Sir: The Government encourages us to leave our cars at home in favour of public transport. Among several related initiatives is the opening of new "park and ride" schemes for our town centres. Most of those passengers will be shoppers faced with the task of getting their purchases on and off the buses and into their cars.
In the 1950s sea transport of general goods was revolutionised by the invention of the container, a standard sized box which would fit into any vessel designed to carry it. Soon most general cargo vessels had been suitably adapted or built to carry containers and ports had been equipped to handle them expeditiously, and with minimum effort.
Shopping bags and trolleys come in every conceivable size and shape, most are awkward to handle and none is designed to be compatible with our public transport systems. If passengers could purchase from a limited range of standard-sized bags and trolleys, and buses and trains were designed specifically to accommodate them, for instance in special racks at platform or road level, travel with luggage on public transport could be transformed.
R H J P HARVEY