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Should we be investing in public transport?

Public transport is always quite low down the list of priorities for any government. Roads and cars took precedence from the 1960s onwards over any form of public transport and the old public transport infrastructure of trams and trains was dismantled. But now that the roads have filled up and we are traveling ever more public transport has become more necessary once more. But if we want public transport it has to be paid for. In a recession we do not seem to be able to afford it and are cutting numerous projects. Should we keep investing?

All the Yes points:

  1. the recession will go, our public transport will remain
  2. businesses need transport to remain cost efficient; we need good business to get out of the recession
  3. it is the environmentally friendly thing to do
  4. it is the only way to stop our lazy nation from driving
  5. it will boost the tourism of London
  6. businesses need to transport their goods.
  7. Crossrail should steam ahead
  8. Both major London terror attempts were associated with public places and public transport
  9. We need to prepare for London 2012 Olympics

All the No points:

the recession will go, our public transport will remain

Yes because…

The recession is only a temporary(Booms and busts are all part of the business cycle in economics) phenomenon. People have to fasten their purse strings a bit. People have to watch what they spend and they have to be more shrewd in their business choices. The Government has to be more shrewd in how it spends public funding.

However, this recession will pass. It makes no sense for the British government to cut costs from the public transport sector when those infrastructures we lay down now will last longer than the recession which will pass on its own.

No because…

You are deluded if you think that this recession will lift of its own accord. Britain is now 890,000,000 G.B.P in debt [[April 2010; http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/uk-economy/uk-national-debt/%5D%5D.

Temporary is not necessarily a short time. Cuts need to made to squeeze this recession into a short-lived one. We’re not suggesting, doing away with public transport; just cutting down on unnecessary costs. To achieve a bit of economic efficiency if you will.

Cuts need to be made. Plans need to be delayed. To coin the headline of this point in our terms; the transport is already there, the money is not.

businesses need transport to remain cost efficient; we need good business to get out of the recession

Yes because…

In recession, businesses suffer. Equally, businesses suffer from bad transport. If we have a bad and untimely transport system, people are late to work. This costs British economy money and valuable GDP (Gross Domestic Productivity). This is not the only way in which businesses lose out due to poor public transport.

A lot of people use public transport and if it is no longer reliable will have to resort to cars which will lead to (heavy)traffic(jams) and pollution. Both of which we don’t need.Leading to furthermore workplace inefficiency(e.g.Coming Late to work,coming to work flustered driving on busy road=bad temper).

Prospective employees are daunted by the prospect of long hours of commuting in poor spaces. Therefore, they will apply to jobs closer to their homes. Therefore employers to catch the best employees would have to buy more expensive plots of land which have the best transport links. Like that of central London.

If we had a better infrastructure and transport systems businesses could begin to spread themselves out of large cities and thus become more efficient as they spend less on land costs.

No because…

People are willing to travel these hours, therefore businesses do not lose out on employees. People get the best pay in the city and the cheaper housing in more sparsely populated areas. This is what people want and they are willing to travel for it.

In 2009 it was estimated that in Britain, people spend 21.8 million hours a day(which incidentally, only has 24 hours; this figure is the approximate number of workers multiplied by the hours they spend in going to and coming from work) traveling to and from work, [[http://www.tuc.org.uk/work_life/tuc-17223-f0.cfm]]. They are willing to do this on the infrastructure that exists; what benefit is there in expanding it?

“Prospective employees are daunted by the prospect of long hours of commuting in poor spaces. Therefore, they will apply to jobs closer to their homes. Therefore employers to catch the best employees would have to buy more expensive plots of land which have the best transport links. Like that of central London.” – this makes very little sense because the best employers are already in central London; it’s ’employees’ that need to buy expensive homes/apartments to move closer to work not vice versa.

Homes in commercial areas everywhere in the world tend to be more expensive than homes in the countryside/suburbs; precisely because there are businesses,offices,markets,shops, and schools in the vicinity.

