How to travel more sustainably by University of Worcester student Joseph Foster (Words and Digital Media)
How to travel more sustainably
Everyone wishes they could get to where they are going just that little bit faster.
In our city, we’re really not much different. Congestion has been an issue in Worcester for a long time and it has a negative impact on our air quality.
As the number of cars on our roads is increasing, now is a great time to consider other forms of transport.
We all know that driving is not the most environmentally friendly way to travel, but is it really all that efficient either?
In this article, I look at how to travel more sustainably. I ask how efficient cars really are compared to other forms of transport. To do this, I use data from the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative – and yes, you really could get to your lectures 21x faster!
So, how do different forms of transport compare?
Most of the traffic lanes around our city are dedicated to motor traffic.
It’s no surprise that driving is the most harmful way to get around our city to the environment.
Perhaps more surprisingly, it is the least efficient! Only around 1,500 to 2,000 people will pass through a motor traffic lane per hour. This number decreases rapidly when you take into account that most cars may only have one person in them, especially during rush hour.
Completely carbon-neutral and great for your health, cycling has many benefits.
One of these benefits is the capacity of cycle infrastructure. A cycle lane (taking up the same space as a lane for motor traffic) can carry up to 12,000 cyclists per hour!
There are already a handful of cycle paths to use around the city. Including shared use paths around the river connecting campuses via Sabrina Bridge. Plus, the university’s Woo Bikes scheme makes it easier than ever to get your hands on a bike.
Walking is possibly the easiest method of transport for most people, and it’s one of the most efficient!
No pollutants involved, it’s good exercise and it’s a great way to relax between lectures.
Footways have a huge capacity of up to 15,000 people per hour and can often be surprisingly quick for getting around town. There are a lot of footpaths providing huge shortcuts that cars simply can’t access.
Finally, the humble bus is a very sustainable form of transport.
Not completely emission-free like cycling and walking, but certainly a huge reduction in emissions per capita. Especially when used by more and more people.
The bus comes out on top for efficiency as well. A traffic lane dedicated to bus rapid transit can carry up to 43,000 passengers per hour!
That’s an incredible 21 times more efficient than driving, helping you get to your lectures (or anywhere else you want to go in the city) much faster!
Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. More information on sustainable travel and the SDGs can be found here.