Independent travel

I liked this picture. It’s a clever illustration of something we usually take for granted – the space allowed for cars on our streets.

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It’s by an artist called Karl Jilg culled from this page on Business Insider.

I posted it on Facebook and a friend commented we’d reached this point because – these days – the relentless focus is on choice and individualism rather than the collective solutions offered by public transport. There’s truth in this, but I was reminded too that last night I had read:

‘Walking or riding on a tolerable horse are delights to me; but box’d up in a stinking coach, dependent on the hours and guidance of others, submitting to miserable associates and obliged to hear their nonsense, is great wretchedness!’

It’s from one of John Byng’s journals, describing his travels around Britain in the late eighteenth century. This was noted on Friday August 17th in 1787.

The wish for independent travel is (probably) as old as we are. Our problem today is that cars have opened the opportunity to us all.

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Independent travel