For anyone who has had the need (or misfortune) to travel around London, using public transport is the norm, indeed it is accepted as being the most viable means of travelling, particualrly for those unfamiliar with London streets. So why do people’s opinions of public transport change when they go on holiday?

Living on the Isle of Wight and working with tourism businesses to become more ‘sustaianble’ the questions is often asked by myself – ‘why are more people not using the buses and trains?’. And I know the answer – the 3 C’s – Cost, Convenience and Contempt!

Having just looked at Transport for London’s web site, a weekly travel card for London (zones 1-4) is a staggering £36.80! (Southern Vectis weekly ticket is only £20), so cost should not be an issue.

So how about convenience? Most SV routes operate at reguar times past the hour (exceptions during rush hour, but if everyone travelled by bus who could, then there would not be the congestion) – get a timetable! All major routes operate late into the night as well.

Contempt – well, a couple would not baulk at the idea of getting the tube ot the West End for shopping or to see a show, so why not in the island?

So, is it time to break the car habit? I think so. With recent announcements by the IOW Couincil that car parking charges and passes are to increase and with continually rising petrol prices, taking the bus is becoming more and more economically viable, and once the Car-Free Scheme gains popularity, getting discounts where you use the bus or train will make it even more appealing.

So go on, get on the bus and be chauffer driven to your destination!

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