Cars and getting from A to B

Dependable transport

Sir, – Michael McDowell states that “huge numbers of people from every class depend on having a car”, adding “access to cars is a massively liberating and enabling thing for people of all classes in all parts of the country” (“Car use is not simply the prerogative of the odious and hysterical middle class”, Opinion & Analysis, March 29th).

These statements are true only because we have prioritised cars in our planning system for over 60 years.

The resulting dependence on cars is a policy failure.

The AA estimates the average cost of owning and operating a car as €10,691.12 per year. This is a major financial burden on people up and down the country.


Now that we are aware of the health, climate, environmental and economic harm caused by cars (including electric vehicles), we need to facilitate non-car travel for the maximum possible number of journeys by providing smart and active travel infrastructure. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 8.

Sir, – Michael McDowell writes: “There seems to be a vogue for condemning everyone who doesn’t share your opinion as being morally reprehensible”.

While focusing on the issue of cars, it’s worth noting that this too could be said about many issues in today’s society and has been noticeable for some time. This doesn’t make for the healthy debate that is now more important than ever and devalues our democracy. – Yours, etc,


Director of Services,

Alice Leahy Trust,

Dublin 8.