Whether we develop the transport system further or not; cheaper homes entail longer commuting hours(as they are further off from commercial areas). Some people appreciate the journey.

it is the environmentally friendly thing to do

Yes because…

It is ridiculous that whilst we are being encouraged by the Government to drive less, recycle more and be more environmentally responsible. They will fly abroad and attend meetings on how to attain these goals, yet they will not take the first step in their own country. Providing efficient transport. Currently old inefficient trains and buses are being used. These are not only slow but damaging to the environment. If we invested in the transport system we would see a vast improvement in the world around us. Trams have proven to be extremely efficient. They create less CO2 emissions and they do not create as much noise pollution. It is for this reason that the transport system should be invested into.

Walking and cycling are only viable travel options if you live close to the business. Given the densely overpopulated nature of cities, finding affordable properties in this area is nigh impossible.

No because…

If people move/live closer to businesses they are likely to walk/cycle more.

Adding a tax on road traffic pollution can mean less traffic on the road and the government cashing in on it(win-win).

On the other hand road traffic isn’t the biggest polluting-transport culprit ; it’s air traffic.
Humans exhale carbon dioxide; car exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide.

Actually; the more we promote civilian marathons; walking/running/cycling longer distances becomes more and more feasible as does a marked amelioration in general public health.

if the reason for opting out of public transport is expenses then buying a car running on petrol makes no sense. Reiterating; cutting down on development costs does not mean no more public transport system. People who live afar and use the tube ;will be able to continue doing so, after development costs are cut. However; other more ecologically friendly means of travel are further encouraged.

it is the only way to stop our lazy nation from driving

Yes because…

Currently too many people drive. There are too many cars per household and too many people drive for short journeys. Appealing to people’s inner eco-fighter is clearly not working. The continually rising price of petrol has also had little effect on people’s driving habits. Drivers would rather make cut back elsewhere than on their driving costs. Why? Because the transport system is so inefficient. There are not enough convenient stations. There is not enough reliability in public transport. The conditions are not sufficient. These three issues need to be addressed in order to prevent people from driving and save the environment.

The NO side is right to say that we are in a serious crash of the economic system. But this is not an argument against mass transit. People are not lazy because they drive; they are faced with jobs and stores which are too far and unaccessible by mass transit, in its current pathetic state. Government priorities are certifiably psychotic: spending most tax money on predatory war and ways to police people when they desperately step over legal boundaries to stay alive, but on the other hand lie prostate when corporations and banks steal billions, and spend a token to fulfill their mandates of “providing for the common welfare” (which I assume is in most constitutions). The pitiful state of mass transit is just one telling sign that people everywhere have no say in their governance.

No because…

Why do we want people to stop driving? We are fighting tooth and nail to keep our motoring industry open. Why would we want to entice Britain’s drivers away? There is no consistency in the ideology of these concepts. We want people to drive, your argument fails to establish why we want ‘lazy drivers’ to stop driving.

Counter: Public transport also runs on petrol(petroleum/gas); the only ecological advantage it brings to the table is that many more people can fit into a bus/train/metro than a car(so every commuter’s carbon footprint potentially becomes a smaller fraction of what it would be if they were traveling in a smaller vehicle: the erroneous assumption behind this notion is that both travel options are completely packed whenever used) .

Practically: people can buy vans and car-pool to achieve the same results in terms of carbon emissions per person(each individual’s carbon footprint). Buses/metros are rarely filled to the rim yet they run everyday at every half hour or hour thus realistically cause more pollution than cars.

it will boost the tourism of London

Yes because…

Think of various cities in the world that tourists travel to. Hong Kong. New York. London. Paris.

What do they all have in common. Vast mass transit systems. Paris has trams, Paris has the Metro. The stops are so close together and yet people still cram onto these units. Tourists still want to visit these units. They will pay to suffer the cramped conditions. This increases revenue! Not only for the transport system but by drawing people into the city in the first place. Then we come to London.

People visit from all over the world and they want to use the Underground. New York, the subway! Traveling downtown, uptown, west end, east end. It is the transport that brings tourists/international-foreign-students-faculty in. In order to boost tourism we should invest in our transport. This will bring in long term profits; this is a lot more than the short term benefit of making cut backs.

No because…

Once you have seen one train you have seen them all. The London Underground is a national asset. Tourists come to view that national asset.

It started construction in 1870. The history of the tube is what attracts people, not the fact that is a mode of transport! Tourists will visit Britain for the London Underground, not some newfangled system we make.

