“Commuters will soon benefit from smarter travel apps that offer cheaper, safer and more accessible journeys, following new government guidance launched today (30 August 2023) to ensure travel and navigation apps benefit all users,” according to a press release issued by Britain’s Department of transport.
Transport chaos in the air, by rail, and on the roads.
This is in the context of a country that has this week seen its air traffic control system collapse, leaving aircraft grounded and would-be passengers sleeping on airport floors with any assistance whatsoever from airport authorities or the airlines they have paid for their flights.
It is also in the context of a country in which its appallingly unreliable and horrendously expensive rail network is regularly being crippled by strikes. The next scheduled strike is taking place on Friday 1st September, and involves drivers represented by the ASLEF union effectively taking a long weekend. The drivers’ unions recently rejected a pay offer that would have left them on an average of £65,000-a-year – almost double the average UK salary.
ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan, who according to the Taxpayers’ Alliance took home £151,371 in total remuneration in 2021, has warned that his members are “prepared for years of strikes.”
Meanwhile, commuters attempting to drive into London to work will be hit by a daily charge of £12.50 under the much-loathed Mayor Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ initiative, which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and which is generally perceived as yet another source of income for his administration to fund projects that will curry favour with his own constituency.
It is difficult to imagine how an app will help to solve any of this. It is even harder to imagine how this or any other government will solve this.
Main image: By Oxyman – Own work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4047966