CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Electric cars are not a permanent solution

08 April, 2021

• I DON’T often disagree with Peeps but I have to take issue with his comment on electric cars (April 1).

Why would Ed Miliband, indeed why would most Camden residents, want or need electric cars?

Our public transport, while not perfect, is getting better all the time, there are more and more protected cycle lanes, walking is being made easier with wider pavements, dropped kerbs, more pedestrian crossings and safe and healthy streets zones.

Electric vehicles need to be charged up on power that will not be truly carbon-neutral for decades, while they don’t pollute from their exhausts they do generate pollution from their tyres and brakes, they take up road space just by being parked, unused for 99 per cent of the time, space that is more efficiently used by buses and bikes.

When they are in use they cause congestion, and they still kill you if you get in their way.

Ed’s ideas for subsidies and loans would mean people being permanently in debt, or would benefit those who can afford it anyway, the few not the many.

The manufacturing process uses up huge resources of materials and energy, and many of the scarce metals needed are mined in third world areas of conflict and with fragile ecosystems.

OK some residents need assistance to get around. I respect that and I’m on the Street Access Co-production Team, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need your own personal vehicle, sharing, renting and taxis are possible.

Electric cars are not a permanent solution. We do not need to be car-dependent, the real switch we need is from private car to active travel, better for us and better for the planet.

CLLR SIMON PEARSON
Labour, Swiss Cottage ward

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