September 21, 2023

Bargain bus trips save the pennies and the planet | Letters

It isn’t as good as a Luxembourg-style free pass, but the £2 cap on bus tickets in England and Wales has been a boon for Nicola Baird. Plus letters from Tim Mansfield and Simon FowlerI loved reading Steve Rose’s article (All aboard! Can Luxembourg’s free public transport help save the world?, 20 September) as he travelled 62 miles across Luxembourg on public transport for free. It’s not quite the same in generosity or vision, but, since the spring, English and Welsh rural buses have capped journeys at £2. “Get around for £2” has saved me heaps – and felt really good value.If only it was as well promoted as the new range of e-vehicles. Sadly, the £2 bus cap ends on 31 October and then it will be £2.50 until November 2024.Nicola BairdAuthor, The Estate We’re In: Who’s Driving Car Culture? Continue reading...
September 20, 2023

All aboard! Can Luxembourg’s free public transport help save the world?

In 2020, in a bid to cut carbon emissions, Luxembourg made all its public transport free. But what is it like to use? And why are there still so many traffic jams? I took a trip to find out ...It’s not quite John o’Groats to Land’s End, let alone Florida to Alaska, but undertaking an end-to-end expedition across Luxembourg has its advantages. The first is that you can do it in a morning: it’s about three hours by public transport. The second is the journey won’t cost you a cent. That’s right – total cost for two buses and two trains, travelling about 60 miles: zero euros. Since March 2020, all public transport in Luxembourg has been entirely free to use. While elsewhere in Europe rural bus routes are disappearing and train travel can be more expensive than driving or even flying, Luxembourg has taken things in the opposite direction: improving its transport services and dispensing with fares altogether, with a view to easing traffic congestion, reducing inequality and meeting climate targets. As a very small and very wealthy country – the richest in the world if you look at GDP per capita – you could say Luxembourg has it easy, but could this initiative work in other parts of the world? Does it even work in Luxembourg?I set out on my trans-Luxembourg odyssey one summer’s morning, with not a euro or a care in the world. All I really need is the journey planner on the government’s easy-to-use Mobilitiéits Zentral app. Continue reading...
September 8, 2023

Talking Horses: Aidan O’Brien faces tough Irish Champion Stakes field

Trainer’s main contenders Auguste Rodin and Luxembourg have questions to answer at Leopardstown on their recent formAidan O’Brien has won the Irish Champion Stakes for the past four seasons and a record 11 times in all, but his main contenders for this year’s renewal at Leopardstown on Saturday both have questions to answer on their recent form and the value may lie elsewhere.Auguste Rodin has won the Derby and Irish Derby on two of his four starts this year but has been bitterly disappointing on the other two, while Luxembourg – a narrow winner of this race 12 months ago – has struggled to reach a similar level of form since. Continue reading...
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