The number of cars on Britain’s roads increases year on year with many families owning two or more vehicles. This not only causes congestion, particularly in urban areas and on motorways, but is also a cause for concern in terms of environmental impact. Car emissions are full of greenhouse gases, adding to the dangerous reality of climate change at an alarming rate.
In our modern society we are used to being able to go where we want, when we want and to travelling for business and pleasure. This isn’t going to change, but perhaps it is time we all started to think about the consequences of our actions and whether we can reduce our environmental impact. This doesn’t have to mean never leaving the house, however, and using public transport is one way in which we can make a positive change.
On the one hand, a quarter of all car journeys in the UK are less than two miles long! In this case ‘private transport’ is surely the answer with cycling and walking the true eco-friendly options (with the added benefit of keeping us fit)! But for longer journeys public transport can be a real alternative to using the car and is much more environmentally friendly. Even rural areas usually have a bus services, and the extensive UK rail network can often get you from A to B more quickly than taking the car. Cost can sometimes by an issue, but it is worth looking into season tickets and booking in advance whenever possible in order to take advantage of cheap deals. Coach travel is often the most cost effective option, and whilst this can be a slower journey, it is often less stressful than driving yourself.
It might not be possible to use public transport all of the time, but, in terms of our carbon footprints, transportation is a key issue. It is worthwhile, therefore, exploring the options and ‘doing your bit’ by using public transport whenever you can. And don’t forget to look at other ways of reducing car use such as car sharing to work or taking the ‘walking bus’ to school.