We all love the car don’t we.
Don’t get me wrong, of course I ‘like’ my car and I ‘use’ my car. But I think the invention of the car was the worst popular creation that could have happened to the world! Compare it to the ordinary two-wheeled bicycle, which is arguably probably the greatest transport conception ever – used worldwide obviously for transport primarily, but also for recreation, and sport.
Whereas bicycles are a very efficient and an effective mode of transportation (over medium distances naturally), cars are uneconomic and extravagant (allow long journeys undoubtedly). Bikes show many benefits compared to cars, not least in terms of health – they substitute physical exercise for a car encouraged sedentary life and air pollution (as well as fossil fuel generated global warming).
The 30 million cars in the UK cause massive road congestion, clog our towns and cities, cause annoying obstructions by parking, threaten the safety of pedestrians and other means of transport, and ruin our countryside. The death toll on our roads in the UK is about two thousand EVERY YEAR – that is 5 men, women, or children EACH DAY. Another 60 people a day are SERIOUSLY INJURED. Nobody seems to notice – except the victims’ families.
To put these dreadful figures into context, consider rail crashes: one of the worst the Ladbroke Grove rail crash 1999, 31 people killed and 520 injured, in the Potters Bar rail crash 2002; there were 7 killed and 76 injured. Major investigation and enquiries into both certainly.
Yet the love affair with the car goes on. We are proud to have a successful car manufacturing industry (owned by foreign companies of course), and we are making one and a half million cars a year here, and send most of them overseas – so we are doing our bit to help to make destruction by car global. Don’t worry the other counties get their own back and send nearly as many cars to us.
In my time I have owned some really nice cars that you have never heard of!. My first drive was a Jowett Javelin, a British car, said to be a car ahead of its time (& featured in the TV series Ballykissangel); a real pride and joy was my white Triumph Spitfire sports car with wire wheels (enjoyed before any children came along); there was also my lovely Volkswagen K70 (designed by the NSU car maker). Yes, i’ve got a modern car now!