Transport Action Network – RIS2 challenge
Carrying on regardless is not big and it’s not clever! As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic we now live in a very different world. Companies have found that many employees can in fact work perfectly well from home. Having realised this, it’s unlikely that they will want to return to wasting staff time, energy and mental health on exhausting and unnecessary commutes. That time can be used far more effectively by the employees working, or exercising, or having more family time – all of which is better for employee mental and physical wellbeing and so productivity. No more snotty nosed employees coming into work and spreading their germs through the whole team. No more sickies because of last minute childcare let downs. And even better – less need for massive costly office buildings – so property costs can be reduced – all in all a more efficient and cost-effective way of working. Yes of course there will be times when its more creative, more productive or helps with moral to get everyone together – but it turns out that that doesn’t have to be every single morning at 9 am.
Equally businesses, sales teams, public, charitable and academic organisations are finding that meetings can be held remotely – it works, and the technology will just keep getting better.
Most importantly – we have all experienced how much more pleasant, safer and healthier our towns and cities quickly become when there is less traffic.
The Government’s monster £27 billion roads programme – Roads Investment Strategy 2 (RIS2) made no sense prior to the Coronavirus lockdown – it makes even less sense now. It is in direct conflict with the UK’s Net Zero target. It shows appalling disregard for our young people’s future. It doesn’t make sense economically, from a public health or social resilience standpoint and of course in the context of the Climate & Ecological Emergency.