Sunday, March 16, 2008

motors & machismo

this blogger has a confession to make. I'm permanently a few weeks away from learning to drive. at various points I've felt that it might help me get over the speed bump of procrastination to commit to driving an automatic. but this admission to compatriots has lead to furrowed brows at best, and questioning of masculinity at worst. ( and that was from a women ) this came into my mind when considering the passionate relationship between the Irish and their cars, and how to bolster the use of public transport in Ireland. its an issue for which the government receive a lot of flak but for which, in Dublin at least, they are in a chicken and egg situation. Congestion charges are a good idea in principle, but they would have to be introduced in tandem with an increase in public transport provision. and even then, do we know for sure that people will get out of their hermetically sealed automobiled bubble. Shane Coleman astutely pointed out in the tribune recently that dublin bus is a much maligned service, but you suspect that without huge motivation to change ways, that message falls on unreceptive ears.

the government are manfully trying to roll out public transport in the regions, but an aside to a recent news story struck home. an elderly gentleman was killed a few weeks ago when his car was struck by the Ballina to Manulla Junction train. apparently the driver of the locomotive and the ONE PASSENGER were uninjured.

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