Blogpost by Matt Hill
A13 widening, more roads and even more pollution : Why are we inducing demand?
Trouble on Thurrock’s roads has become part of our every day lives.
Has the time finally come to properly examine the way we move around?
TROUBLES and congestion on our highways, whether it be the A13 or M25 is often a subject that gets the local forums buzzing.
People often advising friends and family to wait, avoid or cancel when about to embark on certain journeys.
I often hear ‘get a train to Lakeside Shopping Centre’ this is often percieved as a last resort and the waving of the ‘white flag’ with the exception of the Christmas shopping season when the rare pilgrimage on the Tilbury loop line to Chafford Hundred is a consideration.
Why don’t we adopt this approach more often, so it would become the norm for the majority?
Do we only avoid the roads when they are ‘that bad’?
Cost and convenience come into the equation I’m sure but at what point do we seriously weigh up the cost of our health with the cost of our pocket.
Yet the A13 is widened and motor vehicle options being constantly built.
The few that originally decided to go shopping, to work etc by rail and other means now opt to drive on the newly widened road and we are back to where we started.
There we have induced demand in a nutshell.
Build it and the, often single occupancy, cars will come….
So do we widen the road perpetually into oblivion or do we change the way we move around?
We live in such a car-centric society, particularly in this part of Essex, it’s not gonna be easy to change that mindset but a more sustainable option must be adopted when and where possible.
Stick will be needed as well as carrot to get us out of our cars but with the state of the air quality in our borough, it is something that should be seriously contemplated.