plane has developed somewhat in terms of comfort and facilities if you can afford the high prices but the reality is most people fly budget airlines where possible and the days of Supersonic flight passed with the fall of Concorde.
Consider that we are constantly told that we are just years away from the point of no return in regards the damage to the climate, consider that the population is ever increasing and consider that the wallets of the populous are being ever squeezed by rising prices and stagnating wages.
This repeat behaviour has been happening for decades and here we are no further down the line despite some advances in technology. What have we been doing all this time? Why have we come no further down the line. At some point something has to change or we risk concreting over more and more of our land with rail and roads and we will continue to pollute our skies.
What do we need for progression to occur, at a much faster rate?
We need money spent on innovation and energy research, we need the greatest minds we have to come up with a cheap, reliable transport solution that doesn’t involve ripping up our current infrastructure layout. Some countries are making slow progress in terms of alternate travel but like any new technology breakthrough, it’s always expensive for a long time until the uptake becomes a cost benefit situation.
Trouble is, no one is prepared to spend the money. After all, until someone finds a solution and makes it financially acceptable then we could be pumping money into nothing for a long while. In the long term though it must be clear that we need something better. Cheap. Clean. Reliable. Most of all though it has to be innovative.
Jeremy Corbyn may be the most radical hope we have for the future in our political system right now but even he is talking about nationalising the railways and not anything new. Sure, he could be the greenest prime minister we ever have, but those policies are in the long grass right now with the fight he has on his hands just to get elected. In all it means two things;
One, that no-one is coming to save our transport issues anytime soon and we are destined to continue this cycle for many more decades yet.
Two, that the term ‘radical’ still has yet to be pinned on anyone in politics. ‘Radical’needs to happen for progression. We have not seen radical for decades and decades. Radical was flying to the moon and back. Radical was Supersonic flight. Radical is not repeating the same mistakes again and again.