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Weeknotes 2022.04

A few things I’ve been thinking about this week. The fourth post of a series, which is looking increasingly like a regular thing, inspired by Jonathan Rothwell.

Mention of the phrase “fat head” in AJ Pearce’s Dear Mrs Bird made me miss my grandma, who died last month, and whose rare use of that insult was the stuff of family legend.

The cheapest standard single adult fare on Metro, paid by a contactless debit card, rises to £2.30 from 1 April, compared with £1.70 on the London Underground. But the Metro doesn’t offer a contactless discount, whereas there is a discount for paying with the Oyster-ish Pop card, which reduces the fare to £1.65.

Median weekly earnings in London are £736 compared to £533 in the North East, which might suggest that fares here should be cheaper, but Tyne and Wear isn’t the whole North East, and it’s not necessarily fair to assume that the ridership of the Metro and the London Underground are similar segments of the population.

Parking in free in many Newcastle car parks after 5pm, while there’s no Metro discount in the evenings, which doesn’t reflect the environmental impact of these forms of transport. But not all Metro journeys are destined for Newcastle City Centre, the Metro has higher marginal costs to run in the evening versus opening a car park for a bit longer, and active transport is effectively free.

It’s really hard to define what “right” means in terms of transport policy, let alone to achieve it, and I’m glad I’m not in charge.

The second series of Diane Morgan’s Mandy on BBC iPlayer was just as fun as the first.

I don’t listen to BBC Radio 3, but somehow stumbled across and enjoyedPiano Flow this week, which introduced me to Tokio Myers.

On a web search, I found out that Myers won Britain’s Got Talent in 2017. I don’t regularly watch that programme, but would have confidently said that I was ‘generally aware’ of it, unavoidable as it is. And yet: I had no idea that a pianist had ever won.

This post was filed under: Weeknotes.

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