(a) Why do many people regard current transport trends as unsustainable? (15 marks) (b) List and describe various measures that might be introduced to make transport more sustainable in future. (10 marks)
First a huge problem why current transport trends are regarded as unsustainable is because the fuels used to power the majority of transport modes are non renewable fuels. Transport consumes 1/3 of fossil fuels. The supply of these fuels is limited and they will eventually perish, therefore the demand will outweigh the supply. Diesel and petrol engine vehicles are not the future of transportation; we need an alternative fuel source. The production, transportation and consumption of fossil fuels have climate change impacts from CO2 emissions. The release of greenhouse gases heats up our planet and causes severe weather conditions like heat waves, floods and droughts, which affect crop yield and actually negatively impact transportation activities. Air pollution from our current transport trends also creates respiratory problems. Visual intrusion of transport also has social impacts and the noise generated can cause a nuisance and lower quality of life. Habitat destruction occurs when building roads or tumbling houses to extend runways, therefore all of this damage to the environment is unsustainable. Current transport systems generate waste in terms of vehicles, parts and packaging, which must be reduced. We waste time each day by travelling. In Great Britain we spend on average 1 hour a day actually travelling. People also travel at the same time of day due to work and school creating peak periods. This influx of traffic creates congestion, leading to delays, loss in productivity and energy waste. The large number of car users and outdated road networks and infrastructure within towns and cities are also contributing factors in congestion. If we don’t change our transport trends now, then the future generations will have to cope with the serious problems...
Links: to more rural areas would reduce the number of private car journeys and increase accessibility through alternative transport solutions. Multiplying the number of public transport modes and the frequency at which they operate would increase mobility and ultimately make transport more sustainable. Increasing comfort and convenience on public transport by making internet access available, adding softer seats and expanding private space for passengers may persuade private car users to take the bus or train instead. Cheaper fares and subsidising sustainable transport will reduce expenditure by the public and see a growth in demand as costs of unsustainable means will appear more expensive. More “cycle to work” and “park and ride” programs could be established to promote health and fitness but also as an incentive to avoid travelling by unsustainable means. Pedestrianising more streets and extending cycle lanes would stimulate the switch to more sustainable travel. The support and advertisement of car sharing forums would supply those willing to give up travelling in their own car with an alternative source of travel. Introducing carpool or high occupancy vehicle lanes creates efficient routes for those travelling with 2 or more occupants and alienates single occupancy vehicles therefore this could be another technique to increase sustainability. Increased awareness of energy consumption and environmental impacts through carbon emissions is necessary for the future of transport. Switching to renewable fuels to create motive power for propulsion will significantly decrease CO2 emissions and prevent our planet from heating up. Fuels like hydrogen and electricity pollute less in production and consumption than current fuels like oil. Engines that use these fuels will produce less noise and air pollution therefore quality of life will improve. Introducing incentives and policies to reduce waste and recycle used transport materials would lead to more sustainable transport in the future. Stricter MOT and driving tests would increase safety and decrease the chances of road traffic collisions that lead to deaths and serious injuries.
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