Spending on public transport is a conspicuous and attractive way to tackle the problems caused by the growth in car use. But the cost per person mile for public transport provision is far higher than that for cycling and walking.
More of the current objectives of public policy on environmental protection – and, not least, limiting ecological damage from climate change – would be furthered by giving pride of place both in rural and urban areas to cycling and walking, well before public transport.
Originally published in Best Ideas: A Compendium of Social Innovations (eds. Nicholas Albery et al.) 1995. (The public costs per mile to cater for walking and cycling are far lower than those for public transport.)
Adapted extract from the synopsis of a presentation at a Cornwall Friends of the Earth ‘turning the corner’ conference, printed in Greenline, May 1995.