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Why you Should Change the Way you Travel

Why we need fewer cars and more investment in public transport

Cars and pollution

Invented in 1886, cars have benefited the public in many ways. An example of this can be travelling to and from work. Another notable example is that some people use their car to make themselves a living in the form of taxi driving or goods delivery services. It is safe to say that the UK use cars in day-to-day life, this can be shown as in 2021, it is claimed that there are 25.6 million people that live in a house has a car.

However, as cars have benefited the UK, what can be a negative impact of using cars on our planet. The emissions of cars can be split into 3 categories:

Direct emissions: Emissions the car produces

Indirect emissions: Emissions emitted to make fuel for the vehicles

Indirect effects: Effects of the gases emitted interacting with the atmosphere.

To simply explain it, CO2 is bad for the environment as it leads to global warming, leading to destruction of ecosystems and rising sea levels. To put a 'figure' onto how much emissions cars produce, the average petrol car produced 170.5 grams of CO2 per kilometre and diesel cars produced an average of 170.8 CO2e per kilometre, making passenger cars the most harmful and biggest source of transport emissions in the UK. In addition to this, road transport accounts for 22% of total UK emissions of CO2. In addition, it can be estimated that in the 'lifetime of a car' it produces 10% of its CO2 emissions from factory, 5% when disposed of and the remaining percent on during its life.

Public Transport Benefits

Public transport allows the city to be connected and allows people to travel comfortably and affordably. Public transport is regarded a true alternative to private cars. The public heavily rely on public transport for a means to travel as there were 3.09 billion in 2022 which is a staggering 55% increase from the previous year, though this may be due to the pandemic. Below are just a few key benefits of using public transport.

One benefit of public transport is helping community health. By using public transport, it may force users to walk to the stops or stations in order to use the transport. This can lead to the public getting the recommended 30 minutes of exercise a day by just walking to the stops.

Using public transport can also improve road congestion. A pretty obvious benefit is that by using public transport, there are less cars on the road leading to less congestion during rush hour times.

Another benefit of using public transport is that users can save money. Utilising public transport saves money. It is claimed that you can save up to four times the the money used on private transport. This is due to the avoidance of extra fees such as parking, congestion and possible speeding fines.

A major benefit of public transport is the effect on the environment. By the public using public transport, one person can save up to 20lbs of emissions everyday.

Improvements for public transport

Although there are many benefits for using public transport, there are reasons to why everyone does not use public transport. Below are some drawbacks of using public transport and possible solutions to make public transport more appealing.

Delayed bus times: Long waiting times can make buses unreliable to get people to and from work. To try and improve this, the government can try to implement more 'queue jump'/ bus lanes in city and remote areas. This would help buses avoid the congestion and be more reliable with arriving at destinations.

Another improvement to current technology is the use of apps. With the use of Trainline, users are able to track trains and foresee delays. If the trains are delayed, the app may be able to reroute the users to a train that may be available in the moment to allow for constant travel and avoid over crowding on trains. A similar implementation may be used on buses.

Crowding during rush hour: Although this is inevitable during rush hour, the government should implement more buses or have 2 buses running the same route during busy times. Although the buses would cause a large cost to implement across the nation, by having an extra bus, it will allow for more users and in the. long run be more profitable as more users would be paying to go on the buses.

Space: The space in public transport is of course limited. A problem that may incur due to this is the handling of large goods. Moving large goods is a struggle especially during rush hour due to the lack of space. Although some public transport has designated places to put items in, it could be risky as some people may steal or even damage the goods.

Another problem caused by the limited space is the room for disability chairs, pushchairs and other amenities. One way to improve this so that the users are not shocked when trying to get on the bus is to pre book your journey. By rebooking, it can ensure that when the user gets onto the bus that there is space for the wheelchair. This would help avoid the disappointment of waiting for a bus to find out that the bus has no space for the wheelchair.

To conclude, improvements in public transport can make using public transport more appealing. By making them more appealing can lead to less emissions thus leading to an ease of our already massive carbon footprint on the planet.


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