sustainability transport

Putting our car addiction into reverse

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.

1 comment

  1. This is so sad. Here in North America (Canada specifically in my case) there appear to be excuses for an abundance of car ownership. We screwed up our town and city planning big time for 60 straight years and now its darn near impossible to walk in some places. But I’ve seen numerous towns and cities in Britain and they are so much more walkable and bikeable than here. If Britain continues to see increased car ownership as progress, then you guys are going to end up with a whole bunch of Milton Keynes. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want that. I’ve written a few related bit about the impacts of the automobile:

    About walking vs. driving: http://iaminformed.wordpress.com/2009/08/11/walking-its-the-new-driving/

    About the costs of free parking:
    http://iaminformed.wordpress.com/2009/08/12/free-parking-isnt-free/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: