This week E-scooters have been in the news, as one of Boris’ answers to greener transport.
I suppose they are better than cars or motorbikes but they probably won’t replace those, as they don’t travel longer distances, or keep you dry, or carry large amounts of goods. So will they replace walking or bike riding; both of which are best for the environment and our health? Maybe they could be combined with public transport to get from to and from the stations/bus stops? I’ve a sort of feeling they may end up being more problematic than Boris seems to think…time will tell.
Covid-19 has made us re-think transport, as it has many other things. Walking has definitely been popular, and even better, walking in family groups, which it has been lovely to see. Hopefully this new habit will remain, as many people have recognised the physical and mental health benefit of walking in nature. It’s not just been walking for pleasure, I’ve noticed more people walking to the shops…I’m not sure if that was to save money or to get extra exercise or a bit of both. By all accounts walking is the best exercise we can do.
Bikes have also been very prevelant, building in popularity in recent years and definitely increasing during lockdown. More cycle lanes everywhere would be a very positive move towards a greener society, making it safer for riders and other road users.
Vans delivering shopping to more households have reduced transport on the roads. Also many people’s car useage has gone down (unless you are called Dominic Cummings). I know I have restricted my car shopping journeys to one or maybe two a week; getting as much as I can in one go (mainly because it is such a pain and I want to do nicer things with my time).
Working from home has reduced commuter traffic, although that’s building again now. However, the new norm for online meetings must have cut down on lots of traffic. Many offices are still closed and seem likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.
The downside is that being in our own car bubble now seems preferable to being on public transport. Car sharing is also a ‘no no’ at the moment. Public transport is by far the most ecological way forward for transport but with all the social distancing, it makes it hard. At least it looks like the government is being pushed forward with electric car projects.
What I would really like is to see the patents held by all the oil companies being released to enable development. Many people have invented amazing technologies that are green and very sustainable, but because they threatened the millions made through oil, they were bought up and suppressed. Apparently it has held back our technological evolution by decades. Not only that but apparently the oil companies were aware of climate change since the 1940s but chose to spend much money suppressing and misinforming the public about the risks. This has exacerbated the problem till we are in the situation we face today. There is an interesting article that explains it all. https://www.smokeandfumes.org/fumes
So, what is my dream for sustainable future transport? My wish list would be to see more locally based economies, which will necessitate less travelling, enabling people to have more free time as a result. Walking would be the preferred method of getting around, with all the benefits that brings-healthy exercise, clearing the head, organising thoughts, giving space for clarity and new ideas and breathing fresh air (if in nature). When travel is required, public transport, but if that’s not possible, electric cars and sea/land based transport rather than planes would be my dream. Everyone I know, remarked how lovely it was to see the clearer skies during lockdown. I’d also like all the hidden and amazing inventions that are in the human wellspring to be allowed out, aired and invested in, so that we can all have access to cheaper, greener ways of living.
We have a beautiful and wondrous planet. We need to do the right things to turn it back into the paradise it once was.« Back to blog page