I don’t know about you, but I quite like being able to breathe. Particularly when the air is clean. So as we’re a couple of days into the Ultra Low Emission zone, I thought I’d have a look ‘below the line’ on some newspaper websites to see how people were enthusing over someone finally doing something about London’s pollution.
Nobody seems to say that London doesn’t need cleaner air and as yet I haven’t found anyone arguing in favour of more asthma and premature death. There’s also scant praise for the current level of traffic in London. The main objection, if I’m reading it right, is that something should definitely be done about traffic and air quality, but it shouldn’t affect anyone with a car, van, lorry or motorbike.
Apparently, those worst affected will be low-paid people who can afford to run a car, and anyone working in late night hospitality because we don’t have a 24-hour public transport system. Hmm. There’s something off with that logic, but I can’t quite place my finger on it.
The thing is, something needs to happen. I’ve not seen an alternative solution or proposal from anyone moaning about the ULEZ (such a departure from moaning people who are usually so problem-solving in nature). The RAC describe the charge as ”simplistic and anti-motorist”, which I would say is simplistic and anti-intelligent. It’s worth noting that asthma and premature death are fairly simplistic too, and anti-everyone.
Simon manages to dart about London as an estate agent entirely on public transport, and he covers the whole city. So if he can leave his car at home (near Orpington) and do three, four or five appointments in a day, from Clerkenwell to Chiswick and Kilburn to Crystal Palace, and then go home again, I’m sure there are a great number of people who can make a change.
Yes it means breaking a habit, and yes we’re being told what to do. And while there are exceptions to almost every rule, there are solutions to almost every problem that someone will use as their reason why life is different for them.
Life is different for all of us, but we all want to live a long and prosper. And preferably without asthma.