Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to the Institute of Public Policy Research, even Electric Vehicles are not green enough to permit unfettered growth in car ownership.

Climate change: Set target to cut car use, minister told

By Roger Harrabin
BBC environment analyst

Shifting to electric vehicles will still leave the UK with serious transport problems, a report has said.

The IPPR think tank said emissions will fall, but the number of cars on the road will continue to grow.

It foresaw a 28% increase in car ownership by 2050, leading to more jams and harm to the economy.

But the government said it had plans to make transport greener and it was committed to offering people a range of travel options.

Unless there is a change in policy, car ownership is expected to be driven up by a growing economy and increasing population. 

The IPPR% said failure to tackle this will have negative effects on:

  • Health: Walking and cycling (when practical) are healthier than sitting in a car.
  • Resources: An ever-expanding car fleet drains raw materials and energy.
  • Urban space: Fewer cars would mean more trees, play space, and room for walkers and cyclists.
  • Congestion: Traffic jams damage the economy and lead to demand for more and bigger roads.
  • Inequality: Allowing current trends to continue will widen the social divide between those who own cars and those who don’t.

The IPPR’s proposals to achieve the UK’s low-carbon transition fairly include a national guarantee to make it possible to live a good life without needing to own a car.

It says this should include seven-day public transport for all areas, and the principle that everyday needs should be accessible within a 20-minute walk, cycle or public transport trip.

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Why do think tanks like IPPR keep trying to mess up the lives of ordinary people?

Outside London British public transport tends to be inaccessible, unsafe, and infrequent. Cars keep you a lot safer from muggers (providing your employer can be pressured into providing carpark security) and keep you warm and comfortable in bad weather.

Even in London I can’t imagine what it is like for single women trying to travel at night. As a regular commuter on British transport for over a decade, including the London tube system, I encountered plenty of situations which made me feel unsafe. Britain’s revolving door justice system ensures a steady supply of drug addict muggers and rapists, to keep life interesting for public transport commuters.

Yet despite the obvious problems, there seems to be this ongoing utter determination amongst climate activists and progressives to force people back to using public transport, or force them to abandon long commutes altogether, regardless of the harm this does to people’s lives and personal safety.

The IPPR could try listening to the people whose interests they claim to represent, drop the climate nonsense, listen to the self evident desire of British people to own a car. They could try to solve car ownership inequality by using their funds to help poor people purchase their first car. But for some reason think tanks like IPPR almost never seem to back solutions which empower the ordinary people whose interests they claim to represent.

via Watts Up With That?

June 24, 2021