Let's bid Farewell to the Combustion Engine
Transport solutions to the climate crisis.
After a week in the U.K. what is my abiding impression?
CARS! CARS! and more CARS!
Most of us have one ...some people may even own two or three. But isn't it about time we thought again about our dependence on this mode of transport? We have spent the past week in the U.K. without one. I admit that we have been dependent on other family members to transport us at times, and to help with shopping, but we have also done a lot of walking. Yesterday we walked into town from an outlying village. Frankly, it was frightening. The pavement was narrow, and cars whipped by us at frightening speed . What's more, traffic along this minor country road seemed constant. Anybody and everybody travels by car nowadays it would seem, and cars just become bigger and bigger. What's more new homes are built on the premise that everyone owns a car, so to-ing and fro-ing between our houses , workplaces and commerce is fairly constant. Our towns , cities and even the countryside are ruined by vehicle emissions, not to mention the toll it takes on our peace of mind.
As soon as we possibly could, we left the traffic behind on our walk, to follow the towpath that runs along the side of the recently restored Stroudwater canal. Suddenly we had entered another world, and as the noise of accelerating cars died away, the air was filled with the song of blackbirds and cooing of wood pigeons, and the tarmac gave way to banks of rose bay willowherb and tall rushes. We passed an old working mill building , one of many that line the five valleys of Stroud, and were reminded of a time when corn and later cotton were processed here. No need for noisy lorries to transport the goods! Flour and fabrics were transported silently away on magnificent canal barges.
As if to add insult to injury we had to re-join the busy main road to reach our final destination. Once more cars and lorries roared past us at high speed . But what was that painted at intervals along the road?
Judging by the figures painted in large circles along the road surface, a speed limit of 20M.P.H. is compulsory throughout the centre of Stroud. And were cars obeying these restrictions? Not a bit of it. The council may as well have saved the money it spent on labour and paint. For cars regularly accelerated past us at speeds of 50M.P.H. or perhaps even more.
Will electric cars be the answer?