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Why We Need Fewer Cars and More Investment in Public Transport

Photo taken from Pexels

Climate Change

As we all know, climate change is a huge problem that affects the world we live in, and therefore every single one of us. It creates long term changes in the weather, and the temperature, which therefore impact things like vegetation growth, and the melting of ice burgs and snowy areas. There are five main effects of climate change, which are storms, drought, heatwaves, rising sea levels, warming oceans and melting glaciers. Unfortunately, these can end up causing harm to animals and their habitats, as well as effecting the areas we live in. The more we go on living the way we do, and using the things we use, is only making the problem worse. As a community, it is important that we all make conscious decisions to help fight this, and make the world a better place to live in.

Cars and Climate Change.

According to the BBC, road vehicles are the cause of nearly 3 quarters of greenhouse gases that are emitted for transport. These greenhouse gases are what have a negative impact on our environment. These gases trap heat in the earth's atmosphere which causes the surface of the earth to heat up, and therefore it makes the cooling process at night more difficult.

More and more people have started buying electric cars, as companies are introducing more to the market, to try and help fight climate change. electric cars produce no tailpipe emissions whilst they are operating, which means less greenhouse gases are being produced. Another benefit to the driver of the car is that they will save money on petrol, and the cost of the electricity it takes to charge a car, is way less than a full tank of petrol would be. Who wouldn't want to save some money on such an expensive factor in people's lives. It also means that there won't be the typical engine and motor faults that most people with fuel running cars face at some stage of ownership. On the other hand, people could be deterred from purchasing electric cars for a number of reasons. As they only hold certain mileage, it can be difficult for people who need to travel long distances in as short of time as possible. Obviously there are charging points available at certain service stations and supermarkets, but these can be quite difficult to find, could add a lot of time to the journey, or could all be in use. Another con could be that they are initially more expensive to buy, but in the long run it should end up saving the owner a lot of money.

When speaking to someone who owns an electric car, she didn't seem too keen on it. It proved a bit of a pain when trying to plan longe journeys, as there isn't always certainty on where there are chargers, as she had had a lot of experiences of turning up to charging points that either don't work, aren't in use, or aren't in the location that they say they are. This causes an issue as it disrupts the journey and can cause panic as to whether the whole journey can be completed or not. Another problem is that the miles it tells you it has left isn't always accurate, and can change quite frequently throughout the journey, as well as things like heating and air-con using them up. The person I spoke to said she would be more comfortable and happy with driving the electric car, if more charging points were available, and it was a lot clearer were these were, and websites were updated when they were out of use. With these issues being fixed, more people could be encouraged to start going electric.

Public Transport

Using public transport has a huge positive impact on the environment, as it reduces the amount of vehicles on the road, as they have the capacity to take more people. For some, taking your own car may be the more enjoyable option, as you have more freedom with it and don't have to sit with people you don't know. But with everyone having this attitude, it puts more and more vehicles on the road, creating more greenhouse gases, and therefore having a negative impact on climate change.

Something that could be beneficial to the environment would be having buses that run by electric power. As there are a huge amount of buses on the roads, and because they are so large, they could cut down a huge amount of emissions by doing this, and everyone using them would feel like they are helping the environment even more. Some people may be put off some public transport, as the prices can be higher than you would expect, so maybe a scheme that brings in cheaper alternatives, or incentives would encourage people to ditch their cars, and help fight climate change.

There is one issue effecting how people use trains at the moment. With them so frequently being on strike, it's creating issues for a lot of people, so they end up having to choice but to drive to their destination. When this means more and more people are driving into cities like London, the pollution that is being created is having a more detrimental effect on the world we live in, but it might be unavoidable at the moment.

How would you feel about driving your car less, if it meant the world would be around a bit longer?

Erin Anthony-Jones 20/02/2023


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