You hardly ever see hitch-hickers these days, do you? I remember about 15 or 20 years ago, it seemed you could never drive down a motorway slip road without seeing a chap with his thumb sticking out… But now I can’t remember the last time I saw someone trying to hitch a ride.
Until just now, that is. Leeds RAG is apparently doing a sponsored hitch to Hull, so the roads around the University are a-wash with students holding out cardboard signs saying “HULL” and generally cluttering up the roads.
I don’t know why hitching is out of vogue. Maybe more drivers have posh cars that they don’t want to share with smelly hitchers? Maybe drivers are more cautious of stopping for strangers? Maybe people generally are more affluent, so can afford to run their own car or hop on a bus or a train rather than getting soaked and freezing standing by the side of the road? Or perhaps it’s the advent of budget travel, with easyBus doing 99p seats to Glasgow or whatever, and of course all the budget airlines.
Probably a combination of all of the above. On balance it’s probably a bit of a shame – one day I just might need to hitch a ride, and I’ll be out of luck!
Oh yes, and do you think I should tell them that the centre of Leeds is probably not a great place to try and cadge a lift to Hull? 🙂