Would you give up using your car in exchange for travel credit? A local trial in the UK is about to find out. It’s a subtle, typically British move towards nudging cars off the road. Many cities in the world have already moved towards car bans, for example, Vancouver has already met its 2020 active transit target. Meanwhile, Sydney has done nothing.
UK trial pays motorists
The UK trial, in Coventry, will pay 100 motorists to use public transport, electric car hire and bicycle sharing. They will receive credit for $3,700 to $5,600 per year on a travel card or smartphone app. The trial could be extended across Britain, if successful and given some private funding from, eg, electric car clubs, bus or train operators. Similarly, Bari in Italy and the Netherlands government want to pay commuters to get on their bikes.
There are many worldwide attempts to ban, or at least limit, cars in cities.
Cities taking action
Older cars cannot enter the city centre without a private parking spot and advanced registration. By 2020, older diesel and petrol cars won’t be allowed to enter it at all.
This year, Oslo banned private cars from its city centre – 6 years before Norway’s ban on petrol and diesel cars. 35 miles of roads to become bike lanes.
By 2035, a green network accessible without cars will cover 40% of Hamburg, eg, parks, sports fields. German cities can now legally ban diesel cars from streets.
Over half of Copenhagen’s population bikes to work every day using more than 200 miles of bike lanes. The city will be carbon neutral by 2025.
From April 2019, Moorgate is first place in England to trial a zero-emissions zone. Only ultra-low emissions and zero-emissions cars can enter.
Since January 2018, Brussels is a low-emission zone. In 2019 certain diesel and petrol cars are banned. In 2025 petrol cars up to Euro 2 standard will be banned.
Local government prohibits some cars from entering city centre two workdays each week and two Saturdays per month. Plans to ban diesel cars and vans by 2025.
The city centre is now car-free on the first Sunday of every month since October 2018. The Mayor wants to make all public transport free to reduce car use.
What about Sydney?
Sydney continues to emphasise cars and motorways. Its residents pay the most in the country to run their vehicles ($194 per week in 2016) and to use increasingly pricey toll roads.
Perhaps it is time to pay residents to try other forms of transport.
Would you like to be paid to give up your car? Even if you did, are there sufficient opportunities for you to use an Opal card, bicycle or other mode, to get around?