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The hidden costs of cutting car use

11 December 2008

Company Car Driver reported last week that initiatives aimed at reducing car use may have unforeseen economic and social consequences, according to the RAC Foundation .

Drawing on current and past research, it says the reason people use cars is complex, motivated by individual needs and wider society.

“Car use has become the norm,” said Elizabeth Dainton, research development manager at the RAC Foundation.

“It is an important feature of modern life, which has provided an unparalleled level of mobility and access to people going about their everyday activities.”

However the term ‘car dependence’, it claims, has hindered the debate by confusing the issue and suggesting that a fresh approach is required to tackle future challenges.

“Nationally and internationally we face the same significant challenges of climate change, carbon emissions, congestion, road safety and human health problems,” added Ms Dainton.

“Transport generally and car use in particular has an important role to play in addressing these concerns and it is likely that non-voluntary car reduction policies will be increasingly developed.

“However, these policies should not be implemented without a full understanding of the social and economic consequences of limiting travel horizons by reducing car use.”

This article originally appeared at www.companycardriver.co.uk/news/article/?art_ID=490756537.