Here in the UK, Petrol (Gasoline) - already far more expensive
than the US - has risen steadily in price over the past few years.
There is real concern that soon people will be paying over a pound per
litre of petrol.
I do not own a car. I hate cars, motorbikes, lorries and roads. I despair that there will
ever be any change in the way we get from A to B. I despair that
people will ever stop thinking of themselves for long enough to see
what they are doing to themselves and their environment.
Car owners seem to always complain:
- Car and Petrol costs are too high
- There are too many people on the road
- Not enough money is spent on the road network
- Speed limits are restrictive and wrong
- It is always other people who are the terrible drivers
- Pedestrians and Cyclists shouldn't be anywhere near roads
- Public transport isn't good enough
- It is always other people's cars that pollute
- Pollution is not a problem
Car and Petrol costs are too high. This is the only point in
which I agree with motorists. This is a symptom of Rip-off UK. The
government is justifying the petrol increases by claiming that the
taxes are "green". They are not green taxes, Petrol tax is simply a
way of paying for income tax reductions.
There are too many people on the road. Out of the many
people in our department, 2 car-shares with other people in the
building. That's 2% of my department. As I walk to work, I would
estimate that 99% of the cars passing me have one person in. There is
only so much space on the road - what should be done? Widen main
roads? Bulldoze houses/parks/fields/forests/anything that gets in the
way? Simply so that you can spend 30 minutes in the car rather than
40? We can either concrete over the entire country, or we can find
alternatives. Are only You allowed to use the road? I find
that the height of selfishness. No one asks to work from home, and
cannot really answer why not - it is Somebody Else's Problem.
Not enough money is spent on the road network. The road
lobby tells us that only 25% of the money collected from petrol duty
is spent on the roads. That figure may or may not be true. But again
it comes down to selfishness. The motorist wants to be whisked in
minimum time necessary from home to work and back again. But when
money is spent on the roads, mostly with maintenance and extensions,
the motorist moans yet again! This time the roadworks are getting in
the way of their very important business. (usually getting home to sit for
5 hours in front of the TV) And what if a vast amount of money was
spent on the roads? Would the motorist prefer this money siphoned from
Health? Education? Defense? The money has to come from somewhere - for
all government expenses.
Speed limits are restrictive and wrong I want to throttle
people who say this. I have seen many near misses by cars driving at
50mph+ on residential roads. When I am in the car with others, the
driver will curse like a pirate when confronted with a traffic calming
measure, such as speed bumps outside a school or by a well used
crossing. Again, it comes down to selfishness - Why should the all
important driver have to slow down? Because speed kills. The argument
that people have control at the speed they want to drive is just plain
wrong - since when does a smaller time to react in equate to safety
It is always other people who are the terrible drivers
Crap. Every "good" driver I have travelled with will pull out in front
of someone, make poor decisions when manoeuvering or have near
misses. Everyone is a poor driver, even my Mother - who I think is the
safest driver I know - will forget a turning until the last minute, or
choose the wrong lane at a junction. It's that selfishness again -
Only I am the good driver, only I deserve to travel on the road.
Pedestrians and Cyclists shouldn't be anywhere near roads.
Selfishness really comes to the fore here. Cyclists have no
right, Pedestrians have no right to cross the road or
use any part of the road. How exactly should I walk to work? I have to
dodge 60mph+ saloons, preempt the actions of mothers in huge 4x4's and
watch 90 year old fossils meander their way towards me. Roads go
everywhere, I have to cross those roads to get to work. Motorists,
Deal With It.
Public transport isn't good enough. Actually what is being
said is "I cannot organise my life well enough to plan for a bus or
train". I can. Many others can. I can relax on a bus, switch off or
read. If I was driving I couldn't. So what if the bus doesn't go
directly from your home to your destination? Big deal if you have to
walk 200 metres to or from the bus stop. Is it that much of a hassle
to sit with other people on the bus? No. Public transport is good
enough - It is the motorist who will continue to find excuses to
justify their car.
It is always other people's cars that pollute. Cars pollute.
They may pollute less than they used to,
but there are more cars about now - there is a net increase in
pollution. Simply "getting rid of all old cars" would not solve the
problem - to meet the demand new ones would be manufactured at
great environmental cost.
Pollution is not a problem Try telling that to your
grandchildren as they take of their gas masks. "Sorry, but it wasn't a
problem back in 2000, so we thought we'd do nothing." Pollution
IS a problem. We have a choice now; cut back a little now,
or cut back completely in 50 years' time.
Please try to cut back on your car usage, every little will
help a great deal
Noder's note: I have
just spent about an hour defending myself against concerted attacks from car owners - I make no apology for this node.