Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Friday, October 30, 2009
I'm away for a couple of days from this evening to enjoy the Halloween delights of Pontins, Brean Sands.
Still on the holiday theme just a few reflections on our previous trip to Majorca.
Majorca is investing heavily in its transport future with a rebuilt railway network, new metro and planned tramways. Everything is switching from road to rail, as it should.
Majorca is, of course, primarily a tourist destination and much of its economy depends on visitors, an excellent reason for providing cheap, modern and efficient public transport. But it's also an island, and this may cause real problems in the future. Almost all visitors currently arrive by air, but air travel is doomed, no matter how much we don't want it to be.
Whilst resorts on the mainland will be served by high speed rail in the future there's no such future for Majorca - the island simply lies too far off shore to be connected by tunnel. So visitors in the future will need to arrive by boat. Will people bother? If anything Majorca will have to make itself even more attractive so investment in public transport is likely to increase.
We had a comment the other day from a group in Majorca that are opposed to the extension of the Manacor line to Arta. They are quite seriously suggesting buses can do the job! To be fair to them they are not anti public transport, and think the money that will be spent on the Arta line will be better spent elsewhere. But they obviously haven't had their Peak Oil Moment yet. How exactly will buses carry freight? How will buses tempt travellers from their cars? They haven't anywhere else in the world, so what will be different in Majorca? Trams tempt people from cars, as do trains. Trains and trams can carry freight. They are also not subject to congestion.
The line to Arta will be built, as will the proposed branch to Porto Christo. The anti rail group are 100% wrong.
But then there are still people who think the Earth is flat!