Telegraph View: Only way to get us out of cars

Nancy Fielder
Nancy Fielder

We are a city that depends on our cars, whether you like that or not.

It is also apparent to anyone who drives in this city that something simply is not working.

So what is the answer? Encouraging, cajoling and forcing drivers out of their cars?

There are two ways of looking at it.

Either there are too many people making too many car journeys or our roads infrastructure is not capable of doing the jobs it needs to do.

Whichever you prefer, it is a huge problem.

We are highlighting two stories in this week’s paper which relate directly to the number of cars on our roads.

The council is increasing the cost of parking in several of the city because there are too many cars.

I find it difficult to imagine that will make much difference to the number of vehicles, although it will doubtlessly annoy both shoppers and business owners. Forcing drivers to shop wherever they can find free parking is bad for small businesses and a dream for out-of-town multinationals.

Then, time and time again we return to the problem of parking around schools.

The enormous potential increase in the number of pupils at one city school will inevitably cause more problems.

Campaigners are right to say it could put children in danger.

Any combination of large numbers of youngsters and too many cars is a recipe for disaster.

So what is the answer?

Encouraging, cajoling and forcing drivers out of their cars?

There is a lot of work taking place to encourage cycling but the truth is, we need public transport to be tempting.

It is the only way that wouldn’t entail an entirely new road infrastructure that we can not afford.

Even if we had millions to spare, just imagine the level of teeth gnashing and complaints as new roads were built.

We’re annoyed enough when the surfaces are relaid.