LETTERS: Car solutions must be global Crisis of millions of cars

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The Independent Online
As stated in your leading article "Nothing fair about cars" (19 May), transport policy cannot continue as at present. But the detrimental effect on health of car usage is not the only issue: perhaps of even more concern is the contribution to global warming through carbon dioxide emissions. In the UK, 24 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions comes from transport of which 21 per cent is from road transport. This is forecast to rise to more than 26 per cent by the year 2000.

The car is one of the largest threats to the health of the planet. There are over 700 million of them, roughly 8 per cent of the world's population has a car, and many more aspire to owning one. China and India alone have the potential to add 300 million each to the world's car fleet in the next decade. While the car and oil companies may view this with excitement the impact on the global environment would be disastrous.

In terms of energy used, a diesel car averaging 30mpg carrying the driver uses 5.93 mega joules per passenger kilometre (mj/km) compared to a half- full 70-seater bus that uses 0.78 mj/km. We need radical solutions to curb the threat vast numbers of cars cause to the health of us all. This must apply not just to the UK but globally.

Charlie Trousdell

Brighton, East Sussex