David Dobereiner, (Author of The End of the Street: Sustainable Growth within Natural Limits), George Monbiot’s article (Electric cars won’t solve our pollution problems – Britain needs a total transport rethink, 23 September) is spot on. As a retired architect and urban designer, I was particularly taken by the last section where Monbiot states: “Fundamentally this is not a vehicle problem but an urban design problem.” His account of the “15-minute city” being carried out by the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, is the way all big cities should go. By re-localising and bringing together all the workers and residents in each neighbourhood, with their own commons at the centre and weekly assembly meetings practising participatory democracy, big steps can be taken towards implementing the kind of circular economics, with zero waste, that the world so urgently needs. Separating pedestrian from vehicular traffic is a basic requirement. One way this can be achieved is using main bus routes to define new communities. Within that border selected roads can be made traffic-free in such a way as allows all within the boundary to reach the central commons without encountering a single car, truck or bus.
Guardian 25th Sept 2020 read more »
Free parking and a VAT cut on electric cars are being considered by ministers as Boris Johnson prepares to ban the sale of new combustion engine models within a decade. A report commissioned by the Department for Transport said that a series of “upfront incentives” were needed to drive up the sale of new electric vehicles. The study said additional financial support to buy a battery-powered car was “one of the most effective and popular levers” the government could adopt. It suggested that cutting the VAT rate for electric cars and, in turn, penalising those who buy petrol or diesel models was popular with potential buyers. It said that other incentives, including free use of public car parking spaces, could have a “positive impact” at least in the short to medium term. Some councils already offer either free or cheaper parking for electric vehicles.
Times 26th Sept 2020 read more »