Welcome to the grim new car-dependent exurban villages of housing-crisis Britain


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/10/24/welcome-to-the-grim-new-car-de.html


What, so they’ve reinvented Basingstoke?


As with American exurbs, these dead-end developments are destined to become the developed world’s non-urban version of favelas: absentee landlords of subdivided and over-crowded single-family homes; underfunded and inadequate public infrastucture and services; and locals offering dodgy unlicensed services like pubs and bodegas and cheap vans to transit hubs or directly to the cities where the residents lucky enough to have jobs work.


What, so they’ve reinvented half the towns in California? (Without the nice scenery.)


I think you meant $6 a liter, not gallon.


Note all the development is happening around Corby (the fastest-growing town in England) because a new train station was opened there in 2009, with trains taking an hour and 14 minutes to London- by British standards, this is a long but not absurdly long commute.

Though this particular development is 3 miles from the station, so London commuters living there would probably end up driving to the station…


£1.31 a liter, which is about $1.70. So $6 and change in gallons.


I sense an opportunity here for railway owners who want to branch out into real estate development.


Doesn’t really work out to be a 1hr 15min commute though, obviously. Unless you happen to live next door to the train station and work in St Pancras.

As a home worker I shudder just thinking about it. Plus the whole living in Corby bit.


In the states, we call them projects.


But post Brexit, I guess they’ll go back to those extra-big gallons.


Sounds like fun, if you call that fun.


“litre” ?


Except that California was completely designed around the automobile, and England absolutely was not. (And the UK has car ownership statistics to match.)


Welcome to midwestern America, where not having a car or being unable to drive is sometimes literally a death sentence.


If I could just get a ride to the roundabout…


I’ve lived in a small college town in the Midwest for the best part of a decade without a car (having come from the UK and never owned a car their either).

There’s a tolerably good bus service (three buses an hour!), but basically it’s just a question of getting on with it and organising your life around bikes, walking and public transport. I can see that if I lived out in the sticks I’d be completely snookered though.


Thanks to first-world NIMBYism, those helpful services will be kept at bay - anyone doing something useful out of their home will doubtless be reported to bylaw and rapidly shut down.

They’re working on it.


It depends on where you are, college towns aren’t too bad, but outside of that you might be lucky to get one bus an hour if at all. There was no public bus service where I went to school, not that it would have mattered because I lived on a small semi-active farm about twenty miles from the town where the school was located. I did ride a school bus, which I had to board at about 5:45 AM and a one-way trip was about an hour and a half on the bus, which I suppose helped my parents out a bit since it meant that I got home close to 5PM.

If I missed the bus, that was that. No other bus would come, and my parents had gone to work already, so there wasn’t anyone to drive me, I just had to get my parents to write a note claiming I was sick or something because missing the bus because you’re expected to operate in nearly full adult capacity when you’re all of 10 wasn’t considered a valid reason to miss school. You would think that a school in an area like that would be more understanding of that kind of thing, “but if we make an exception for you, then we have to make exceptions for everyone, and then nobody will come to school!”

I live in a city now.