My respects and thanks to Brian Bruce for his letter (Journal, 25 September, Parking - Public transport is inadequate) and for keeping this subject on the Agenda.
Why do so few Grantham people join in this important debate that affects us all?
Setting to one side his amusing minutiae and irrelevancies, I am sure many car-dedicated Journal readers will be grateful to Brian for expressing their own claims on their need to be car-dependent because of “pathetically inadequate” bus services. Sorry, but come on now - this has been the motorists’ pathetically inadequate excuse for decades.
The evidence is everywhere indisputable - it is motorists’ free-will choices to turn their backs on local bus services that have caused these services to decline and often disappear altogether, the simple law of supply and demand.
Sadly, reflecting the very spirit of our age few motorists will admit to our own personal and sometimes unsociable reasons for using the car when a walk, cycle or bus ride, or even staying at home, true all needing some life-style
adjustments, will do just as well.
“It’s Progress!” goes out the shielded cry. Progress to where?
The need for more, better and cheaper car parking in town may be a problem for many but it is also a symptom of a much bigger problem of devastating proportions.
Some of we older generations have forgotten, and the late 20th/21st Century “Economy” withholds from the younger generations that a typical UK human being is born with all that is needed to live a full and satisfying life - including an approx. ¾ horsepower / ½ Kw motor that reaches physical maturity at around age 21 and runs on fuel we can grow largely in the ground, supplemented as needed by ‘shared’ motors and seats of public transport - buses, trains and taxis of course.
Car culture has such a lot to answer for. Take away a once-fit-and-able-bodied person’s car, and what are we left with - a life in the doldrums unable to live or even think without the car?
It is not the lack of a car that is the problem - it is the hurdles that car culture has built around us.
There has to be a rational way out of this pickle. If just a few people, one here, another there to begin with, would take heed and slowly adjust their lifestyles accordingly they would come to realise these basic truths. This is one of the principles behind the world-wide Transition Movement that hasn’t reached Grantham yet. Then who knows? - there could even be spare car parking capacity in Grantham town centre for the declining numbers who genuinely need it.
Could we please have more input to this debate through the Journal pages?
Ideas and suggestions from the younger generations - senior school, college and
uni students, and those with experience in the medical profession, whose thoughts are less likely to be paralysed by closed car-indoctrinated minds. But be aware of the mythical claims of the Economy as mentioned in my Journal letter 11th September “Letting go of the Car”.
John Ginns, Portrush Drive, Grantham