Reader letter: Surely Norwich’s answer is a more fully-integrated public transport system?

One of the beams which will form part of a bridge taking the Norwich Northern Distributor Road over

One of the beams which will form part of a bridge taking the Norwich Northern Distributor Road over the Norwich to Sheringham railway line. Pic: Mustard TV. - Credit: Archant

Our love of the motor car continues undiminished.

Delighted car manufacturers report rocketing sales - 820,000 in the first three months of this year, a quarter of a million of which were diesels in March alone.

Whilst cities are increasingly congested and polluted, road casualties are showing a decrease - 1,732 deaths, 22,137 seriously injured 186,209 of all severities (government statistics for 2016).

This doesn't include the recently reported 40,000 UK deaths through air pollution. Of which Nitrogen dioxide, the latest highlighted exhaust gas from diesels, rates highly.

Meanwhile road building continues apace, like the Northern Distributor Route, despite research showing that the increase in major road development impacts on congestion within cities and towns. Norwich is reported as the seventh most congested city in the country.

Surely the answer is a more fully-integrated public transport system through systems that can carry more people per volume in relation to the engine capacity?

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The dream of the freedom of the open road a la Mr Toad is over, as anyone who watches the absurd television adverts of the latest model flashing through open vistas and then gets into their car to drive around the UK's urban areas well knows.

A fully integrated public transport system, clear city centres, allowing access for pedestrians, the disabled and for commercial purposes and rest of us who are still lucky to be able to use our legs can cycle, walk, use buses (low polluting design please) or park and ride. There are plenty of inclusive cycle adaptations for the disabled and less able.

In the forthcoming election we need to think about the economics of our health and the planet, not just household economics or Brexit.

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