QUOTE(barry-clari @ Dec 18 2011, 12:17 PM)
I live in Greater London : and it has to be said, although there are woes, generally public transport is good in the capital, and has been for some time. We've got Crossrail coming, plans for more expansion of the DLR, the New Bus for London, an extension of the Metropolitan line in Hertfordshire and other plans I can't immediately recall.
I do think we should have spent more in the rest of the UK while we had the good times : the Metrolink extensions in Manchester are welcome, but I'm hard pressed to think of anything else significant. Why doesn't, let's say, Birmingham/West Midlands have an extensive tube network like London? Why are we thinking of cutting rural bus routes? All very short sighted...
I live in a fairly rural area, public transport isn't bad if you want to go towards central london, have a senior citizen's bus pass so don't notice the cost per journey, aren't in too much of a hurry etc. I don't really see my car as a luxuary.
Spending on public transport in London is a necessity - if there were even more journeys being made by car than at the moment the capitol would come to a complete halt. However, it should be matched with similar spending elsewhere in the country.
I believe that the main reason that B'ham/West Mids doesn't have a tube network is that the underlying geology isn't suitable (though I may be misremembering geography lessons from a few decades ago when we were discussing this very question). The public transport in Brum though is probably the best I've ever used. Frequent busses, quite a lot of local trains, the tram going out to the Wolverhampton area and fares that are a lot lower than for equivalent distances around here. Not perfect by any stretch of the imagaination but could be a lot worse.