Monday, 3 October 2011

Human Rights and cars don't have much in common

Here's a picture of some cars parked on the pavement in Elm Grove.

Now, I do have some sympathy for those car users who struggle to find somewhere to park anywhere near their homes. As a father of a young child, I am all too aware of how public transport just isn't always a viable alternative to a car when you need to lug a buggy, changes of clothes, food, bottles and so on - escpecially if you're heading to a remote location.

I live near to a car club bay, so it was quite easy for me to get rid of my car whilst retaining the ability to drive - it has saved me a lot of cash and it's rare that I need to walk more than a few minutes to pick up a car when I need it.

There are now more cars than people in many areas of this city and, in areas like Hanover and Elm Grove, there just isn't enough space to go round.

That said, pavements are for people. There have been regular reports of people driving on the pavement while hunting for a space, and pedestrians suffering real distress - and in some cases injury - as a result.

The answer can't lie in allowing car drivers to park on pavements, but in improving public transport, and making car club vehicles more widely available.

But as soon as the idea of enforcing the law by preventing drivers parking on the pavement became public knowledge, people (well a few, with load voices) threw up their arms in horror.

One letter in The Argus this weekend even suggested that to enforce the law outlawing pavement parking would be a breach of their human rights.

Well, last time I checked, human rights were about protecting our very lives, stopping dictators torture, enslave or silence us with impunity, or deny us our free speech.

They have not, nor ever have, had anything to do with parking. Cars and human rights just don't mix.

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