Saturday, 11 July 2015

I understand Edinburgh has

a tram line again. I wonder what people think of that? Do the locals use it or is it seen as a sort of quaint thing for the tourists?
We have a tram line here too. It goes from a beach side suburb to the CBD and then a little further on to something called "The Entertainment Centre".
Although used it is not beloved by many of the locals. Downunder drivers tend to dislike anything they perceive as "getting in the way" of them getting from A to B as fast as possible. 
So why is the state government even considering extending the tram line to other places? The lines were there once of course. They were ripped up when buses became more common and were needed to travel to far flung places. 
Add to that the state government wants to extend the O-bahn, the guided bus track, a short distance into the city. It will, they assure us, save about three and a half minutes on the journey from the northern suburbs. The three and a half minutes is unlikely to eventuate because of problems with the traffic at the city end. Commuters are not interested. The O-bahn is not accessible to anyone who needs a mobility ramp and the extension would ruin a  much loved and well used section of parkland.
Because of the access issue I sent off a very short "submission" in the form of a question to the parliamentary committee which is investigating why and how the government made the decision to extend the O-bahn. I can see now I should have waited a couple of days and added the access to trams issue as well.
You see, the trams are supposed to be accessible. They are in some places but not in others. Trams simply should not block traffic for the time it takes to lower the ramp and allow one or more people to get on or off.  People with vision impairments do not want to step out into the traffic unaided. With buses it is different. Buses pull into the curb. People don't have to worry about traffic as they get on and off. 
I have already had requests to "say something" from a range of people with mobility and vision disabilities. But why should I have to say anything at all? Why is the government so  hell bent on making it more difficult for everyone to get around? 
I just wish they would do the sensible thing and extend the train lines. Everyone can use those, including me!

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