There was a report yesterday which highlighted the problem with continuous growth, and of course with a progressing increase of the number of people in the world, the need for development is a requirement otherwise there would be a decrease in living standards. But growth in itself brings its own problems.
It is the soap bubble syndrome … as the effervescence expands the delicate walls of the structure become weak and eventually bursts. In all matters there is a similarity, supply outstrips demand and the reverse happens and the growth becomes unattainable and ruptures and a settling of events takes place.
However, in certain circumstances the escalation is so unremitting that the natural bursting of the bubble does not occur and other steps need to be taken to bring the enlargement and expansion under control.
All cities in the Western world and no doubt elsewhere have a traffic problem brought on by the natural desire for people to own their own transport. The growth started about twenty years after the end of the Second World War when families started to own their own chariots. It did not stop there, at the one car family … and why not? Why shouldn’t the partner of the house have one too? The growth of the family took place and then the child, followed by another saw no reason why they should not have something similar.
Over the years each administration in the various towns and cities has attempted to cope with the growth of the private vehicles expanding through their region. Parking meters, yellow lines and one way traffic systems but no matter how difficult they made it for the motorist they will not be put off their comfortable home on wheels. Those wheels themselves have added to the problem, where once the owners were happy with four seats in their personal carriage, they wanted something larger and the industry was happy to supply.
So the motor car continued to grow in numbers and mass and unlike the bubble it has not burst leaving the Local Authorities to try and cope with the upward number of the increasing size of the personal transport system and the fumes being emitted by them.
London with about four million people in residence came up with a scheme in 2003 to charge cars in the centre of the city. In the first ten years this raised 1.2 billion pounds which was spent on public transport improvements and cycle ways. It also lowered traffic levels in the system by ten percewnt, although traffic was moving slower.
However, this congestion charge which operates in the centre between 8.00 am to 7.00 pm is not enough as the traffic levels and the pollution across the City has continued to rise. So in a stronger way to get people out of their cars in London itself the zone is to be increased as from April 2021 and will include all the area between the North and South Circular roads. Also to try and ‘bring to an end the spiralling growth of the motor car’ (my words) the charge of 12.50 per day will operate 24/7. This means, if you live within the zone and take Johnny and Mary to school every day it will cost in access of three thousand pounds per year. Perhaps the bubble of the expanding car will burst.