Not owning a car is a great way to stay fit, save money, and avoid loads of hassle. This is a blog with thoughts, photos, ideas and links about carfree life: walking, active travel, public transport, places and spaces - things that matter to everyone, but even more when you don’t own a car. Photos are by me unless credited. Forthcoming: book on carfree life. Meantime, get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @carfreebrighton
Friday, 29 June 2012
A Tale of Two Islands
A recent trip across the water got me thinking about two islands: the first island has a network of Green Lanes with a maximum speed limit of 15mph to encourage cyclists and pedestrians; cycle routes cover around 100 miles of the island and there’s a 48 mile footpath which goes right round the island. Plus a reliable and economical bus service which gives access to pretty much everywhere. The other island has one of the highest rates of car ownership and use in the world; it has a superb sandy bay with a four lane highway where there should be a tranquil promenade; this island seems to have more Porsches than Stuttgart and more 4x4s than a meeting of the Young Farmers. On this island, although the main town has a population of just 30,000, it’s completely clogged with traffic, in something close to gridlock on working days. Poor waymarking means that the round-island path disappears in several places (although locals say it’s there if you know where - not much use for non-locals). And access to some of the most beautiful beaches is all but cut off by private landowners. Of course, it’s one island: The Bailiwick of Jersey. Jersey is beautiful, with its broad sandy beaches and towering cliffs. But for an island of only 100,000 people, the traffic is absurd - something needs to be done: and building more highways is not the answer.