EurActiv - Letters to the Editor


Regarding ‘EU’s new transport strategy to put price on pollution‘:

The most important external effect of (urban) traffic is congestion. In cities larger than about one million inhabitants, the cost of congestion far outweighs the combined costs of pollution, traffic accidents, noise and climate change.

Transporting people one by one in a tonne of steel is extremely stupid. With intelligent solutions for instant ride-sharing offered by smartphones and the Internet, the number of vehicles can be at least halved, with the same or better transportation standards as today. The technical systems already exist. All we need are social, juridical and economic incentives.

Björn Abelsson

Sundsvall Municipality


Author :


  1. Sir,

    RE: “EU’s new transport strategy to put price on pollution”

    Transportation Strategies must include the idea of getting cars off of the road. As stated in the document Cars are the greatest contributors to emissions. Having employees work remotely (closer to home) or at home can significantly reduce the amount they contribute. In a recent global study by Cisco (13 countries) showed that 60% of employees would like to work from home.

    Just imagine how quick we can reduce the emissions by using technology and strategies already available to provide this type of opportunity. Not only do we reduce emissions, we also strengthen the company by achieving increased productivity from employees, higher retention and decreased costs by reducing the real estate footprint, which also contributes to a decrease in emissions. A white paper produced by Sun Microsystems demonstrates that – “he equipment that the employees used for their home office consumed about half the power that the equipment in their Sun-supplied office did…”

    In summary it is important that any Transportation Strategy take into consideration how behavioural change, including not using the transportation system, can effect the results. Incentives to get people off of the road must not just include putting more of them inside more vehicles.

    Christopher H. Houston

    London, UK

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