Are you ever out of town on business and you stay with friends or family in the area? It’s convenient isn’t it when you’re dragged to London or something to not have to stay in a hotel?
Last night I stayed with at my sister’s house. The reason? I am visiting a sixth form college (for work – those accusations are entirely true, I do but it doesn’t mean I do anything about it) that is NINE miles from my house (which pretty much means it’s nine miles away from where I work). That’s right, NINE. Half of the people I work with probably live further away than that. It’s not even like there is particularly weak public transport*.
In fact the transport is considerably better now there is the Metrolink out to Ashston. Coming back after the meeting was a dream. It wasn’t so much the time it takes the tram, which is good, it’s the space in your standard Metrolink tram, you’re not squashed in like you are on a bus. And – I hope this doesn’t come out as sneering or snobby – is of particular importance when you’re travelling with people from Ashton.
I think it’s a real shame that the Metrolink hasn’t been a rip-roaring success. My analysis would be that because it’s not necessarily gone anywhere near some of the major parts of Manchester that suffer from congestion. And instead has gone to some backwater shit holes (Bury to Altrincham anyone?) It will be interesting to see what the effect of the mungbean salad brigade, Chorlton & Didsbury, will be. Hipsters travelling from the church to eat overpriced food off a bread board before having a pint of banana tinged ale will hopefully pour money into the Met.
A mass transit system is only as good as the middle class people who use it. If they’re going to be full of scum then they’re going to be horrible and nice people wont get on there through a [well] educated reasoning that it won’t be pleasant looking and listening to working class people when you travel back to the house that mummy and daddy paid the deposit on in South Manchester**.
*I mean its sub-par for in and around a major city but travelling from Stalybridge to Fallowfield is hardly a Siberian hike.
**Quite happy to admit I am made up by elements of each of the unrealistic stereotypes I am portraying.