Policy-Based Evidence-Making in a Nutshell

It’s so patently transparent it’s laughable.


Oh? Do tell? An independent study is that? Oh…

A study by Dr David Lewis, the man credited with inventing the phrase “road rage”, will be used as a major part of the Greener Journeys campaign.

Claire Haigh, a spokesman for Greener Journeys, said the findings might persuade drivers – who were already concerned about excessive CO2 emissions – that travelling by bus had health benefits as well as environmental ones.

“A survey found a fifth of motorists would be prepared to swap to public transport for reasons to do with the environment. Just one double-decker bus can take 75 cars off the road considerably reducing emissions levels,” she said.

Do I even need to dig into this absolute bollocks? The chances of a double-decker bus being 100% occupied by people who would otherwise each be on their own in a car?

Occupancy levels in city centres are an indication of this, and in one survey of city centre bus occupancy (four cities in Scotland), occupancy varied from 40% in the later morning to 80% in the morning peak.

And in London

average car occupancy in London is 1.6.

[The mayor’s] action plan does not spell out what he will do to improve London Buses’ low bus occupancy of 15, i.e. the average bus only has 15 people on it.

And certainly a proportion of those people will be those who can’t drive or don’t run a car.

I don’t think there’s much need to rehearse the other reasons why bus travel may be more unpleasant and stressful than driving. Namely the travelling public, in all their smelly, noisy, retarded glory.

It’s no coincidence that on the day of the last tube strike in London, Twitter was awash with people hating their experience with buses.

If it’s worse than the London Underground, it’s Pretty Fucking Grim.

I’ll leave you with a quote from a co-conspirator.

Driving not more stressful; At least when I am travelling in my own car I am quite happy for the man next to me to put his hand on my thigh




10 thoughts on “Policy-Based Evidence-Making in a Nutshell

  1. Saw this story too this morning. Dr Lewis is one of the leading lights in neuromarketing .. .. .. and the study is being used by Greener Journeys an organisation run by, and solely for the purpose of promoting, bus companies. I’m guessing a nice article in the Telegraph is cheaper than paying for advertising.

    • “I’m guessing a nice article in the Telegraph is cheaper than paying for advertising.”


      “Dr Lewis, who is a psychologist, author and broadcaster…”

      They forgot to add ‘and bought and paid for.’

  2. Clearly he hasn’t had the ‘pleasure’ of travelling with some of the bus drivers in London.

    ‘the findings might persuade drivers – who were already concerned about excessive CO2 emissions ‘ – so that would be none of them then…

    ‘Just one double-decker bus can take 75 cars off the road ‘ – and quite frequently do…

    ‘the average bus only has 15 people on it.’ – and they are getting really sick of riding round in buses…

    ‘when I am travelling in my own car I am quite happy for the man next to me to put his hand on my thigh’ – on a bus, not so much…

  3. Buses … bleh. I don’t drive and even I will do anything to avoid using the peasant wagon. Full of screaming, swearing creatures as a rule. It’s usually quicker to run than getting a bus and clearly they can’t even begin to compete with a bike.

  4. Piffle. Being in control of where/when and how you get to your destination takes 99% of the stress out of the trip. Try being stuck on a bus twenty tyards from your stop , stuck in a jam, but unable to get off the bus becuse ‘elf n safety’ wont allow the foreign bus driver (some english probably as a fifth language) to open the doors between stops. Thats stress for you.

    I’ve been held up in traffic but when I’m driving I can change route instantly and bypass jams. There’s little (car based) thats more satisfying than that.

  5. The comparison here is utterly disingenuous. London is different. It has (a) a low rate of car ownership and (b) a low rate of car use. It of course has the Tube map which is quite frankly how a lot of people understand London geography probably including folks born and bred there so they go underground. Anyway, what’s this about double-deckers. Did Tsar Ken banish them in his great leap backwards or something. Christ they’ve got those bendy fucking things in Manchester as well and they don’t work. They are not designed for British roads. I’ve seen them nearly take out pedestrians on the sidewalk when the arse-end swings round.

    And congestion. OK… That’s fecking buses. There are way too many on “popular” routes because they subsidise ’em. I was in Manchester during the Gay Pride parade and obviously roads were closed. After that I saw a line of 9, yes 9 buses and not a single car down one street. I appreciate that’s unusual circs and all but you see similar things on the A6 all the time. And they drive like lunatics. I’m not blaming the drivers. I suspect the companies have them on unrealistic schedules because of the congestion caused by (of course) buses. I once almost went through the windscreen of a 192 after paying my fare because he started without letting me get back at all and started with an alacrity last seen in the take off run of an English Electric Lightning Interceptor. Personally I found that quite stressful.

  6. It seems to be assumed that there actually will be a bus starting where you want to start, and finishing where and when you want to finish. It further seems to assume that you are not carrying anything heavy.
    Round our way it seems to assume that you find it relaxing sitting on a succession of buses for half a day transferring both yourself and your luggage from bus to bus, rather than spend forty five minutes in a car.

  7. Pingback: Longrider » Another Driving Story

  8. In a car I am master of my own journey
    In a car I can wear a seatbelt to make my journey safer.
    In a car I don’t have to put up with smelly people, people with MP3 players chinkitty-chinkittying away in my fucking ear, or mobile phones, or blackberries, or endless fucking text messaging
    In a car I don’t have to put up with squealing children, scruffy uneducated students, fat people, old people.
    In a car I don’t have to walk half a fucking mile to wait for a bus which drops me a fucking mile from where I want to go to, at any time as long as it’s one of the two times a fucking hour that the bus is scheduled.
    In a car I can travel with a laptop without having to sit it on my lap the whole fucking way because there’s no secure storage available. I can also travel with more than two bags because I don’t have to carry them at the same time.

    But you know what, the other reason I take a car rather than a bus is because (in my town) my doesn’t cost me fucking £2.80 return to travel just 2½ miles across my town. In addition if I travel with a chum in the car – he goes free instead of being charged £2.80 as well. Fancy that!

    Fuck the fucking bus. It’s for poor people who would use a car if they could afford it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.