Интересные факты о лондонском транспорте / Interesting facts about London transport
Despite the fact that car ownership has increased dramatically recently, public transport remains really important to London dwellers, because some of them can`t afford buying a car.
Public transport services in urban areas, as elsewhere in Europe, suffer from the fact that there is so much private traffic on the road that they are not cheap, as frequent or as fast as they could be. Moreover, they stop running inconveniently early at night. Efforts have been made to speed up the journey by reserving certain lines for buses and they were given a priority at traffic lights.
In the middle of the 20th century a lot of schoolchildren worked to school. That`s why school patrols were introduced. A `patrol` consisted of an adult wearing a special uniform and holding a red and white sigh which resembles a lollipop. The majority of these adults were ladies. These «lollipop ladies» were aimed at helping children to cross roads. However, they are species in decline these days because many children are driven to school by cars.
It`s an interesting fact that the trams, which disappeared from London landscape in the middle of the 20th century, are now making a comeback. The resent researches have shown that city dwellers tend to trust track transport more nowadays.
Another symbol of London is distinctive black taxies. According to the traditional stereotype the taxi drivers, who are called `cabbies`, are friendly and talkative. While getting a driving license, they have to show the knowledge of the city by taking complicating tests. You can`t hire a black taxi by phone, but fined one in the street. But there are a lot of taxi companies who get most of their business over the phone. However, they are considered to be unreliable. Furthermore, taxies are quite expensive, that`s why Londoners hardly ever take them, only when going home late at night or if they`ve been drinking alcohol.