Sir, – Mike Forde (July 30th) is undoubtedly correct to point out that widely dispersed, “ribbon development” houses must carry some of the blame for increased car use and consequent carbon emissions. Public transport alternatives certainly become less feasible as populations densities decline.
However, it is equally important not to overstate the extent to which increased housing densities can change ecologically damaging transport habits. In my own area, a relatively densely populated suburb of Dublin rather well served by a variety of public transport options, the roads are awash with motorists each morning. Furthermore, I doubt that the average number of cars per household in suburban Dublin deviates in any significant way from the national average, despite the decreased need for their use.
In order to develop a sustainable transport system, culture and attitudes to car ownership and usage are at least as important as public planning of infrastructure. – Yours, etc,