Carbon emissions and transport options
Sir, – Mike Forde (July 30th)makes a valid point regarding the building of one-off houses in the countryside and increased emissions through increased commuting distances and vehicle fuel usage.
But why are so many people commuting long distances to work and “choosing” to build and live in houses in the countryside? He’ll find that it is mainly due to the cost of housing in the area where they work or that there is no work in the area where they live, yet they can’t afford to live in the area where the have found work and so are forced into long commutes, raising emissions.
The solution, which can only really be brought about by a change in Government policy on housing, is to try to move jobs out of the overcrowded cities to where people can afford to live, or develop a policy whereby people can afford to live with security of tenure close to where the jobs are. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – We recently moved to our new home in Bray, Co Wicklow, a location we chose based on our ability to afford to buy, combined with accessibility to our young children’s school located in south Dublin. In terms of a work commute, my wife works in Citywest and I work in Blanchardstown. We have up until now been able to manage our lives owning a single family car.
However, getting to either Citywest or Blanchardstown is not particularly fast by public transport and this will become more evident when the school run commences in a few weeks.
As an example, my wife takes the car so she can do the children drop-offs and get to work broadly within an hour. I am doing a two-hour commute each way to work, which typically involves a cycle from our house to the Dart station in Bray, then taking a train to Dublin city centre, then finally a cycle out to Blanchardstown. It is not possible to take a bicycle on to public transport during the rush hours.
I have tested various combinations of transport options involving combinations of buses, trains and bicycles. Ultimately they all come within a two-hour commute each way. The quickest door-to-door solution is to cycle the whole way from Bray to Blanchardstown, which takes a little bit more than 1¾ hours! However, that is a 35km trip each way, which is not sustainable each day, which is why I typically choose the slower split between train and bicycle.
We did not make this move to Bray with our eyes closed, but in my opinion it is madness that to cycle from essentially a southern region of Dublin to a western suburb is faster and of course cheaper than taking public transport. We are saving for a second car as four hours of commuting are not sustainable, along with a need to drop children to school as reasonably easy as possible.
As a society, we should be investing heavily in an urban transport network that can match car usage in terms of speed, flexibility and cost.
Unfortunately I do not look forward to sitting on the M50 and contributing to our already too-high carbon emissions levels and traffic congestion. – Yours, etc,