Local group members try to cross the River Ely
Increased traffic change the whole character of a neighbourhood for the worse. Heavy traffic is noisy, dirty and intrusive. It carves up neighbourhoods and creates fear and isolation. As traffic levels rise there is a downward spiral.
Residents use the streets as little as possible, so they are seen as unsafe and living there is less desirable. The result is less of a community and less security. A study in San Francisco, showed residents on streets with light traffic had three-times as many local friends and twice as many acquaintances as those on streets with heavy traffic.
Children’s freedom to travel independently has been reduced dramatically over the last 40 years. Parents fear for their children’s safety near roads. This reduces accidents but makes children prisoners in their own homes. Nearly four times as many children went to school by car in 1990 compared to 1971.
This means many children don’t develop the social skills they need as adults.
The Government has told local councils to reduce child accident rates in their areas. Everyone supports this, but the councils have not been given any more money to do it.
Other ways to improve out lives an reduce dependance on cars include: