Ever tried commuting by road from the banlieues of Paris to the inner city? Good luck with that. Picture the scene: gridlocked roads, the ever-reddening faces of irate drivers and passengers, the poor soul whose aircon has packed up and whose coffee has taken a nosedive into their lap. According to the Inrix Global Traffic Index, Parisians spend an average of 65 hours a year stuck in traffic. That’s a lot of time spent staring at exhaust pipes and wishing that the radio wasn’t so inane.
And that’s not the only downside of commuting by road. The emissions generated by idling engines are a major contributor to global warming. As the global interest in the latest carbon neutral voyage over the Atlantic proves, this is no longer a fringe issue. Commuters increasingly care about reducing the carbon footprint of their trip to work.
Surely this would be enough to make anyone wish for a different transport method? Maybe, but wishing for change won’t help anything – finding a suitable substitute will. Sadly, across many European locations, the alternative option of rail travel isn’t necessarily that attractive either.