Friday, 7 April 2017

1704.06 FUELLING THE ISSUE

There has been a lot said about diesel vehicles in the news lately and how owners are going to be hit by new charges and pollution taxes despite previous governments encouraging people to switch to the fuel citing environmental benefits.

Recent studies have shown that diesels, particularly older models, are responsible for an increase in toxic gases in cities but I think the whole angle of this news is wrong. Society has changed so much in my lifetime, there was a time when people travelled to work and for leisure by public transport which was publicly owned and (let's face it) so much better and cheaper than it is today. Traffic levels were so much less and if it wasn't for the less efficient engines the already cleaner air would have been even less polluted.

So as I see it (and forgive me if this is too simplistic) then if instead of trying to tax our way out of gassing our cities we should be investing and subsidising. As I commute to work on my bike fighting my way through the congestion of mostly single occupancy vehicles I dispair at the blindness of the world.

I'm not an activist. I'm not against car ownership, we own a car - a diesel one. What I want to see is people taking responsibility for their part in the congestion and pollution in built up areas and the only way they will do that is if public transport is invested in.

The biggest hurdle after getting investment would be to change people's attitudes. Most have become lazy and selfish. Suggest to someone that they take a bus and they look at you as if you've asked them to run naked through a shopping mall. I know people that have NEVER caught a bus!

If attitudes changed and public transport became a viable alternative then this would free up the road network for essential users, the disabled and workers that have to travel between sites. Everyone would benefit. If I can see this why can't anyone else? Why would anyone choose to sit in a metal box whilst breathing in toxic fumes twice a day. It's madness!

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