Cars are reaching the end of the road | Letters

I hope George Monbiot (Cars ruin our lives. Within 10 years we must phase then out, 7 March) will be encouraged by the decline in the UK of young people taking to the wheel. In 1992-94, nearly half of 17- to 20-year-olds had a driving licence. By 1994 that figure had fallen to 29% – and many of those young people without a licence will remain non-drivers for life, just as families will also adapt to non-private-car existence. Of course for some, car and vehicle use will be essential for employment, but this will also reduce.

And Monbiot is right to warn of the depredations of lithium mining for electric vehicle supply. Electric cars are not the answer; rather, non-vehicular travel must again become the norm, no matter how absurd such a suggestion must seem. We don’t need to travel vast distances: home, work and school should be “close- clustered”, landscapes revived. Pie in he sky? No, essential if Homo sapiens is to have any kind of future. As for expressways, they really aren’t good for the birds, or for any other living thing.
Bruce Ross-Smith

Thank you, George, for saying the unsayable. Cars are an abomination, blighting everything. It is possible to live without one. My husband and I have done so all our lives. I can honestly say that our lives have not been any the poorer, whereas our quality of life is made incalculably worse by having to endure the pollution, uglification and environmental disaster which cars and their accoutrements increasingly cause. It is time, I think, for the car-free minority to speak out and be listened to.
Susan Woodford
Minehead, Somerset

Thank you for the excellent article by George Monbiot on the urgent need to get rid of cars. It is increasingly depressing watching the endless 24-hour streams of traffic, cars mostly with only the driver in them, and increasingly large, polluting SUVs. Having got rid of our car three years ago, we save money, walk more, use public transport. It works fine.

Keep banging the drum, George, one day the world might wake up.
David Halley
Hampton Hill, London

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