So that’s that then

Electric cars won’t solve our pollution problems – Britain needs a total transport rethink
George Monbiot

Because rubber from tyres, see?

The solution?

Even a switch to bicycles (including electric bikes and scooters) is only part of the answer. Fundamentally, this is not a vehicle problem but an urban design problem. Or rather, it is an urban design problem created by our favoured vehicle. Cars have made everything bigger and further away. Paris, under its mayor Anne Hidalgo, is seeking to reverse this trend, by creating a “15-minute city”, in which districts that have been treated by transport planners as mere portals to somewhere else become self-sufficient communities – each with their own shops, parks, schools and workplaces, within a 15-minute walk of everyone’s home.

This, I believe, is the radical shift that all towns and cities need.

Back to village life it is then, peasants.

Still think of the advantages. People won’t be able to escape rural Wales to bug the rest of us…..

38 thoughts on “So that’s that then”

  1. Still think of the advantages. People won’t be able to escape rural Wales to bug the rest of us…..

    Meanwhile, those of us who live in rural Wales won’t have to put up with the periodic invasions of the Townies every bank holiday…

  2. If these tossers want that type of life no one is stopping them, but these people are religious cultists who can never be reasoned with and who are not content on living their lives the way they see fit, you must live your life the way they see fit.

  3. I wonder what type of people will live in these “15-minute cities”? Probably not the sort of people you want to travel through in order to get to your home in the suburbs.

  4. So all of the efficiencies of living in large communities must be disposed for inefficient self-sufficiency. The phrase is so often used as a pleasant-sounding fig leaf to cover an authoritarian demand. Where are the food, the clothes, the power, the heat, the water all coming from for all of these “self-sufficient communities”?

    He probably likes the idea as he sees himself as the block commander. In a nice feldgrau uniform and a little tank.

  5. I wonder what type of people will live in these “15-minute cities”?

    Well, he specifically mentions Paris, so maybe it’s a stealth plan to stop them setting cars on fire.

  6. Also, he used to be very vocal about people not needing cars till his ex told him she wasn’t going to bring up their daughter in the hell hole that was Oxford and forced him to move to rural Wales (Isn’t that worse?) and he bought a second hand Renault.

  7. “each with their own shops, parks, schools and workplaces, within a 15-minute walk of everyone’s home.”

    and what if I don’t want those shops? What if I prefer the hairdresser on the other side of town? What if my mates live some distance away? What if the indoor play centre or ice rink isn’t in my 15 minute city?

    Personally, I think cars are the future because commuting is taking such a massive hit that the roads are empty, which means rail loses its one big advantage. For non-congested journeys, like Swindon to Cheltenham, how many people use the train? Not many.

    Add in that WFH also means you might not need city offices… maybe you move out to Watford…. people have to make unusual journeys when they do travel and that suits cars. But I think we may all drive less in total.

    I think the future places are large towns and small cities. Places between the population of 150-500K people. My guess is that London is going to become a bit like Baltimore or Detroit over the coming years.

  8. Depressing Attenborough

    Why do they always want to go backwards? Back in the sixties everyone was confident science and forward progress was the answer – nuclear fusion would rid us of waste and solve the energy problem, we can create synthetic materials instead of hacking down trees, and we can scrub the air clean with some doofangly. Now everyone is depressed and negative and doom-mongery. But the reality is we can still solve these problems. What happened to make such a huge cultural shift?

  9. What BoM4 says. I live within walking distance of shop A, but I prefer shop B which is driving distance away. Without the freedom to drive, shop A loses all incentive to compete (whether on price or quality), and my life gets invariably worse.

  10. My “local” records office is a two-hour car or four-hour bus journey away, I *need* my car.
    “Do it online!”
    *I’M* the one *putting* it online!

  11. “What happened to make such a huge cultural shift?”

    The Eastern Bloc fell. The Left realised free markets and capitalism had won, they could never make life under socialism good enough that people would vote for it, so they had to destroy the alternative entirely, in order for socialism to grab power in the resulting chaos.

    And the only way to do that is consistently undermine it by creating invisible ‘threats’ it can’t cope with, and is thus ‘failing’, and constantly telling people how bad they are treated under it, despite life never being so good. Thanks to the long march through the institutions the Left are now in a position to influence everyone via the education systems, and the media.

  12. London has been described as a collection of villages for as long as I can remember, so what’s new? The comparison with Paris is particularly asinine. Paris has very few small local parks compared to London, but it does have the doggers’ paradise the Bois de Boulogne, which is hard to reach.

  13. Does this also apply to the rest of the world so now all the wicked furriners can’t swarm into Britain?

    Oh! He’s just buggering around the Brits is he?

  14. ” What happened to make such a huge cultural shift?”
    The tinkling noise you can hear is money. Doomsayer has proved a shrewd career move.

  15. So the Green-Left has finally embraced G. K. Chesterton? Great! What the world really needs is an independent Notting Hill!

