The Rising Tide of Transport Gluttony

Are some people over-consuming transport, creating negative impacts and outweighing the benefits of active transport interventions? There is growing consensus about the need to increase the proportion of people walking, cycling and using public transport. This is for a range of objectives including climate breakdown, physical and mental health, air quality, congestion, economic vitality etc. However, the other side of the coin – the need to restrain cars – although much talked about is not sufficiently implemented. The paper will look specifically at transport gluttony: the over-consumption of transport, with adverse consequences for other transport users. Examples include: • using cars for very short trips – a third of car journeys in London are for trips under 2km, contributing to poor air quality, congestion and unpleasant conditions for active modes; • the rising use of large vehicles in urban areas (one in three cars sold in Europe is an SUV) – SUVs are twice as likely to kill pedestrians by inflicting greater upper body and head injuries; and • driver behaviours such as excessive speed, driving through red lights, parking on the footway and engine idling – these have a negative impact on people walking and cycling and can have a particularly severe impact on places such as schools. With the Coronavirus and lockdown, people have experienced a very different environment for walking and cycling this year. The paper will focus on ways in which this rising tide of transport gluttony can be turned. It will look at the policies and measures that can be taken to reduce such over-consumption to benefit active transport modes and to make towns and cities better places for everyone to live, drawing on examples where this is happening. It will also look at the political benefits that can come with such an approach to transport.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Pagination: 6p
  • Monograph Title: European Transport Conference 2020

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01768543
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 19 2021 2:44PM