Southampton is embracing climate change...or is it?

The city council are trying to encourage people to get on their bikes, by the building of cycle lanes across the area, in an attempt to reduce pollution, but it has cost a lot of money to build, with seemingly little usage!

However, a park and ride scheme that could in theory reduce the number of cars entering the city and in doing so cut exhaust emissions has yet to be even discussed, let alone implemented.

The ideal sites both east and west have now been built upon.

Cruise ships continue to moor at the docks, emitting diesel exhaust fumes to run their internal electrical systems, not being able to tap into non existent shore supplies.

Our airport is expanding with more flights, whilst many others overfly our area to Heathrow or Bournemouth, all pumping out exhaust particles into the air.

Traffic lights on major routes do not help traffic flow, and leave cars idling their engines pumping yet more pollution into an already toxic atmosphere.

Winchester Road has so many lights it becomes gridlocked with little movement of vehicles. Shirley is as bad.

The city council has made Southampton to be a shopping mecca, encouraging many to head into the city, in cars, to park, giving the council revenue to supplement it`s coffers, along with adding parking and speeding fines for the unaware!

Is it really any wonder Southampton is rated as one of the most polluted cities in the country, when in reality not a great deal is being achieved in tackling the issue without greatly affecting the economy on which the city depends.

Could cheaper, more efficient public transport links not help?

The long term national goal for people to buy electric vehicles in the future seems to be a bit of a white elephant at the moment, with purchasing costs and lack of charging facilities a major factor, that's despite the question of whether the grid could produce enough electricity to meet extra demand!

And so the debate rolls along with little being achieved, and our health and that of our children's continue to be affected. How long have we got?

Richard A Jacob