The Commissioner of Active Travel England, Chris Boardman, has told Highways News that there is a future for the car in our transport provision, but that the challenge is reducing the need to use it.
Chris Boardman told the Highways Voices podcast that a car’s “I think, of course it does. Its “utility is the problem, because it is so useful and so effective.”
Speaking at a Rees Jeffreys Road Fund motoring debate on the role for the car in society, which was hosted at the Royal Automobile Club in London, the Olympic Gold Medallist said, “I think it’s just a question of how much do we really have on the choices? The question I asked before, what happens if we don’t reduce car use. Every bit of data I’ve seen from both nationally and regionally [shows] we have to drive 30% less, and electrify, and shrink everything else. And that’s the only way you’re going to meet your carbon emissions targets. The only way to do that equitably and fairly is to give people an attractive choice and that’s what I’m in the business of.”
In the interview, Mr Boardman adds that we must “re-inject transport choice back into the system” and pushed an increase in active travel as an obvious solution.
“We have to give our kids transport independence for a myriad of reasons… 7.5 billion [pounds] spent every year treating inactivity-related illness – one in six deaths now is attributed to inactivity, which is the same as smoking. climate change, the obvious third of your carbon is coming from transport, and of course, cost of living.”
(Picture – Transport Technology Forum)