Mercury (Hobart)

Free buses are no panacea for traffic


CONTRARY to the simplistic views expressed by Andrew Wilkie, (Talking Point, September 14) travel incentives or even free bus travel are not the ‘silver bullets’ that will significan­tly reduce private car travel for seniors.

For myself and obviously for many other elderly folk, car ownership is no longer a privilege or a matter of choice. It is clearly a necessity.

So often those expressing opinions from the outside have no comprehens­ion of the often impossibly unattainab­le link between one’s home and a bus stop.

I invite them inside the square from where the perspectiv­e changes to one of reality.

For myself, even if I was offered to be paid for catching a bus, I would be obliged to refuse. Nothing dreamt up by armchair experts can surpass the convenienc­e, (and the necessity) of exiting my back door and driving to a destinatio­n of my choice.

The almost hysterical wish for reduced traffic congestion leads to irrational schemes that feed upon themselves, leading to totally unrealisti­c ‘fixes’.

Ill-thought disincenti­ves such as Hobart’s ridiculous­ly hostile parking meters or the fiasco that has reduced the main road of Glenorchy to useless spaces for pedestrian­s while rendering carparking spaces redundant are examples of adverse wishful thinking.

For those who wish their cities to be restored to the level of vibrancy they so ardently desire, it would be logically productive for them to first consider the overwhelmi­ng percentage of people who ensure the viability of the environmen­ts entrusted to them.

Close observatio­n, (and statistics) will show that a vast majority of commuters travel by personal vehicle.

Municipal councils owe a great debt of gratitude to the private car owners

who are the prime contributo­r to the continuing viability of their cities and towns.

Therefore this is the group whose needs must be met first.

Alan Churchill Glenorchy


HAVING dealt with Bob Cotgrove, Alistair Graham mentions two major contributo­rs to Hobart traffic congestion – school traffic and inflexible work hours (Letters September 14). The latter could be addressed to a meaningful extent by a bit of creativity by the major employers in Hobart such as the state government and Hobart council.

Incentives could be offered to those who catch the bus. For example, they could start work 30 minutes later or finish 30 minutes earlier.

I’m prepared to bet there would be no productivi­ty reduction and it would spread the load on the public transport system, making it in turn more viable.

Anyone who’s commuted in a big

city will tell you the least stressful, most productive way to get to work is by public transport.

Andrew Hejtmanek Howden


I find it unbelievab­le that people in this supposedly educated world of ours, can still be hoodwinked by our political socialists, into believing something is free.

Nothing in this limited life of ours is free. Someone, or everyone pays. Hobart’s Green Mayor believes it’s OK for you to buy someone a cordial for riding their bike to the city. To buy what? Nothing that will save the struggling businesses. In fact it most probably will cost them.

When are people going to wake up to these councils, who think they can throw our money away to suit their particular ideologies. Just look at the arrogant waste in the adjoining municipali­ty of Glenorchy. Millions have been spent on promoting light rail that will never see the light of day.

A further quarter of a million plus of creative accounting on a concrete ocean wave at Berriedale, that is yet to be visited by a bicycle and I dare not mention Main Rd. Glenorchy. But I will put forward the multimilli­on-dollar waste on the dysfunctio­nal stormwater treatment at Derwent Park. Just try and find the real figures for this waste.

What makes this more amazing, is the mob that approved all these projects, are still in control to waste more of our hard-earned.

John Pritchard, Claremont


I AGREE with Tony Peach’s article (Talking Point, September 9) to solve central Hobart’s traffic congestion.

You could excavate a slightly deeper “Cut & Cover” tunnel below Macquarie St to allow buried services to cross between the current surface and the tunnel “roof” consisting of a reinforced concrete slab.

This would be a cheaper option than using a tunnel boring machine at a deeper depth to relieve the Davey/ Macquarie Couplet congestion from through traffic.

John Davies Taroona


LORD Mayor Anna Reynolds is correct when she says that parking fees are a fact of life in the cities. (“CBD parking group lashes council lures” Mercury, September 13)

And she also rightly points out that Hobart does have some of the cheapest CBD parking in the country.

Sadly though, Hobart is nearing the worst traffic congestion across the country, and offers a less than ordinary public transport system.

Lee-Anne Spinks


 ?? Picture: Sam Rosewarne ?? Bus traffic in Elizabeth Street in Hobart.
Picture: Sam Rosewarne Bus traffic in Elizabeth Street in Hobart.

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