by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
This is a question that is being asked time and again by governments and then the ideas of charging for road use, etc. come up.
However, that is all with the fossil fuel powered cars in mind, but the future is not car, not even the electric one. The future in transport is the transport of the past, regardless what government and industry would like to suggest.
Government talks about the need for more roads, high speed trains the lines of which destroy the countryside, and additional airport capacity. However, all of that is tosh.
The future in transport is proper trains that run on time in every weather and the fares of which are affordable and other affordable mass transit options. And, in addition to that, we need the proper infrastructure for people no longer having to commute.
On the personal transport level the car will soon be history anyway as fuel costs will simply make driving inhibitive to most if not all and costs are not about to come down significantly. The era of cheap oil and thus cheap gasoline and diesel is past and thus we need to consider a new approach.
The electric car is, in the main, far too expensive for the ordinary motorist to consider as an alternative and the costs of them also are hardly going to come down anytime soon, if ever. And then one has to consider that the range still is an issue (it would hardly get you from many commuter locations to London and back on a charge) and the charging too is not going to be free either.
One way of reducing the transport problem is to bring work back to where people live or people back to where the work is. It also would greatly benefit the local areas and we also have to change the way we live and work and where we live and work.
The work, per se, also have to come back home and that includes insourcing all of which we have, so far, outsourced to other countries. Jobs at home, near where people live, will change things as regards to transport also and will also do away with the need for any more roads, high speed rail links and other such ventures.
Bring work back within reach of the people, so they can walk, cycle or rake the bus or local train to work, and the country and the countryside will benefit.
But, oh no, we cannot do that. That would take profits away from the developers and backhanders that our politicians receive.
You want to know the future of personal transport; it is shank's pony and the iron steed first and foremost, followed by mass transit, and not the electric car or high speed trains.