Retaining current reduced pollution levels on our roads

Covid-19 has meant reduced traffic on the roads, with the resultant lowered pollution levels bringing both environmental and health benefits. However, once the pandemic loses its grip on our lives car use will revert to its previous level. Encouraging people to cycle or walk instead will succeed to a limited extent, but even for the young and fit this will become less practical during winter months and for some it is impractical at any time of year. Instead, investment in local buses is required to persuade people to leave their cars at home for short journeys. This wouldn‚’t stop all car use but would cut down considerably on the myriad short car journeys made every day, and used in tandem with alternative forms of travel such as cycling and walking would instill the mindset that cars are not necessary for short journeys. The convenience of travelling to shops/restaurants/theatres without needing to park would also serve to encourage people into town centres. However, for people to be persuaded to leave their cars at home then buses would need to run frequently, have screened off seating, and most importantly be free at the point of use. This would not only make them immediately attractive as an alternative to a car journey but also be key to the buses running on time without the long-winded process of payment. Or alternatively a yearly pass at a nominal fee could be available, allowing you unlimited journeys. With people currently not using their cars to the same extent as before the pandemic the opportunity should be taken to build on this whilst the health and environmental advantages of less traffic on the roads are still evident to us and before old habits of automatically using the car for every journey become too ingrained again.




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