Up-date to “On Bristol I”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/18/air-pollution-kills-bristol-health

n.b. Bristol is one city in the UK that is beginning to understand the danger to lives brought on by air pollution. Here is a list of other cities in England I have visited recently who are blighted by traffic congestion and whose councillors need to take urgent action:

Walsall

Lincoln*

Norwich*

Chichester*

Portsmouth

Southampton

Salisbury*

In the cities with historic cathedrals*, pedestrian areas have been established in the tourist centres, and park & ride services have been set up to some extent, but the traffic congestion and therefore air pollution stands heaviest along the access and ring roads to each city, where much social housing is located.

Salisbury suffers particularly as it is a settlement on a major thoroughfare between the Wiltshire Downs (inc. Stonehenge) and the port of Southampton.

Walsall lies beneath the M6 motorway that is frequently choked to a standstill. The borough is north-east of the road, the prevailing wind is south-westerly so that particulates are distributed to most areas of the town.

Southampton is just a mess. The suburb of Shirley, for example, developed along tram lines, (now long gone), is constantly thick with traffic. Public transport is no longer reliable, so cars have become the mode of choice. The clogging traffic becomes the driver for wealthier people to abandon the area. Social problems intensify with the concentration of a lower income population, who can only afford to live in polluted streets.

Would cheap, electric public transport solve the problem? The Gilet Jaunes protests across France indicate otherwise; life outside towns is only feasible with access to private transport.

Revolutionary thinking and action is urgently required.

.

CLP 18/11/2019

Published by

Christopher Perry

Liberté, Equalité, Humanité