Only bans will reduce car use

In your Miss Ridgeway’s comment article in the December 12th edition she said there is “plenty of factual, statistical evidence ... that you will only get people out of their cars and onto public transport if it is cheaper than using the car and if it is convenient”.

I’m not at all sure this is true. What evidence are you referring to?

I believe the only way to get commuters out of their cars is to ban them from city centres or impose extremely high charges for entering by car.

Singapore, for example, has an excellent, cheap and convenient underground railway system backed up by comprehensive bus services but it still has to charge vehicles entering the central area of Singapore city in an effort to reduce congestion.

London’s public transport system is very well used and “supported” by a congestion charge; the latter had some initial impact but, notwithstanding price increases, is now seen by the many who choose to pay it as a necessary (business) expense.

The great majority of car owners simply will not give up the independence of their own vehicle unless and until they are effectively forced to do so. They will never be tempted to choose public transport in favour of their own private vehicle.

Incidentally, I am both a car driver and regular bus user.

Cliff Baker

White Cross Gardens

South Hiendley