5 December 2006

Kingston Area Travellers' Association

I have been a member of Kingston Area Travellers' Association (KATA) since it was formed in 1991 as I am a passionate believer in, and heavy user of, public transport. I have not owned a car for some years (since I gave my IBM company car back at the end of its four year lease) and have never thought seriously about getting another one.

Public transport in London is pretty good and getting better, particularly the buses which are growing in numbers of routes, frequency of service and hours of operation. The train service from Richmond to London is very good too with a frequent and fast service. All this means that I don't have to think about which bus or train to aim for in the morning as there are plenty.

Good as this is, Prague was better! In the mornings I had as many as three buses in a minute and the buses took me to Zelivskeho which was a stop on the metro and tram routes. The metro only had three fairly short lines but the trains were very fast so you can get into the town centre quickly. The trams meander more so the whole city is well served and so getting around is simple.

I use public transport on holiday (no hire cars either) and I am particularly fond of the trams in Bratislava and Riga and the trains in Denmark, Germany and The Netherlands.

Hopefully the increasing investment in public transport in London (partially funded by the Congestion Charge) will make things even better here and give us a transport system worthy of one of the world's major cities.

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