City motoring bans on the horizon - and how we grew reliant on parking tech
Shortcuts with Eddie...
Let's substitute 'Dublin' for 'Amsterdam' for the following few paragraphs and see how far we reckon we are from the scenario.
Amsterdam has recently announced that cars and motorcycles using petrol or diesel power will be banned in the city from 2030.
When could we, or should we, visualise that happening in Dublin?
Remember, we do have a nationwide plan for 'electric only' new-car sales from 2030.
So how far in advance of that deadline are bans on vehicles powered by internal combustion engines going to be imposed?
Amsterdam's strategy is part of an effort to phase in bans, as air pollution is increasingly being blamed for shortening the life expectancy of inhabitants by as much as a year.
Also, from next year, diesel cars aged 15 years and older will be banned from travelling inside the M50, sorry the A10, ring road.
From 2022, buses and coaches that emit exhaust gases face city centre bans.
There years later, that same ban will hit pleasure crafts on the water (Liffey?) around the city as well as mopeds and light mopeds on its streets.
Under the Dutch capital's Clean Air Action plan (I think we have its equivalent here), all traffic within the built-up area will be emission-free by 2030.
And to encourage the switch to electric (and hydrogen) cars, the Dutch authorities are offering home-charging stations to every new buyer.
It is reckoned between 16,000 and 23,000 stations will be needed by 2025.
The current number is 3,000.
Maybe that's taking the Dublin analogy too far, don't you think? I mean, have you tried attempting to find a vacant charging slot around Dublin city centre lately? I have; and not always with great success.
Yet there is no doubt that the level of traffic restriction in central Dublin right now, is not far from effectively being a ban on cars.
Seems to me it is just a matter of a time before we formally acknowledge and declare the reality. Whether it will discriminate against fossil-fuel powered vehicles and favour electric will be interesting to see.
Let me know what you think: email@example.com
It doesn't take a survey to tell me that we are 'frightened' of parking. Not alone are we fearful, we are not good at it. I think we're going to get worse as we grow ever more reliant on sensors, cameras etc to get us into, and out of, tight spots.
A new study of more than 2,000 people found 44pc of drivers rely on their on-board aids when they park.
Which means nearly half can't park on their own. These parking aids grow on you. I'm speaking from personal experience; I dread parking a big SUV if it doesn't have all the techie bits to guide me. A couple of years ago I wouldn't have given it a second thought.
The research (for car dealer group Peter Vardy) also found that, despite all the tech help and guidance, we still take an average of 2.3 attempts to parallel park.
Purely from observation, I think that is a conservative estimate. I've watched drivers give up and drive off after making several futile attempts.
Two in five (42pc) said they found parallel parking the most daunting; 21pc feared reversing into a perpendicular parking bay the most; 17pc disliked driving forwards into an angled bay.
What about you?