Ideas in motion - Southend council volunteer gives train commute the thumbs up

Easy travel – Heather Ffrench at the railway station

Easy travel – Heather Ffrench at the railway station

First published in News by

A SOUTHEND Council worker has backed its Ideas in Motion scheme, which helps people to ditch their cars and travel to work on foot, bike or public transport.

Heather Ffrench volunteered for the scheme and spent a week travelling to work at the council offices, in Victoria Avenue, by train rather than car.

The campaign aims to get people out of their daily rush hour routine to save money, get fit, make their journey faster or less stressful – or even all four.

Ms Ffrench used to enjoy her daily commute from Basildon by train, but fell out of the habit when she bought a car about five years ago, and said her week back on the rails was a pleasant change.

She said: “For a while I’ve wanted to try something different.

“I enjoyed the fact train travel seems to give you extra time you don’t get in your car. Overall I’d give my experience on the tracks an eight-and-a-half out of ten.”

www.ideasinmotionsouthend.co.uk/whats-new/my-week-on-the-rails/

Comments (7)

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9:05am Sat 10 May 14

Keptquiettillnow says...

So one week later she is back in her car.
So one week later she is back in her car. Keptquiettillnow
  • Score: 12

9:20am Sat 10 May 14

Nebs says...

All public transport should be free at the point of use, paid for out of general taxation.
All public transport should be free at the point of use, paid for out of general taxation. Nebs
  • Score: 9

10:53am Sat 10 May 14

heartbeat says...

Save money?????

Whenever I look at the option of using the train to go somewhere instead of driving, the tickets are more expensive than the cost of fuel. If you already own a car, which many of us need to for various reasons, then your insurance/road tax/depreciation etc. are already paid for so don't come into the equation.

I've just looked and a daily return from Basildon to Southend Central is £7.50. A 7-day ticket is £35.20 (would anyone who worked in Southend all week really be likely to want to come in on their days off?!).

There's no way my little car costs that much in fuel to run. Ok if you were daft enough to pay to park that would change things, but that's where exercise comes in. Park somewhere free and walk for 10 mins, just the same as you'd have to by getting the train to Southend Central and working in Victoria Avenue.

I'm not against public transport by the way, I am all for it but usually end up taking the car because both buses and rail travel are so expensive.

Obviously if there is more than one person in the car the costs to use the train or bus instead become even more ridiculous.
Save money????? Whenever I look at the option of using the train to go somewhere instead of driving, the tickets are more expensive than the cost of fuel. If you already own a car, which many of us need to for various reasons, then your insurance/road tax/depreciation etc. are already paid for so don't come into the equation. I've just looked and a daily return from Basildon to Southend Central is £7.50. A 7-day ticket is £35.20 (would anyone who worked in Southend all week really be likely to want to come in on their days off?!). There's no way my little car costs that much in fuel to run. Ok if you were daft enough to pay to park that would change things, but that's where exercise comes in. Park somewhere free and walk for 10 mins, just the same as you'd have to by getting the train to Southend Central and working in Victoria Avenue. I'm not against public transport by the way, I am all for it but usually end up taking the car because both buses and rail travel are so expensive. Obviously if there is more than one person in the car the costs to use the train or bus instead become even more ridiculous. heartbeat
  • Score: 12

1:52pm Sat 10 May 14

Thames Gateway says...

Nebs wrote:
All public transport should be free at the point of use, paid for out of general taxation.
Why?

Would you extend this philosophy to other services, for instance food in supermarkets, or airline tickets?
[quote][p][bold]Nebs[/bold] wrote: All public transport should be free at the point of use, paid for out of general taxation.[/p][/quote]Why? Would you extend this philosophy to other services, for instance food in supermarkets, or airline tickets? Thames Gateway
  • Score: 1

3:39pm Sat 10 May 14

Nebs says...

Thames Gateway wrote:
Nebs wrote:
All public transport should be free at the point of use, paid for out of general taxation.
Why?

Would you extend this philosophy to other services, for instance food in supermarkets, or airline tickets?
It's already massively subsidised, your ticket price only covers slightlly over half the cost of running the service, the government pay about 40 percent of the cost. Cut out the middlemen shareholders who take a chunk and the cost falls, take away the all the ticket machinery etc and the cost falls further. It would encourage people out of cars.
I would not extend it to food in supermarkets nor airline tickets. Airlines are a huge drain on the economy, brits take more money out of the country than visitors bring money in, which is a shame as with the right marketing that could easily be turned around.
[quote][p][bold]Thames Gateway[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Nebs[/bold] wrote: All public transport should be free at the point of use, paid for out of general taxation.[/p][/quote]Why? Would you extend this philosophy to other services, for instance food in supermarkets, or airline tickets?[/p][/quote]It's already massively subsidised, your ticket price only covers slightlly over half the cost of running the service, the government pay about 40 percent of the cost. Cut out the middlemen shareholders who take a chunk and the cost falls, take away the all the ticket machinery etc and the cost falls further. It would encourage people out of cars. I would not extend it to food in supermarkets nor airline tickets. Airlines are a huge drain on the economy, brits take more money out of the country than visitors bring money in, which is a shame as with the right marketing that could easily be turned around. Nebs
  • Score: 2

5:31pm Sat 10 May 14

emcee says...

I think the following questions need to be answered "yes" in order to get people to use alternative means to get to work (or anywhere else for that matter):

1. Is it cheaper than using a car?
2. Can it get you exactly where you want to go quickly and conveniently?
3. Is it more relaible than using a car?
4. Is it more comfortable than using a car?

To entice people to "ditch" their cars, there has to be a positive incentive to do so. However, I cannot see these incentives materialising any time soon. Sorry, Southend Council, you have a very "bicycle unfriendly" and "pedestrian unfriendly" town and as for your public transport strategy.... well, there doesn't seem to be one.

As for Ms Ffrench, if she really supported the scheme she would still be using the train, not just for a week. After all, anyone can do that, as is quite often the case when the car goes in for repair/service.
Quoted from the linked website (the bit the Echo conveniently left out): "I’d love to take the train to work on a more regular basis, but I think it might be tricky given I still need to pay for my car and can’t really afford both at the moment."
Says it all really. It not only makes Ms French's commitment to the scheme look rather pathetic but it makes for a rather pathetic non-story for the Echo to publish.
I think the following questions need to be answered "yes" in order to get people to use alternative means to get to work (or anywhere else for that matter): 1. Is it cheaper than using a car? 2. Can it get you exactly where you want to go quickly and conveniently? 3. Is it more relaible than using a car? 4. Is it more comfortable than using a car? To entice people to "ditch" their cars, there has to be a positive incentive to do so. However, I cannot see these incentives materialising any time soon. Sorry, Southend Council, you have a very "bicycle unfriendly" and "pedestrian unfriendly" town and as for your public transport strategy.... well, there doesn't seem to be one. As for Ms Ffrench, if she really supported the scheme she would still be using the train, not just for a week. After all, anyone can do that, as is quite often the case when the car goes in for repair/service. Quoted from the linked website (the bit the Echo conveniently left out): "I’d love to take the train to work on a more regular basis, but I think it might be tricky given I still need to pay for my car and can’t really afford both at the moment." Says it all really. It not only makes Ms French's commitment to the scheme look rather pathetic but it makes for a rather pathetic non-story for the Echo to publish. emcee
  • Score: 11

12:01pm Sun 11 May 14

Nebs says...

emcee wrote:
I think the following questions need to be answered "yes" in order to get people to use alternative means to get to work (or anywhere else for that matter):

1. Is it cheaper than using a car?
2. Can it get you exactly where you want to go quickly and conveniently?
3. Is it more relaible than using a car?
4. Is it more comfortable than using a car?

To entice people to "ditch" their cars, there has to be a positive incentive to do so. However, I cannot see these incentives materialising any time soon. Sorry, Southend Council, you have a very "bicycle unfriendly" and "pedestrian unfriendly" town and as for your public transport strategy.... well, there doesn't seem to be one.

As for Ms Ffrench, if she really supported the scheme she would still be using the train, not just for a week. After all, anyone can do that, as is quite often the case when the car goes in for repair/service.
Quoted from the linked website (the bit the Echo conveniently left out): "I’d love to take the train to work on a more regular basis, but I think it might be tricky given I still need to pay for my car and can’t really afford both at the moment."
Says it all really. It not only makes Ms French's commitment to the scheme look rather pathetic but it makes for a rather pathetic non-story for the Echo to publish.
I like the idea of positive incentives. At the moment there only seem to be negative disincentives. Actually, only one negative disincentive, tax. But because all the other forms of transport are putting their prices up more than the tax on cars it just isn't working. You could be forgiven for thinking that they don't want you to take the train.
[quote][p][bold]emcee[/bold] wrote: I think the following questions need to be answered "yes" in order to get people to use alternative means to get to work (or anywhere else for that matter): 1. Is it cheaper than using a car? 2. Can it get you exactly where you want to go quickly and conveniently? 3. Is it more relaible than using a car? 4. Is it more comfortable than using a car? To entice people to "ditch" their cars, there has to be a positive incentive to do so. However, I cannot see these incentives materialising any time soon. Sorry, Southend Council, you have a very "bicycle unfriendly" and "pedestrian unfriendly" town and as for your public transport strategy.... well, there doesn't seem to be one. As for Ms Ffrench, if she really supported the scheme she would still be using the train, not just for a week. After all, anyone can do that, as is quite often the case when the car goes in for repair/service. Quoted from the linked website (the bit the Echo conveniently left out): "I’d love to take the train to work on a more regular basis, but I think it might be tricky given I still need to pay for my car and can’t really afford both at the moment." Says it all really. It not only makes Ms French's commitment to the scheme look rather pathetic but it makes for a rather pathetic non-story for the Echo to publish.[/p][/quote]I like the idea of positive incentives. At the moment there only seem to be negative disincentives. Actually, only one negative disincentive, tax. But because all the other forms of transport are putting their prices up more than the tax on cars it just isn't working. You could be forgiven for thinking that they don't want you to take the train. Nebs
  • Score: 0

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