Saturday cartoon by Ralph Underhill

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1 Reply to “Saturday cartoon by Ralph Underhill”

  1. One of the problems affecting environmental policy making is crazes. In the (justified) concern over emissions in our towns and cities the reason for favouring diesel - Co2 into the atmosphere - is still valid but has been almost forgotten. But whilst diesel for trans-continental haulage still looks right, in town it is clearly a disaster, especially when the vehicles emitting aren't even moving. So ban them, obviously.

    Or actually tackle the problem without throwing the baby out with the bathwater. First, many of our cities are lagging disastrously on public transport. Here in Bristol it verges on the non-existent - infrequent (diesel) buses trapped in the same traffic as all the cars. Contrast with an equivalent city like Toulouse with both trams & metro and limited vehicle access to the city centre.

    Vehicles should only be necessary for moving goods - so what moves goods from the out of town destinations of most of the big lorries ? Diesel vans, of course, and not just diesel vans, but vans that could like the big trucks cross continents at speeds of up to 90mph with a range of 400 miles - yet how many of them ever travel on a road with a speed limit of over 40 mph ? Or travel more than 100 miles in a day ? Why isn't there an electric city van to at a stroke remove this huge source of air pollution ?

    At a (policy) stroke we could solve these problems intelligently rather than by knee jerk - and as many economists have been pointing out now is a good time to invest in the future when interest rates are so low.


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