The Mouthpiece of the Bus Companies, Transport 2000, has recently called for the popular TV programme 'Top Gear' to be scrapped and replaced with an 'environmentally friendly' programme called 'Third Gear'.
On their website, they have proposed an outline for the first editions of 'Third Gear', which we suggest you read first, then read our alternative ideas below...
The new all-green replacement for Top Gear will promote sensible driving in sensible vehicles, wearing sensible shoes.
It short, it will be devoted to encouraging politically-correct motoring based on less sensible cars, considerate and safety-conscious driving at 29mph in the middle lane of a busy motorway, and thorough exploration of the inadequate alternatives to the car.
Turd Gear gives the Editor of the Transport 2000 website the chance to present Transport 2000's true image: the greener, more naive, and pinker, socialist, one. But there is no reason for him to stop to help the odd cyclist mend a puncture — Michael Palin, in his Python guise of "Bicycle Repair Man", will deal with those.
Here is the running order for the first two editions of Turd Gear, the first to be broadcast on 5th June, World Hot Air Day, with the follow up a week later during Politically-Correct Transport Week.
- The Editor test drives a range of new 'shopper' bicycles and assesses the advantages of front basket over rear rack. He takes a trip to his local Tesco and tries to get a full week's shopping for a family of four home on his bike. In desperation he is seen phoning for a taxi to take him, his bike, and three cubic yards of shopping home.
- The Editor is invited by Transport for London to "see it from the passenger's point of view" and travel on the No. 19 bus through the heart of London during the morning rush hour. He begins to appreciate just what it's like as he has to stand for the entire journey on an overcrowded bus, with four youths in baseball caps insulting him and a drunk being sick on his shoes.
- The Editor tests out national rail and the London Tube by trying to get from his home in the Cotswolds to a business meeting in central London at 9am. He arrives at 10.40, dishevelled and bad-tempered, having started his journey at 5.15 and travelled on three buses, two trains, and the tube.
- The Editor spends a week living in a flat in a small town in Herefordshire, and has to get three kids to school in the mornings, himself to work in a town ten miles away for 9am, home again to pick the kids up, and the evenings ferrying the kids to music lessons, football practice, etc, by using public transport. He comes out with a headache on the seventh day having been late for work every day, having had the kids kept in detention for being late, having failed to get any of them to band practice, and having lost an important fixture due to not getting the centre-forward to the match until half-time.
- The Editor goes to talk to the families of people killed in accidents on the A1 caused by traffic turning across the central reservation at junctions and explains why Transport 2000 oppose the upgrading of trunk roads to proper safe motorway standards.
- The Editor goes to a traffic calmed village packed with trucks to explain to the parents of a 10 year old girl crushed to death whilst riding her bicycle home from school why they opposed the building of a much needed bypass around the village. Editor takes the deceased girl's parents and her 6 year old brother to a muddy pool outside the village to show them how happy the lesser-spotted virtually-unknown newts are. The little boy accidentally steps on one of the newts.
- The Editor joins a police mobile speed camera unit on a straight section of dual carriageway three miles from a dangerous section of the A1 in North Yorkshire. As the police wave drivers into the layby, the Editor approaches to gently remonstrate with the speeders and sign them up for an advanced driver safety course. He is released from hospital after treatment. Later he joins a demonstration in which 6000 people lie on the road (which his new police friends have kindly closed off) to represent the number of extra people killed in the last ten years because of failures in road safety policy, partly caused by Transport 2000. A similar demonstration is held later, in which all the people who think Transport 2000 are a bunch of politically-correct tossers who should sod off and leave people to get on with their lives, lie down on motorways. Police report that the M25, M1, M4, M5, M6, M8 and M9 will be re-opened to traffic as soon as they've got all the demonstrators off. At the end of the show the Editor turns to camera to say: "I was once an anti-car fanatic but today I have decided to leave Transport 2000."