Top 5: Transport crazes


From time to time, a new way of getting around takes off, so to speak, and people find new – but not necessarily appropriate – ways of using our transportation systems. Here are our Top 5 transport crazes.

1) Don’t do this at home

Or anywhere else for that matter. In March, Transport Network reported that British Transport Police (BTP) had issued a safety warning for parents and children about the dangers of climbing onto the sides of trains – or ‘train surfing’. BTP were recording around two incidents a week.

On the other hand, if you are going to do this, do it at home. In 2013 it was reported that Edinburgh’s then unused new tram stops were providing the perfect setting for frisky couples desperate to 'christen them' before the £776m line went live. Of course, Sexual intercourse itself began in nineteen sixty-three.

2) Best foot forward

If you're going to San Francisco...don't use a Segway to get there.

Walking is undoubtedly old hat, not to mention far too simple, and many crazes over the years have tried to improve on it. From time to time, people go wild for rollerblades, roller skis, fold-up scooters, powered scooters (Segways), ‘hoverboards’ (illegal scooters without handles) space hoppers

3) It goes in cycles

The growth in cycling has been a bit of a bumpy ride lately, both going downhill slowly and increasing dramatically on the back of recent sporting success, but we should not forget that the activity itself began as a craze in the Victorian era.

Earlier this year,the Wall Street Journal reported that classic mopeds – a not entirely green improvement on the bicycle – were making a comeback with the telltale buzz of their engines heard everywhere from Brooklyn to Minneapolis to San Francisco.

4) Count on us

Adding one more wheel, the Reliant Robin is both a cult car and itself a victim of an unfortunate and not at all funny craze. The three wheeler was first built from 1973 to 1981 and again from 1989 to 2001. Aside from Del Trotter, it was reported in 2010 that James Holland, 24, had bought and painstakingly restored 28 of the iconic ‘plastic pigs’.

Mr Holland was keen to point out that presenter Jeremy Clarkson had not begun a craze of tipping the vehicles over, despite being blamed for a spate of incidents, but had only ‘introduced it to a new generation’. The Top Gear presenter had been filmed rolling the car on every corner he drove round, a stunt that he later said was ‘faked’, or at least set-up.

5) Peak car peaks

Peak car describes the hypothesis that car driver mileage per person has reached a peak, and will now begin to fall. Following the recession and the development of a more urban and environmentally aware society, the idea appeared to be very much in ascendency. 

However, the Department for Transport said this month that its work ‘concludes there is little evidence to confirm that car ownership levels or distance travelled per person have reached saturation…In recent years, aggregate car traffic levels have resumed growth’.

The issue is hotly debated still but if true, it would make the car perhaps the greatest of all transport crazes. Apart from the Sinclair C5 of course…

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