I’ve been browsing a government report on social trends in transport this week, and I thought it was interesting that there are now more households with two cars than there are with no car. Reading the Department for Transport’s reports, there appears to be a certain sense of satisfaction about the growth in car ownership – it is seen as a sign of progress and inclusion that more households have access to a car.
There’s a certain truth to that, if one considers that many carless households will be on low incomes, but should be still be pressing ahead for a universally mobile nation? There are now 34.2 million motor vehicles registered in the UK, which ought to be enough really. What will it take to start to see those car ownership figures go into reverse?
Living without a car isn’t easy, if you go cold turkey. If you set your lifestyle up without a car, living close to a station and within walking distance of a town centre, it’s quite possible to live without one. And that’s something we might all have to consider, if peak oil begins to bite sooner rather than later. The national grid can’t support a wholesale switch to electric cars. I wonder how long it will be before the Department for Transport starts to celebrate the undoing of the car culture.