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Focus China 9 Nov 2005

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  • Stephen Plowden
    Eric This is very relevant to the alarming article you posted this morning. ... STEPHEN PLOWDEN BA MCILT 69 ALBERT STREET LONDON NW1 7LX tel 020-7387 3944
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 14, 2005
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      Eric

      This is very relevant to the alarming article you posted this morning.

      -----
      STEPHEN PLOWDEN BA MCILT
      69 ALBERT STREET LONDON NW1 7LX
      tel 020-7387 3944 tel/fax 020 7813 2646
      email: stephenplowden@...

      The Editor
      Logistics and Transport Focus 9 November 2005

      Sir

      In his article in your issue of November 2005 on road transport in China, David Hayes says: “Given China’s fast economic growth rate and the low level of vehicle ownership, the number of private and publicly owned vehicles is expected to grow rapidly in future to meet pent up demand”.

      The fiscal and regulatory framework governing the ownership and use of cars seems to be much the same in China as in the west. It is not possible to meet the demand for road space that would arise under this framework. Although there are now only 1.6 road vehicles of all kinds per 100 people, pollution and congestion are already severe in big cities. Road deaths are rising fast and are officially estimated to have reached well over 100,000 per year. The true figure must be even higher.

      Developed countries and the Asian Development Bank should be helping China to formulate policies that would avoid the mistakes of the west. Such policies would have to cover not only the measures of traffic restraint and traffic calming that are belatedly being introduced in western countries, but also car design, with strict limits on weight, acceleration and top speed, and car ownership. Rules on car ownership might include the establishment of car-free residential areas for people who would like that environment, other areas where only shared car ownership would be permitted, and rules as in many Japanese cities limiting the right to own a car to people with an off-street parking place.

      It is tragic that China seems bent on following the western path in transport. It is unforgivable that people such as development banks, foreign car manufacturers and other investors who should be able to see where this path leads appear to be egging China on.

      Stephen Plowden
    • Wetzel Dave
      I was in Shanghai last year and there was much for the Chinese to be proud of. Good public transport (except for the traffic jams). Vegetation planted in the
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 14, 2005
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        I was in Shanghai last year and there was much for the Chinese to be proud of.

         

        Good public transport (except for the traffic jams).

        Vegetation planted in the middle of dual carriageways.

        Well-used parks providing communal activities including exercising and dancing.

        Etc. etc.

         

        However, their attitude to cycling seemed to be to get rid of it, as cycling is a symbol of a third world city.

        Similarly, loads of officials have Buick chauffeur driven cars built in China.

        The pavements in some areas (away from the main shopping districts) were used for street trading (even motorcycle repairs) and pedestrians were forced to walk into the carriageway.

         

         Dave
        Dave Wetzel; Vice-Chair; Transport for London.

         




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