Fringe Box



Letter: ‘Take Only What You Need’

Published on: 3 Aug, 2021
Updated on: 2 Aug, 2021

From: Jim Allen

In response to: The Longer We Wait to Tackle Pollution the Harder It Will Be

In 58 years of working across the whole of the UK and Ireland, most of my journeys were with a three- to four-day suitcase and over 20kg and some times 100’s of kgs of equipment and tools.

Out of those 58 years perhaps five would it have been possible to walk-bus-train and cycle. At many locations there was simply was no public transport to the location or the timings were not compatible with my deadlines and the vagaries of changeable weather or intolerant clients.

So I say, pontificating on methods of transport when one has been an office-bound “pencil pusher” all of one’s working life is silly.

We need to get real and understand that the real chemical air pollution problem is nitrous oxide, not carbon and we need to discover ways of destroying it. We also need to accept food is heavy and needs transportation, and bicycles are rejected around the world for major transportation solutions.

We also need to understand bringing 47,500 people into the local Housing Market Area area (boroughs of Guildford, Woking and Waverley) will increase the number of journeys made by 20 per cent.

People movement is not restricted to 20 minutes from home to work or workplaces. That may apply to new towns in Australia (where the idea came from), or for mothers, babies and pensioners, but not for people of working age; it is simply unrealistic.

Yes, we do have a change in the climate patterns and air pollution is a worry, but we need a sense of realism while trying to solve the problems. We need to stop grabbing the straws of fads and fully understand the implications of the proposed ways forward.

As our species looks for sustainable existence perhaps we should learn from the Australian Aborigines and: “take only what you need, not what you want”.

Share This Post

Responses to Letter: ‘Take Only What You Need’

  1. Martin Elliott Reply

    August 3, 2021 at 2:13 pm

    Well said Jim Allen.

    It’s about time those promoting a single dogma solution for all, addressed the real-world necessities, even if only for Guildford Borough residents.

    Note I say Guildford Borough. Given its size, for example, Guildford town centre might practically adopt “modal shift”, until you look at the variation in journey need, loads and availability of all goods and services. Even in the town centre the journey lengths are getting longer. Go to the outer suburbs and villages, and you are well beyond the range for walking or cycling for most residents.

    We should be using public transport but, unfortunately, the journeys are constrained by the routes and timetables (and costs) especially if not wanting to go into, but through, town, say to the Royal County Surrey Hospital.

    Can one of the champions for modal shift please explain why there has been no obvious adoption after a decade of promotion?

    The same goes for Park & Ride. If it’s a system to be adopted by visitors to the town, why is its usage so low? Is it lack of usage or poor business plans that mean, even after a decade, it still requires a £500,000 subsidy each year? Is it perhaps simply that it isn’t practical for most prospective users?

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *