During the last quarter of a century there has been a significant increase in the proportion of journeys travelled by car and the distance that people travel. Associated with these rising figures has been an increase in the pressures due to transport placed upon the environment and society. These pressures have increased not just in the UK but also worldwide.
Travel is becoming an increasing source of air pollution. The transport related problems experienced now are likely to worsen according to the projected increase in traffic. Individually, a vehicle engine is not a particularly important source of pollution. Collectively however, vehicles represent a major source of air pollution in the UK and throughout the world. Air pollution from travel can be harmful to human health. Common complaints that may be associated with pollution for vehicles include asthma and other bronchial diseases. Congestion due to high levels of road traffic is also a major cause of stress.
If we are to minimise the impacts of transport on society, we need to adopt a more sustainable transport strategy, and one that integrates all modes of transport rather than being over-reliant on the motor car. There exist a number of solutions to today’s transport problem, including public transport, cycling and walking, park and ride, cleaner fuels and parking charges.