Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum by Dr Mary Searle-Chatterjee (IT 153)

  I enclose some comments on the White Paper on Transport. I would like these to be considered by the committee.

  While very much appreciating the general drift of the White Paper, I am concerned that it is not specific enough about the means of ensuring that good ideas will actually be implemented. It is not sufficiently clear about who is responsible for what. What is the role of the police to be in enforcing policies on parking, speeding and bus lanes? In Manchester little effort is made to prevent cars parking on a cycle lane on the busiest thoroughfare. Where is the money coming from to enable the police to enforce these policies? What would be the time-scale for receipt of it and for implementation of the policies? Who will monitor their enforcement?

  The present dominance of the car is leading to the exclusion of human beings from streets and public places.

  May I draw to your attention some commendable aspects of traffic control in Japan. There they have "green man" pedestrian crossings at almost every junction, however small, and cyclists share pavements with pedestrians, generally successfully. In the event of injury to a pedestrian or cyclist, a motorist is presumed guilty and is often require to contribute a considerable portion of his salary to the victim for the rest of his life! The fact that this is unthinkable to us shows the extent to which the dominance of the motorist has become seen as natural. This is a very inegalitarian, as well as environmentally disastrous, situation.

Mary Searle-Chatterjee (Dr)

25 October 1998

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