Green POLL: Should private car ownership be banned in UK cities?

Andy Burnham says better transport will 'change people's lives'

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Speaking on behalf of the Department for Transport at the Collaborative Mobility annual shared transport conference, Ms Harrison said the country needs to move away from “20th century thinking centred around private vehicle ownership”. Ms Harrison said it was “staggering” that nearly two-thirds of car trips are taken by lone drivers and stressed the importance for British roads to introduce “greater flexibility, with personal choice and low carbon shared transport”.

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Shared transport includes bike share schemes, car clubs, shared rides, e-scooters, and digital demand responsive transport services like Uber.

Ms Harrison, MP for Copeland, said: “The challenge is to move further and faster to make shared mobility less of a novelty and increasing the norm to make it as easy, as convenient and as accessible as possible.

“We are reaching a tipping point where shared mobility in the form of car clubs, scooters and bike shares will soon be a realistic option for many of us to get around.

“Where mobility hubs become a familiar part of our street architecture and where all these options will be available to book and pay for at the touch of a smartphone.

“I think the benefits are really significant: from clean air to healthier populations to greater connectivity for more people, no matter where they live.”

Richard Dilks, chief executive of CoMoUK, welcomed Harrison’s comments, which he said demonstrates that shared transport is on the Government’s agenda.

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Mr Dilks added: “Shared transport is the key to a more sustainable future for the UK, enabling people to use transport without the need to own it – shifting to resources such as car clubs, bike share, shared rides and demand responsive transport – with a lower impact on the environment and transport infrastructure.

“By encouraging people to use public and active travel modes more, governments can help reduce the demand for privately owned cars and achieve the country’s net zero strategy.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out ambitious targets for the UK to reach net zero by 2050, meaning the greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere from Britain would be balanced out by the greenhouse gases being cleansed from the atmosphere by green British projects.

These policies include scrapping petrol cars, diesel cars, and gas boilers, as well as encouraging people to eat less meat, and cut down on plastic waste.

Transport has been a major focus for the Government’s green targets.

Most recently, London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone tax was extended from a 21 square km area of central London to cover most of London up to the outskirts, affecting a 225 square km zone.

The move aims to encourage city dwellers away from private car ownership and towards using public transport to decrease toxic air pollution.

Other UK cities are expected to do the same in the coming years.

Do you think private car ownership in city centres should be banned? Have your say in the comments section below.

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