Britain, Climate change, e-petitions, Environment, Politics, road-pricing petition

cars, ad infinitum

Jackie Ashley is starting to annoy me: I can take scepticism about new media; I can take sarcasm against Blair (sometime I even indulge in it myself); but I can’t take bad arguments. Today she writes about the road-pricing petition: she claims that building new roads would not help with congestion. Her argument? The fact that, over the last 10 years, the number of cars in the country has gone from 26m to 33m. So building new roads won’t help, because the number of cars will keep growing. But it is silly to think that the number of cars will grow indefinitely. We know why Ashley doesn’t want new roads – the environment. And that’s fair enough. So please let it not be disguised behind poor argument.

Having said that, don’t sign the petition.


4 thoughts on “cars, ad infinitum

  1. There is a theory somewhere that cars will inevitably fill the roadspace provided. New motorways, and new lanes in motorways, do little to solve the problem of traffic congestion. All they can do is postpone it, but at the cost of having more traffic later, because they just feed demand.
    I’m sorry for the lack of specifics — I read about it around 20 years ago! However, from observation I’d be pretty sure that it’s sound: someone else was blogging a little while back about whether they should sacrifice their THIRD car…

  2. hi bohsnews,

    i’d like to hear more about it. with population pretty steady, and age constraints, i dont quite see how more roads won’t mean less congestion. yes, the number of cars for person can grow, but to a point (and more importantly the number of cars around at any given time can’t grow as much as the number of cars). you could argue that, with less congestion, people would use cars more often. and so that less congestion would only, and inevitably, be short lived. but, again, there is a limit to the use one can make of a car.

    so i guess it depends on what kind of increase in road building we are considering. but, in principle, road building does decrease congestion.

    anyway, thanks for the tip… ill look it up.

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