    “To-morrow morning at twenty-five minutes past ten, if Heaven spares my life, I purpose to issue a Proclamation. It has been the work of my life, and is about half finished. With the assistance of a whisky and soda, I shall conclude the other half to-night, and my people will receive it to-morrow. All these boroughs where you were born, and hope to lay your bones, shall be reinstated in their ancient magnificence,—Hammersmith, Kensington, Bayswater, Chelsea, Battersea, Clapham, Balham, and a hundred others. Each shall immediately build a city wall with gates to be closed at sunset. Each shall have a city guard, armed to the teeth. Each shall have a banner, a coat-of-arms, and, if convenient, a gathering cry. I will not enter into the details now, my heart is too full. They will be found in the proclamation itself. You will all, however, be subject to enrolment in the local city guards, to be summoned together by a thing called the Tocsin, the meaning of which I am studying in my researches into history. Personally, I believe a tocsin to be some kind of highly paid official. If, therefore, any of you happen to have such a thing as a halberd in the house, I should advise you to practise with it in the garden.”

    There is nothing more radical today than a Reactionary.

    Although I can’t help thinking it is driven by the need to have a Gated Community as in America. Paris is full of dangerous foreigners. So we need to retreat behind walls and gates to keep them out.

  16. ” a switch to bicycles (including electric bikes and scooters) ”
    A while since I’ve been UK side. Has the proliferation of these electric things occurred over there? Here they’ve become yet another class of vehicle seem exempt from traffic laws. Common to have one coming at you at 40km an hour in a one way street, the wrong way. Or from behind when you step off the pavement to cross the same street. Or zooming past you on the pavement. They’ve joined two-stroke scooter riders, who also consider traffic regs optional.

  17. His real problem is that the somewhat more mainstream left have cut his lunch. They’ve pinched net zero by 2050, mandatory EV transition, etc. So he has to go further. ‘Your progressive solutions are not good enough, stop stealing my audience! Splitters! Walking is the only answer!’

    Also, I am the only one to have never heard about tire wear as being a major particulate emission problem? It can’t be anywhere near as bad as dried horse shit was before the switch to ICE.

  18. “You must live your life the way they see fit.”

    How much better my life would have been with freedom. The Left sucks joy from existence.

    “Capitilism isn’t fair!”

    Socialism/communism is a grey, joyless world with no future. The light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off.

  19. On the good news front, Moonbat thinks HS2 is a waste of money. Thus proving that a stopped clock is right at least once an article.

    +1 Jim, you stole my joke. ‘Would you like a ride in my little tank?’

  20. Those ridiculous scooters are everywhere, Mr in Spain. I think they’re best viewed in Darwinian terms as promptly freeing the rest of us from the company of their stupid users, by getting wrapped around the axles of buses and cars.

  21. “Where are the food, the clothes, the power, the heat, the water all coming from for all of these “self-sufficient communities”?”
    The Morlocks will provide it.

  22. Moonbat is a pompous loony. He wrote an article suggesting the English peasantry ought to be subsisting on pease pudding, just like in the good old days when 99% of the population worked their fingers to the bone and died before they hit 40.

  23. We had all this in the 60s and 70s with local shops and businesses and pedestrian routes. What did we get ? Bracknell.

    I saw an article in the Mail where that prize ass Khan cycled from Tooting to City Hall followed by his security Range Rover. That’s a long trek, would’ve taken a couple of hours. What’s the reality that he got as far as Balham and threw the bike in the back ?

  24. Ottokring, also in the 80s/90s when businesses got all excited about providing facilities for high powered executives to cycle to work, have a shower, then turn out in a suit and power tie for a long day of meetings. Been replaced, as far as I can tell, by RUOK.

  25. The Moonbat really is the gift that keeps on giving isn’t he? But I’m afraid the age of the car really is drawing to a close unless there is a revolution. London roads are now being vandalised with a quarter of a billion pounds worth of “improvements”, and people dying because of delayed ambulances etc. will not shift the political will to impose them. Just as people dying because they can’t get care from the NHS because of a virus that is no worse than a bad flu season is going to stop the Covid madness. In fact in each case they’re doubling down on it.

    The only consolation will be seeing the look on the faces of the woke wankers who’ve spent tens of thousands on Teslas when they realise they’re going to be targeted too.

  26. Moonbats shite vis Agenda 21.

    We plebs are to have our mobility reduced. No more flying no more cars.

    More than that we are to be herded into urban shitholes. They want Mao peasant bikes cos you cant commute on them. The Irish have already had this confirmed in the ?”Ireland 2040″ bogroll from Teasucker Vardlo. They are to live in urban high density housing. Those living in towns /villages/country will presumably be priced out and into the urban ghettos to be run by African machete gangs. Leaving the rest of what was Eire for country parks and stately home for the “elite”.

  27. Took me 52 minutes to do 4.2 miles in London this afternoon.

    The pavement-widening for ‘social distancing’ is a marvel.

  28. One reason the French economy is so sclerotic is that people don’t shift places to find better jobs. A nasty combination of provincialism, massive stamp duties, and habit. Basing any economic decisions on how the French do things is not wise.

    These “villages” would cause a similar thing to happen in Britain. Teachers, for example, would have the choice of one school- — and couldn’t shift because their partner’s work is in the same village. This is one main reason why people leave pleasant villages and move to grimy cities in the first place.

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