Thursday 4 November 2021

Growing concrete

Grow concrete

This week a radio station reached a new low. Have a look at the interview. It got worse, they went on to defend themselves. I couldn't find the interviews other than on twitter, unfortunately that means more views for their stream. But you do get to see the replies.

The media is letting us down.

It started with telling people shops had bare shelves which led to everyone buying as much toilet paper as they could; creating shortages that likely weren't as wide spread as it seemed.

We've had sporadic reports about various items many times since; recently it was fuel. This caused chaos for over a week, the situation was much worse than it would have been had everyone not been told to panic.

My main focus is usually how active travel; cycling, walking and safer streets is reported and it's influence on the public. But over the last two years I have dispaired at what they have done.

They amplify monority opposition to any scheme that doesn't prioritise motor transport. Worse is the proliferation of anti cycling/active travel articles. Or what could be seen as anti motor transport protests. See link. No climate emergency? Worse was his justification of driving into protestors. The way this was reported buy other media outlets seemed to support him. Are we saying protests can only be about subjects the media support, and must not cause any disruption if not?

Then there is advertising, I've noticed an increase for cars; especially SUV's. Cars are getting bigger, and the biggest are gaining a larger share of new car sales. It doesn't make them much better if they are electic or hybrid, we need less cars and the ones that are needed have to be smaller. The move to electric will add to the problem of blocked pavements. My wife and I can't walk around our local streets; her wheelchair is too wide for the small amount of space left for us. We would have to walk in the road. Trailing cables to charge cars will increase the barriers we face.

The ads always show empty city streets or people driving in the countryside. Both are not reaslistic, they don't show the reality of endless queues, aggresive and dangerous driving, and the hopelessness of building more roads and packing to accommodate them.

Investment in active travel and public transport is where the money should go. It shouldn't be cheaper to drive or fly. Other countries are doing better, France for instance. Paris has built much more infrastructure for safer cycling. It has banned domestic flights where a train service exists; what did the UK do? Cut the aviation tax on domestic flights, making train travel even more expensive in comparison. And extended the freeze on fuel duty rises. The eleven years this has happened could have provided £50bn to pay for schools, the NHS and many other struggling areas.