30 December 2011


I'd have considered this anathema once - not only because the motor industry paid my salary, and more cars was irrefragably better, but also because of my personal preferences - but now it delights me to read that the godless institution in Gower Street has produced a report for the Department for Transport arguing for a revolution in our relationship with the motor car.

UCL's godlessness (which, to be fair, was originally with a capital G) evidently extends to rejection of the cult of the automobile, and the report provides recognition for the romantic notion of self-propulsion, though I suspect the report doesn't use Caballo's words. A nice piece of joined-up thinking, connecting health policy with transport policy, though the suggestion that we (or any other country, I suspect) has a transport policy worthy of the name is verging on fantasy. A policy built around using the appropriate form of transport for each journey would be a sound one, and any transport policy that recognises the true cost of using cars so much should be applauded - provided it also puts in place a public transport system that can effectively replace those car journeys, like a bus from here to the station to connect with a train that will get  me to work on time. And one back in the evening. But only for those days when cycling, or running, is out.

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