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Thursday, May 20, 2004

Commuting......the life sentence

Debate about the daily grind

Not quite sure how I got this email (although it's a lot more relevant than the ones I get about member enlargement, staying hard, overwhelming spam and hitchikers getting banged), but I was given a final reminder that there's a debate tonight on the following:

"The one aspect of the daily grind that is guaranteed to provoke an opinion is the commute to work. Congested roads, overcrowded trains, packed buses and sweaty tubes - it's been said that if travel broadens the mind, commuting shrinks it back. At 46 minutes, on average, Britain has the longest commute times in Europe. So why do so many of us continue to do it?

These days drivers are often condemned as selfish cloggers of the urban anxieties and public transport is portrayed as a more responsible alternative. But is commuting by public transport better by commuting by car or is commuting itself a problem? This debate investigates whether commuting is a symbol of our anxious times, conveying images of time-poverty, pollution, selfishness and stress, and asks how we can envisage things
getting better."


Sounds interesting and I agree about the overcrowding in a major way. I was going to give up commuting at one point and move out of town. At another point in my life I was falling asleep regularly on the Piccadilly Line (whenever I got a seat) and literally dragging myself around the tube like a zombie and again I thought I'd had enough.

My journey into work now takes anything up to an hour and half which is ridiculous. Blogging helps in a way in that I try now to keep awake in the morning and watch people around me and look for anything to make the commute less of grind. But it is a grind, there's no getting away from it. We do shuffle along into the tube, or buses, or trains like the living dead. It's not a great way to start your day. I can be an foul mood for a fair while after a shitty journey in and that can't be good for me and certainly not for the first few people I mutter or grunt at in the office.

Tonight I'm going out see Vernon Kay do a studio recording of a new music and comedy quiz show, so won't be going to the debate, but if anyone has eight or six quid to spare and fancies going along to The Museum of London
check out the website.


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