Tourists who want guided tours pay extra for them.(guided tours are not included in public transport),Tourism companies are private enterprises(or can be).While Margaret Thatcher’s investment in the tertiary sector paid off; more investment in it will not change things much; since Britain boasts of proliferating throngs of tourists anyhow. Tourists care more for their security than inexpensive quality transport. Going to the island by ferry or air isn’t the cheapest enterprise by any count. Once there cutting down on transport costs is silly to say the least( save a penny lose a dime?)

The ones that bother to understand the tube system(and it is complicated for non-London-ers; even if they are British) are coming to have a taste of the real London and are willing to sweat and toil for it.

businesses need to transport their goods.

Yes because…

We forget that it is not only people that need transportation, but also goods. We need to be able to transport goods across the country with as little cost attached to businesses as possible. We need to be able to have cheap land costs where goods are produced with efficient transport to take the goods to where they can be sold. This is the essence of a good infrastructure. A networking of supply and demand. It is by no means a coincidence that the greatest cities of commerce are centered around good transport links. Historically the water was the greatest mode of transport. This is why big cities are all near water. Docks. Rivers. Even London is based upon the river Thames. In order to maintain commerce we need to maintain transport. This is the philosophy the government should take.

No because…

Businesses can use Fed-ex (private not public) and maybe start their own transport systems raking in cash for new/old businesses, employees etc.

Corporate Vehicles/Vans/buses/taxicabs can pick up employees/goods/utilities working/used in their regional offices from different parts of each respective region; this costs money,yes but not to the government. It creates jobs(pay van driver), adds profit to the motoring industry(buy van) and thus improves the economy.

Mineral water companies drop off bottles and filters at different offices; they have their own transport they don’t use public transportation.

Crossrail should steam ahead

Yes because…

The Crossrail Act received Royal assent in 2008. So much careful planning had gone into this. The amount of time that this would have taken, and money means that we should plow ahead with these plans. To start making cutbacks in this area would only result in more financial loss. However, if the Government are wise and continue with the development, they could see a return of 36 billion G.B.P [[http://www.crossrail.co.uk/]].

No because…

Development in other areas holds precedence.And privatization does not cork development in other areas.

Wants are limitless we need to prioritize/prioritise our needs to efficiently allocate limited economic public resources.

Both major London terror attempts were associated with public places and public transport

Yes because…

Which means that public transport reforms are necessary for a safer London (thus England thus Britain).

We must not let terrorists believe that tuba stations are easy targets better(yet time efficient) security checks need to be placed.

Generally leaving bombs on buses,taxis,trains,airplanes/ aeroplanes/subway-stations/tube-stations/M.R.Ts/bus-stations as such is fairly common.

No because…

Both attempts were averted.

More than anything else, in these failed attempts (in London and N.Y.C respectively); civilian policing(a form of legal cooperative vigilante justice) has saved the day.

Terrorists (by using smart bombs/weapons) can outsmart security checks even if expensive/better ones were to be put in place, but they can not outsmart old men who decide to chase them because they look fishy or pedestrians who report smoke coming out of a car on the street.

We need to prepare for London 2012 Olympics

Yes because…

London Olympics 2012 – we need to improve our transport system to decrease overcrowding on the existing infrastructure. Currently, throughout the day the conditions on the tube are appalling and frightful. Overcrowding at tube stations is a particular concern considering the threat to safety. With the London Olympics on their way, we need to improve the transport system to avoid a gridlock situation. There will be more people wanting to travel across London whilst these games are continuing and our current transport system will not be able to deal with the added demand.

No because…

The British government does not pay for the Olympics(funding is mostly derived from sponsors,advertising and tickets). The Olympics are run by an entirely privatised/privatized Olympic committee and funded by sponsors/advertising.

If the O.D.A (the only government-related London 2012 Olympic organization) has concerns about security or transport it’s their responsibility to pulverize these(as they’ll be losing profit if people don’t attend because of security or transport concerns) and they have provided thousands of temporary jobs involving construction and transport [[http://www.london2012.com/get-involved/jobs/jobs-at-the-oda/index.php]]; match that with 70,000 unpaid volunteers and there’s nothing to worry about. [[http://www.london2012.com/get-involved/jobs/index.php]]

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