READER REPORT:

I want to ride my...Congested, carbon-spewing abberation

GEORGE LAKING
Last updated 05:00 08/12/2012
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GRIDLOCK: George Laking suggests cutting back on private car usage.

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I've been getting about on my bicycle since my teen years in the 1980s in Wellington. $5-a-litre petrol? Bring it on, I say - it can't happen soon enough.

Cycling is good for health and good for the planet because it is low-carbon transport.

The majority of New Zealanders are healthy and well-nourished and could easily be getting about on bikes. Weather is not a problem now that we have Gore-Tex raincoats.

Okay, I concede that not everyone is physically up to cycling Wellington's hills 24/7. In that case, my vote is for the electric bicycle. Kudos to Wellington's mayor, Celia Wade-Brown for leading the way on that one. So many one-person-per-car trips could be substituted with electric bicycle trips. Add a lightweight trailer and you can take the shopping.

Motoring should return to being a special thing. I would happily pay twice as much to drive half as often, if the roads were as empty as they were in the 1970s. Trips would be faster, parking would be guaranteed, and road rage would evaporate away.

Recently, I've started to go on buses again. One can get so much work done on a bus, with a 3G data connection and a tablet computer. Wear your walking shoes on the bus and it can feel like being on holiday in your own city.

I'm for cutting private car usage right back. I'm sure that future generations will look back at our congested, carbon-spewing cities, with their 8km/h journeys, and think "what an aberration that was."


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