my refusal to wear a bicycle helmet

my refusal to wear a bicycle helmet
...is informed

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Public transport & energy policies go hand-in-hand

All too often these are replaced with...


...these with scant apology for routine inconvenience exacted on railway passengers


All too often we depart from the wrong side of railway stations...


...leaving stations via their streetscapes


The way our state of New South Wales treats us is indeed a parlous 'state' of affairs...

Today I sampled a menu of their public transport options as I embarked upon (what ought to have been) an uneventful journey from Scone to Sydney.

Oh boy!, you know things are grim when you automatically check the internet for trackwork rather than automatically rely up on the much vaunted train timetable!

...and so it was that today was a 'trackwork-by-the-bucketful' day with a quick little trip on the Countrylink train to Muswellbrook first up followed by 'motion-sickness-inducing' buses to Sydney

There is no escaping the fact that our public transport is tokenistic & badly managed, and that little has been done over the past 16 years to redress grievances...

...but what really annoyed me whilst reading their website was how far into the future their projections of trackwork had been estimated...

* how is this possible?

* why are our tracks so fragile?

* why are corporate coal-train timetables never disrupted?

* why are corporate coal-trains never shunted like our passenger trains?

* why are our railway passengers so inferior to corporate coal?

...and you know what caps it all off? - there are no provisions for bicycles in this menu of public transport options unless they are dismantled and boxed-up - nope, I'm not kidding!!!!! - this is Australia.

The interminable trackwork & incessant marginalisation of railway passengers clearly demonstrates that a broad comprehensive energy policy is all talk & very little else...

...no wonder Australia has dropped off the global tourist's radar; unless you hire a car, there's no way of getting round this great big sunburnt country of ours...

Where the bloody hell are you, Tourism Australia?

- there's a role here for you in this quest - join us today!!

8 comments:

  1. We get the same crap treatment in Brisbane.
    - Entire lines closed for the weekend (as if commuters are the only ones that use the train).
    - Railbus as a substitute with no provision for bicycles
    - limited or no parking for bicycles at train stations

    Government seems to only care about 'commuting' to/from work when it comes to non-car transport... Sad.

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  2. It's downright disgusting!!!! - hate it

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  3. You useless eater hippies should stop whinging and get jobs.

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  4. ha! ha! - just might!!!

    (PS though, what's an 'eater hippy'?)

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  5. Not eater hippy; useless eater. It's a derogatory term of the banker/industrialist/elite social engineers for people who aren't contributing sufficiently to the cartel profit margins. A surplus serf.

    The term is only applied to humans, however, not cute and fuzzy animals who need protecting, like polar bears who earn an honest living ripping the heads off baby harp seals.

    Yes, I have been taking extra cynicism pills lately, why do you ask?

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  6. Ahhh! kfg, now I get it!!! - your powers of observation are deadly accurate

    - go the 'extra cynicism' pills!!!

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  7. As an advocate for Disabled Sport these past 14 seasons i have had the unfortuate experience of breaking helmets when hitting the deck in both high speed and low speed falls !
    Here in Austria children this year have been compelled to wear helmets when cycling for the first time although the use on the Snow Piste has been in effect for some time .
    When i see people wearing their helmet on their handlebars i am reminded of Leontin Van Moorsel falling in the Olympic Road Race(she does not know why) and Brad Mac Gee(nor he) in the Tour de France alongside his team car . So accidents happen and people have "bad hair(blood stained) days" when nothing goes well .
    Drive your car after you have had a few drinks or forget to renew your insurance and sure enough you wish that you had your time over again.
    Yes wearing a helmet is a choice , but trying to save people a visit to casualty is the Governments' responsibility ! Too many are inconvenienced by bad luck and "there by the grace of God" !

    Last time i was in Scone was riding the bike through from Queensland to Sydney but i guess the infrastructure remains just as difficult as then.

    Enjoy your blog , hope we can exchange links .

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  8. Thanks for dropping by, parrabuddy, great to read your comments.

    With regards to cycling and Government responsibility, apart from providing us with sound infrastructure and perhaps even some education for our motorists on how to drive amongst cyclists, I don't feel governments do have the right to interfere with individual life choices in such situations where citizens are clearly not endangering or threatening the lives of others.

    Interestingly, Governments are very happy to observe from the sidelines as their voters get progressively 'fatter' and 'drunker' and 'smokier' without stepping in despite the abundant and agreed upon expert evidence pertaining to the perils of these life-threatening conditions.

    Given that the 'academic jury' is still out on the efficacy of bicycle helmets, current legislation is flawed, contradictory and blatantly commercial. We deserve better than this as adults in charge of our own lives and those of our children - we deserve the freedom of choice to be able to decide whether to helmet or not.

    Fancy you having been to Scone!!!! Sadly you are spot on with your surmising - infrastructure is definitely still difficult and possibly now even more so.

    For some insane reason our local council and the RTA decided to install traffic lights and remove our beautiful roundabout - there was no necessity nor requirement to do so. The townspeople were united in their disapproval, yet our council disregarded the notion of representative democracy and bulldozed ahead with their 'troglodyte' plan to bundle up all road repairs and maintenance into the NSW RTA funding bucket - sigh! - what is it with governments and appalling decisions??

    Lovely to hear from you & happy to exchange links anytime.

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