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Transport the Way to Go in a Jam

  • Date Submitted: 12/31/2011 07:53 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 66.2 
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Transport The way to go

In a jam

Getting on track
Road to nowhere
Did you know

The past 50 years have seen a revolution in the way we travel. We’re able to travel further and faster and do more. Millions of us today have more independence and mobility than ever before. That’s partly because most households in the UK now own a car. But cars are a mixed blessing. The way we travel is having a huge impact on us, our environment and the economy. Air pollution from traffic makes asthma worse for millions of children. Thousands of people are killed or seriously injured on the roads every year. Some of our most important wildlife sites and best countryside are threatened by road-building. Congestion costs the economy billions of pounds every year. And aeroplanes are causing noise and pollution nightmares for tens of thousands of people. Perhaps the biggest problem of all is transport’s contribution to climate change through carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Climate change is the world’s greatest environmental challenge. It will hit developing countries hardest and they will be least able to cope with the impact. But the UK will also be affected. We’ve been heading down the wrong road for too long, building more roads in an attempt to crack our transport crisis, but it doesn’t work. We need to find a different route. That’s why Friends of the Earth wants to see a transport system based around people, not cars and roads.

Road transport pumps out more than a fifth of UK emissions of carbon dioxide, the main gas causing climate change. Allowing for inflation, it’s actually cheaper to run a car today than it was 30 years ago. Over the same period rail fares have risen by more than 80 per cent and bus fares by more than 70 per cent. When parts of the M25 were widened to eight lanes it filled up again in a year in some cases. Campaigning led by Friends of the Earth in the 1990s saw the Government abandon plans for a 14-lane M25.

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More roads, wider motorways,...

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