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An interesting article, sparking thoughts of a Mad Max type future, what is interesting is the definition of '[insert type of poverty here] poverty', such as fuel poverty. So if the definition of '[insert type of poverty here] poverty' is 10% of income being spent on [insert type of poverty here], then I must be in beer/motorbike/gadget poverty
Access Denied: Transport Poverty in Wales | Sustrans
It's a daft measure as are most of these classifications of poverty. Using it probably puts most of the population in food poverty, since their total cost of all food and drink consumed will be well over 10% of income. The more someone spends on ample quantities of high quality food, the more they will be in food poverty, which is ridiculous.
This sort of classification can only work on residual income, and that can only be known when there's a full specification of excluded essentials, like food, clothing, housing etc.
The unanswered question posed in that article is whether all transport is an essential.
However, it's not the real problem. The real problem is the poor economy of Wales and it's inability to afford all of it's residents adequate, well rewarded employment which would enable them to afford universal public or private transport and better living standards.
One of the problems in rural Wales is the distances involved. 5 miles to get a loaf of bread, 15 miles to the pub and no public transport at all.
Is part of the solution, for people susceptible to 'transport poverty', to create communities that are either self sustaining in remote areas, through co-operation, or not to send people out into remote areas in the first place and keep them in the cities where adequate infrastructure already exists?
Does our modern society allow for co-operation any longer? Is it really a transport issue, as Flecc point out is all transport essential?
I think in our modern society, that unless communities become more co-operative and begin to help themselves then these issues will remain for rural areas.
Maybe Sustrans should be appealing to the authorities to provide funding to educate rural populations in ways to be more co-operative to solve transport problems rather than relying on government to spend tax payers money on schemes that may or may not be used by the communities they are aimed at.
There appears to be nothing in the Sustrans literature that relates to educating the people it is targeting, it all appears to rely on the authorities doing it all!?!?
Last edited by eTim; 9th March 2012 at 00:34.
Good ol' Sustrans
Sustrans is one of many similar 'charities', all of whom are primarily employers, not providers. Ask anyone who has approached Sustrans with a suggested low-cost improvement to a junction to improve cyclists safety. Sustrans will always reply with a thousand reasons why it cannot be done.
The blog entry below exposes Sustrans in a far more eloquent way than I could, it sums up my own view precisely.
In case you missed the link....
This is the blog entry I meant to link too.
Originally Posted by Blew it
Large numbers of villages in England are in situations no different from Wales. For many years they've been losing their pubs, post offices, banks and village shops, so many have none of these and little or no public transport either.
Originally Posted by eTim
The residents of quite a few villages have banded together to re-establish their village shop which they either run themselves or subsidise a couple to run full time. In some isolated instances pubs have been saved or re-established in these ways too. Also by all or most using the same bank, that bank can provide a mobile bank visiting once a week, Nat West being a leader in doing that. Post Office provision remains a headache, but village shops can sell stamps and online postal services are available.
So co-operation as you suggest Tim is an answer to many of these ills without the need to transport people. Ultimately in the longer term it's inevitable that we will all have our travelling curtailed anyway, so they can be the pioneers of a forthcoming lifestyle, especially now that broadband services are finally being extended to rural areas by various means.
Yes, I've seen the news reports where villagers have co-operated in this way. What strikes me though (and my info has come from media reports rather than verifiable stats) is that the people within the communities that do co-op appear to be in the middle classes rather than the lower/poverty classes which is where most charity efforts are directed.
Originally Posted by flecc
I don't want to start a class war here, but is the reason for this because the middle classes are more generally better educated, more affluent, more self-starters than the lower/poverty classes? Is the psychology of the co-op villagers such that they are better positioned to think and do, to help themselves out of certain situations, whereas the lower/poverty people lack the education/means/willpower to do this for themselves and therefore rely on the charities/state/the almighty to help them?
9th March 2012, 12:28
The people in those villages are by no means all middle class or even highly educated, but they do have enough with those elements to be self-starters. There's also a strong element of local pride in most English villages which helps.
Certainly the last sentence of your post is very true.
Perhaps as a result of their 20th century experiences, I have noticed considerable negativity expressed in Wales, in both towns and villages. One thing that concerns me is the wholesale implementation of the Welsh language, presumably based on engendering pride. It may do that to an extent, but I think it also promotes a separatism which is unhelpful in our modern unified world where most are rushing into English language use to better themselves. The time spent learning Welsh in schools could be better spent, and unlike other language learning, it has no economic purpose or future employment advantage.