For example, the average item of food travels 50 per cent farther from producer to household than it did 10 years ago. Similar changes have occurred in almost every field of production, all represented by increases in lorry mileages. People also travel ever further to work, to shop, and in their leisure. Only a small part of this is because of increases in personal freedoms and choices. Most is the result of planning decisions by planning authorities, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. Time and again the decision has been made that it will be cheaper to close down a factory, shop, school, hospital or distribution depot and let people travel farther to a new big central one, usually sited away from public transport.
A sensible transport policy must start by asking not how we move people and goods about, but how we can avoid the need to.
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