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Author Topic: Public Transport users - please be patient for another week or two.  (Read 747 times)
grahame
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« on: July 03, 2020, 12:26:27 pm »

This weekend, we see pubs and restaurants starting to reopen.  And yet we see public transport operators and government telling us to use trains and buses only if we "need" to.  That's not because it's dangerous to travel on public transport; with social distancing, masks, cleaning, and still-limited services, it's because of limited safe capacity.



For those of us who use public transport and who have been essentially "shut in" for over a hundred days, it is frustrating to see those who have their own transport able to move around freely in England, while the rest of us are told not to unless there's a need.   It's doubly frustrating to see public transport services being substantially stepped back up, and people with a liberal and unintended view of the word "need" taking up capacity where others of us are still holding back as requested. 

Some, but not all, of the pubs and restaurants near us are opening up tomorrow or within a week or so, and I suggest that if you "need" a pint of beer, you walk into town. Not only does that support the local businesses, but it gives you a first gentle step out, and a chance to try what's going to be a very new experience of socially distanced eating and drinking out.  And by sticking local and walking, it saves you any temptation to drink and drive, which remains illegal over a certain limit, and remains dangerous.

Come 6th July, the x76 bus returns. Come 12th July, our Sunday train service is back.  Come a change in bus timetables expected sometime during July, the full 271/2/3 service will come, bring back evening buses from Bath.  For your first adventure out, even if you have a car, why not choose local.  Come August, you'll know more what you're doing, and there will be more options too.

Summary of public transport in Melksham as from 4.7.2020 at http://www.mrug.org.uk/coronavirus.html . Timetables for all public transport in one place (all four operators!) at http://www.mrug.org.uk/timetable.html .
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2020, 02:09:02 pm »

This weekend, we see pubs and restaurants starting to reopen.  And yet we see public transport operators and government telling us to use trains and buses only if we "need" to.  That's not because it's dangerous to travel on public transport; with social distancing, masks, cleaning, and still-limited services, it's because of limited safe capacity.

For those of us who use public transport and who have been essentially "shut in" for over a hundred days, it is frustrating to see those who have their own transport able to move around freely in England, while the rest of us are told not to unless there's a need.   It's doubly frustrating to see public transport services being substantially stepped back up, and people with a liberal and unintended view of the word "need" taking up capacity where others of us are still holding back as requested. 

Some, but not all, of the pubs and restaurants near us are opening up tomorrow or within a week or so, and I suggest that if you "need" a pint of beer, you walk into town. Not only does that support the local businesses, but it gives you a first gentle step out, and a chance to try what's going to be a very new experience of socially distanced eating and drinking out.  And by sticking local and walking, it saves you any temptation to drink and drive, which remains illegal over a certain limit, and remains dangerous.

It's clear you're not a fan of the word 'need'.  When does 'needing' to do something, turn into a 'pressing need', or an 'urgent need', and so at what point does it become acceptable? 

I interpret it quite loosely.  If I needed to visit my gran, because I haven't seen her for months, and I didn't have a car - then I would say that is a totally acceptable train journey to undertake, trying to avoid peak times, without breaching any rules or guidelines.  If I had a car, or I saw her last week, then the need to use the train is much less, so I would say that would go against the spirit of the word 'need'.  Unless of course she wasn't well in which case there might be an 'urgent need' to visit her - which again I would say is acceptable.

It is open to interpretation, but what alternative word or phrase would you use?  Alternatives include 'have to' or 'want to' or 'must' - all of which are equally open to interpretation, and surely it's impossible to try and clarify 'need' any further producing a list of reasonable reasons to use the train?
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2020, 05:42:56 pm »

It's clear you're not a fan of the word 'need'.  When does 'needing' to do something, turn into a 'pressing need', or an 'urgent need', and so at what point does it become acceptable? 

I interpret it quite loosely. ...

You're correct in this context.  Very open to intepretation - too much so, perhaps, as your example went on to suggest.   And perhaps what would be better at this stage is something a little 'sharper'?

Quote
It is open to interpretation, but what alternative word or phrase would you use?  Alternatives include 'have to' or 'want to' or 'must' - all of which are equally open to interpretation, and surely it's impossible to try and clarify 'need' any further producing a list of reasonable reasons to use the train?

Good question.  "Essential" was defined a bit better, but is tighter; "Necessary" comes to mind.  AndI remain concerned at headline busy loads on certain City services while many people are put off many journeys because they don't have the "bottle" to claim need ... I should go out tomorrow, purely on foot, and see if - as I suspect - most local journeys could still be offering 3m spacing or more.    Difficult one ... earlier this week, the Daily Express reported that Wilshire was one of the counties that had experienced a spike and thus was potential for lockdown.   Yeah - up from 1 to 4 new cases across a population of 450,000.   So much guesswork, lies, damned lies and statistics at the moment, but underneath it playing Russian roulette with real lives.
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Marlburian
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« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2020, 05:54:54 pm »

...  Difficult one ... earlier this week, the Daily Express reported that Wiltshire was one of the counties that had experienced a spike and thus was potential for lockdown.   Yeah - up from 1 to 4 new cases across a population of 450,000.   So much guesswork, lies, damned lies and statistics at the moment, but underneath it playing Russian roulette with real lives.

Several councils had to rush out statements about being named in league tables of localities facing potential Lockdown.

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« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2020, 06:24:26 pm »

It is open to interpretation, but what alternative word or phrase would you use?

Quote from: Grahame
Good question... "Necessary" comes to mind.

The first definition of ‘necessary’ in the Google dictionary is ‘needed to be done’.   Wink
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Clan Line
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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2020, 06:35:10 pm »

Several councils had to rush out statements about being named in league tables of localities facing potential Lockdown.

Wlitshire Council was pretty quick off the mark on that front too. To show how grossly inaccurate the Express story was - the day after the story was printed the list of reporting areas in England did show Leicester at the top with an infection rate of around 150 per 100,000 population - Wiltshire was almost at the bottom with a rate of 1.2 !!  An almost bigger problem was that the Express story was then spread (and amplified) on social media.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2020, 07:34:10 pm »

Its all your own faults for reading the Express...

Did they work Princess Diana into the story anywhere?

Wink
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Marlburian
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« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2020, 09:15:49 pm »

The Daily Express has form.

"Daily Express diabetes and coronavirus deaths headline is misleading."

Perhaps the inevitable public enquiry/enquiries into the pandemic might look at the role of mainstream and social media?
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Trowres
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« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2020, 09:18:46 pm »

The current guidance has no reference to "need" or "essential" when considering public transport:

Quote
You can help control coronavirus and travel safely by...considering all other forms of transport, such as cycling and walking, before using public transport

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers#private-cars-and-other-vehicles

But...
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Children on public transport
Where travel is necessary, consider whether children could walk or cycle, accompanied by a responsible adult or carer, where appropriate.
(my italics - the only use of the word "necessary" in the guidance)

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Clan Line
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« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2020, 12:45:36 pm »

Its all your own faults for reading the Express...

Did they work Princess Diana into the story anywhere?

Wink

I don't read the Express - somebody pinned the "scare" map from the article on a notice board.

Princess Diana ? where have you been ? Some blokes called Andrew & Harry now !!
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TonyN
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« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2020, 09:54:43 pm »

Goverment guidance has been updated again today

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers#public-transport

Only reference to "essential" now is in:

Quote
Only travel into, out of and within areas under local lockdown if your travel is essential.
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