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Transport: the 40:40:20 rule

by Dave Riley

I've been trying to seed our transport advocacy with some nuance as the challenge of transport --while one of the easiest in way of carbon tech fixes -- can serve as a template for all the other climate driving stuff we have to redo.

So to get beyond the slogans here's a snippet of information to ponder where the personal and polical intersect with what is and is not immediately feasible:
In her book Car Sick, Lyn Sloman cites research from around the world that shows that car journeys generally follow the rule of 40/40/20:
  • 40% of the car trips made by the average person could have been made by bike, foot or public transport without the need for any changes to existing bus services, cycle tracks or streets.
  • 40% of trips are too far to walk, too difficult to cycle, or do not have a bus or train service. These trips could be made without using a car if such options were improved. Meantime, they would need to be made by taxi or hiring a car.
  • 20% of journeys have to be made by car: typically for uses such as carrying a heavy load or transporting an elderly relative. Again, taxis or car hire would provide an alternative to owning your own car for such trips. Source

Image: Lyn Sloman addressing Camden Cycling Campaign meeting

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