Academic suggests people may accept future environment-related travel restrictions

Given the public’s been happy to reduce the amount they travel in order to combat Coronavirus, could they accept future restrictions to cut emissions? A professor from Newcastle University thinks they might.

Margaret Bell has told ITS (UK)’s regular Coronavirus webinar that she had been advocating mandating how much people can travel as a way to cut emissions for years, but now there’s an opportunity to make it happen.

“I think maybe.. we [can] start limiting the amount of travel,” she said, “and people will change their objectives when they choose a place to live and a place to work.”

Explaining how it might work she said, “The best way to do that is to change land use and get people to live closer to where they work. But yes, I also understand that not everybody wants to be working in high rise buildings in the middle of a city, but that is in some respects more sustainable. So, I think changes in in the way we plan cities is very important component for the future.”

Prof Bell explained work she has done clearly shows that there is a an absolute need to reduce the number of vehicle kilometres travelled, if the country is to get anywhere near reducing emissions by 67% of carbon dioxide by 2050 over 2010 levels and that the public’s willingness to reduce travel now may lead to the ability to introduce restrictions on the amount they are permitted to travel in the future, in order to protect the planet.

You can watch the full webinar here


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