I was fortunate enough to be travelling south bound on the M25 as the northbound carriageway was snarled with stationary traffic and gloomy faces. One day I know I will be in that traffic and therefore I never laugh or mock those on the static carriageway. Car after car in an endless expanse of brake lights is claustrophobic and deflating at best and infuriating and depressing at worst.
So while shooting down the motorway something became apparent. Most cars had one person in well one person and maybe a briefcase or a sandwich. No passengers, children or stuff visible in the car. The fact that thousands of people each day travel in solitude has not just been discovered. There are lanes specially made for car sharers in America, companies promote ride shares and there is a drive for the use of pubic transport and ‘alternate travel arrangements’ during peak hours in and around cities. Cars clog up roads and in reality it is the empty space that we are all travelling around with that is the problem.
The exterior size of a car being 2 meters in width, 4 meters in length and 1.5 meters in height (2016 ford focus) and with over a thousand litres on space on the inside you take up very little of this size/space. So why use all this fuel, money and energy to move empty space around?
Lorries do not clog up the motorway in the same way that cars do. People in cars could be smaller and travel more efficiently and still get to their destination (Motorcycles). Lorries, motorcycles, buses and trains are similar is that they make the best use of the space available whereas cars waste it. Next time you are stuck on the motorway think about all of the space is being wasted. Just empty space that is stopping you from getting home. I am sure it will calm you down.
Compound this with the use of power that is produced by cars. Different vehicles have different engines, of course, but what the engine is pulling is very different. You as the engine as when on a bicycle you are propelling mostly yourself forward with the bicycle as a tool for you to travel more efficiently. Say the bicycle is 15kg (average weight of a large bicycle) and you are 85kg (average weight of a adult male) the power that you are generating is to overcome your own weight more than that of the bicycle. Similarly trucks cabs are designed to pull many times their own weight.
The power that a car engine is producing is to propel its own mass forward over that of the passenger. In this instance the individual being 85kg is a fraction of the weight of a car that weighs in at 1800kg (average weight of a car). Therefore you have this wasted energy pulling itself around. Cars have convenience over other forms of transport. But that convenience can become overshadowed when you are spending more time each day in traffic wasting time fuel and money. Of course you are not the only one there is all this traffic around!
Damn this traffic. Where are all these people going? Well the same place you are. Getting annoyed at traffic is an oxymoron. If you were not there then there would be less traffic. If the person in front of you was not there then there would be less traffic. If you are stuck in traffic the people behind you are stuck in traffic because you are there. It goes around and around. So what if you were not there? What if you were cycling or on a motorcycle? You would get to your destination quicker and the person who would be behind you would be that much closer to their destination. Be under no illusion if you own a car you directly cause traffic and pay out the nose for the privilege.
But we love our cars and rightly so. Cycling when feeling under the weather at 06.00 is not inviting. Buses run late and are expensive. Motorcycles have their danger and exposer to the elements. However, when you next come to a row of cars look in and around your car and wonder if you could of not taken the car this on this journey.