How sustainable transport can save the world

This is not a revolutionary idea, however few towns and cities seem to be implementing this with the scale and will that is required to dramatically improve urban environments and the lives of the increasing numbers of people that inhabit them.

For me sustainable transport includes walking, mobility aids, cycling, public transport (trains, trams, buses.) The jury is out on new variations such as ‘on-demand’ minibuses, which seem to have greater overlap with taxis and currently take a similar quantity of road space per passenger as private vehicles and taxis. The reverse traffic pyramid shown here provides a fantastic way of rethinking how we move around cities efficiently and how funds should be prioritised to reflect this. There was a seminal moment recently when the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo tweeted this image, taking the concept to a mainstream audience.

In the UK, especially outside London, the current mix of public transport is very poor. The Department for Transport releases annual detailed statistics on how we travel in the UK. We can see below how, as a percentage of kilometres travelled, sustainable transport has been dwarfed by cars since the 60’s. Transport shifted from human-centric to car-centric in a relatively short period of time.

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