The Canterbury Society takes a close interest in transport which is central to the quality of life in the city. Our main concern relates to the over use of private cars in the city, which create excessive congestion in the city centre, cause a danger to pedestrians and cyclists, and compromise air quality in the city. We strongly believe that after several decades of growing car usage, the Council needs to raise its ambitions and work toward a total solution that enforces a switch away from the use of private motorcars and towards alternative means of transport such as buses, trains, bicycles and walking.
As with any aspect of public policy, this will involve the use of both carrots and sticks, e.g. the Council must increase the costs of car usage while giving people genuine alternatives to the car for all or part of their journeys. This will require courage and determination. However, as successive surveys indicate, there is widespread public support for a balanced and integrated transport system in the city. Progressive measures will come up against considerable resistance from those who consider car usage an automatic right, free of social costs. The Council must have the courage to make the opposite case.