Rich People must come first on transport says lecturer

This got right up my nose this week: a Lancaster University lecturer has declared rich people should come first on matters of transport.

Law lecturer Richard Austen-Baker, who works at Lancaster University’s law school, took magazine Private Eye to task this week for “being taken in by the public transport lobby”, arguing in favour of abolishing bus lanes – a move Birmingham and Ealing councils are in the process of making.

In a letter to Private Eye Austen-Baker, perhaps reflecting the University’s continued lack of transport strategies, resulting in huge car use that helps to choke Lancaster’s one-way system in term time, argues that ”People… use public transport because they can’t afford private transport. On average, bus passengers who are employed at all (many are pensioners, students and schoolchildren or the unemployed) earn far less than car users.”

Clearly Austen-Baker thinks these people are second class citizens compared to car drivers, arguing “their time is less valuable to the economy.
“It therefore makes no sense whatever to give them priority over people in cars.”

Austen-Baker obviously has it in for public transport, claiming arguments for it are based on “misrepresentations”. Perhaps he’s been stuck behind a bus pumping out “horrible emissions in large doses once too often” once too often on his way to work during term time, obviously unable to notice that most of the traffic causing jams in Lancaster are his fellow lecturers and students driving to the University, despite the huge number of buses laid on by various privatised bus companies.

There’s only one “horrible emission” I can definitely see here — and it isn’t a bus.

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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