I am fairly lucky in the mornings with the short journey I have to take. I travel five miles with virtually no deviation or turn offs until I reach my school. I travel along an A road, and there are no roundabouts to overcome. However, every day, on my way to school and my way home, I suffer along with scores of other drivers, from sitting in traffic queues caused by buses and bikes.
Along the length of the A road I drive there are bus stops every few hundred metres, however, there are only about three of these bus stops have actual lay-bys for the buses to pull in to. This means every time the buses stop, the traffic has to stop too. In some place, special islands have been built in the road also to stop people overtaking buses that have pulled up. If I am unlucky enough to be behind a bus, it add 5-10 minutes to what should only be a 10 minute journey in to work. Okay, this is a relatively small amount of time. But my car measures my fuel economy. Today on the way to work I got stuck, again, about three cars behind a bus. My miles per gallon for my journey was 21.1 mpg. On a clear day it is 31.2 mpg. So in the first instance buses, or the idiots who place bus stops without creating lay-bys, are reducing the fuel efficiency of cars. Well done to them !
Then there is the issue of bikes. Coming out of the city this afternoon, I was stuck behind a cyclist who decided that biking in the the left of the lane, near to the curb was too much of an inconvenience. This cyclist, like so many others, decided that their bike was in fact a car, and decided to ride almost in the middle of the road. This may not have been so bad if they had stuck to this. but they had only got ahead of me by sneaking down the side of my car (he was prepared to get tight to the curb then) when I was at a set of traffic lights. Then, once in front of me at the lights, he plodded along, nice and slow, with me and several hundred other cars stuck behind him doing about 16 miles per hour. With the lane on the other side of the road very busy, this means we all plodded along at 16 miles per hour, unable to overtake, for about a mile until the road widened and we could get past. Again, my fuel economy fell through the floor, and a traffic jam was caused by an idiot on a bike.
With the latest government guidance on cycle paths saying they should not be separate from the road, but with people on bikes thinking they own the road and don't share it with others, you have to ask sometimes whether there is not a deliberate effort sometimes by cyclists just to cause traffic jams so they can look smug.
If I did a job which meant I could travel light (i.e. no multiple heaps of books to mark, no laptop to carry, no sports kit to change in to, etc), I might want to use the bus. Indeed, it is hard to argue with the principle of bus use or even riding bikes. But as things stand, buses and bikes do not happily co-exist with cars on roads. Planners, and in particular planning guidance from government ought to note this and roads should be designed, altered and modified to take this in to account. Oh, and cyclists should be told to take cycling proficiency tests and learn to share the roads with others.