I covered two year ago how the Yellow School Bus Committee in the UK wanted to introduce US style school buses. This organisation was established and sponsored by a bus company, and it was quite obvious that they would benefit from the proposal more than children riding in the buses.
Now the CBI (Conferederation of British Industry) is at it. They "want to see more use of US-style yellow school buses to cut school-run congestion." Apparently "the average length of journey to school for 11-16 year-olds rose from 2.8 miles in 2000 to 3.4 miles in 2006... It is estimated that 12% of school pupils would use such a service, which would eliminate 130 million car journeys a year (saving 55,000 tonnes of CO2). This would cut rush hour car traffic by 2.6%."
That's right, this again has nothing at all to do with making children's lives better, but they'd like to see children kept out of the way of important people in cars. Here in the Netherlands, children quite routinely make much longer journeys by bike to get to school. They can do so because of the infrastructure.
Where are the calls for similar infrastructure in the UK, reducing dependence on motor vehicles by increasing the directness of journeys and the subjective safety for cyclists, and giving children a greater degree of freedom ?
If the CBI really is concerned about the cost to business due to congestion then why don't they really, seriously, try to encourage more cycling ? If cycling in Britain reached Dutch levels not only would it save British businesses 2.5 billion pounds per year, but it would also do a lot more for the environment than the CBI's motor vehicle oriented "low-carbon transport roadmap," in which the only mentions of changes to infrastructure are in terms of charging stations for electric cars. Yes, it seems they really do believe that the problems caused by cars can only be solved by more cars.
Freewheeler covered this story from a different angle.
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