I repeatedly find that the departments of the government, and local authorities issue edicts that conflict with another, or with every day practices. We were goaded at one time to switch off the idle lights on TVs and other equipment in order to save the world. What I find absurd, is that there seems to be no attempt to improve the rate of increase in public transport, and some of the routes taken by buses are equally impossible to justify. I can go from a local supermarket to my home by bus, but I can’t take the bus from my home to the supermarket, which is only a mile and a half away, without having to take two buses. You only have to have a minor construction job on a trunk road to see how many cars are actually using that road, and the majority of the cars will be one person per car. I would have thought that if they were so worried about the carbon emissions, increasing public transport would have been on the high priority list. I am aware that the cost of wars we are currently fighting are to some extent responsible, but it was the government of the time that placed us in this situation, impetuously, without thought for the outcome once the major project had been achieved, as had been recommended by senior ranks in the army.
There is generally an amicable solution to most problems, and I believe this applies particularly to what is termed ‘ the mummy ran’. I am told, that in Canada, schoolchildren are transported to school in what is termed ‘ the slow yellow bus’. In parts of Britain parents on a rota basis, collect the children en-route, all cycling, with one parent in the lead, one in the middle, and one bringing up the rear. Clearly, the numbers of people cycling in any one single group would have to have a limit. I recently received a postal catalogue that informed me that a government survey, carried out by a University had discovered that shopping by telephone, or online, generates 24 times less in carbon emissions compared with shopping by car. I quote this, not because I see it laudable, but because it shows the government is aware that using cars for shopping is creating carbon emission. The rider to that is that carrying children to school on a daily basis must be 250 times the carbon emission they won’t generate if they cycled, and something fairly low if they used the bus.
The research I did was very simple, and unscientific, and one of the questions I was asking parents was why children over say nine years old, had to be accompanied. There seemed to be two main worries, one was bullying by children from another quarter, and one was the possibility of children being offered drugs free of charge, experimentally. I don’t know if there are any statistics to justify these fears, but to take the number of children individually to school by car, as seems to be the practice everywhere, seems to be using a hammer to crack a nut. I accept the fact that the children are required to understand these problems and take precautions, one of which is a series of collection points, where parents can take their children, and either rely on the children as a group to resist these problems, or again have a rota of parents willing to walk with the children. To someone who walked every day to elementary school, a distance of a mile and a half, morning and afternoon, with no molestation in any form, makes me feel that the problem is not as serious as it would seem, and if it is then steps should be taken by the government and local authorities to eradicate this.