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Car Sick: Solutions for Our Car-addicted Culture Paperback – 31 Mar 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Green Books (31 Mar. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190399876X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903998762
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 526,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Lynn Sloman was Assistant Director of the environmental pressure group Transport 2000 for ten years until 2002. She now runs a sustainable transport consultancy, Transport for Quality of Life, helping the government, local councils and voluntary groups find ways to cut traffic. She is an advisor on the Board of Transport for London, a Visiting Fellow at University of Westminster Transport Studies Group, and a member of the National Cycling Strategy Board. She lives in rural mid-Walesowithout a car


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Readers should not be deterred by the in-yer-face title This is a thoughtful and agreeably written book by someone who has looked at the successful efforts of a number of European towns to move to a less car-dependent culture and now convincingly shows that the import of some of these ideas into Britain could greatly improve everyday life for all of us.

The problem for transport dreamers, I mean thinkers, is always how we get from here to there via democratic processes. Lynn Sloman shows that change can be brought about by a lot of little steps over many years, perhaps a generation or more. But that has to be in the context of a change (even a reversal) in the preponderance of public attitudes, such as has already been achieved, for example, in regard to smoking and drink-driving. But the challenge is greater in the UK than in continental Europe because of the late start and deeply entrenched attitudes not only among the general public (think Clarkson) but in the government and civil service. The story of the author's encounter with senior officials at the Department for Transport, obsessed with large projects and the implications for UK Plc, is perhaps the most entertaining (if lamentable) passage in this highly readable book.

Car Sick is a valuable contribution to what promises to be a very long campaign. The combination of deep research and moderate language is particularly appealing: Lynn Sloman accepts a continuing role for cars and skilfully avoids the trap of polarisation. What we now need is a national debate with a view to re-orienting the public's perception of cars and car culture. Whether this can be managed without strife between pro-car and anti-car factions remains to be seen, but the risk will be minimised if this book is taken as the starting point.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book, but then it is not trying to convince me with its arguments as I am already firmly of the opinion that we as a nation use our cars indiscriminately, excessively and antisocially.

I have two criticisms of this book, both related to cycling. Firstly, I thought that in its efforts to remain diplomatic, it was far too ready to flatter the UK's efforts in building cycling infrastructure. Compared with facilities that are taken for granted in certain european countries, the UK's offerings are pitiful. Lyn Sloman repeatedly makes the mistake of accepting our status quo.

Secondly, her recommendations for actions, although laudable in isolation, are never going to change things for the majority of people. The soft measures that she puts forward will fall flat due to the perception of danger that most people equate with cycling on our car-saturated roads. The book almost completely ignores or belittles the urgent need to campaign hard for real action and real money to be spent.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating and informative book by someone who has a wealth of knowledge about transport policy and its effects. It draws on the author's wide experience, particularly of continental European cities where strategic planning over a number of years has delivered real benefits in terms of reclaiming streets for families and communities. It is particularly good on where UK transport policy has gone wrong since WW2 and the relatively simple things that could be done to improve it.

There are some very interesting facts presented, for example:

1. Research shows that road building and road widening has simply created more car traffic, but planners don't like to admit this.
2. Creating pedestrianised areas in town centres actually increases the volume of business for shops, rather than decreases it.
3. The high numbers of people using bicycles and public transport in Denmark, Germany and The Netherlands is not some cultural, geographic or cultural freak event - it is purely the result of a sustained 40 year period of planning and implementing transport improvements. It could be done anywhere.

Above all, this book makes a strong case for why we should reduce the volume of cars on our roads, not to make life difficult for people, but to make life less polluted, less stressful, more pleasant, more sociable, more healthy, more family friendly and more enjoyable.
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Format: Paperback
Sloman ably points out the problems of continued car dependency with well-resourced data, and reveals some disarmingly simple ways to reverse this continuing trend and its unwelcome consequences. A refreshing insight into what we can do to improve our own environment and health without relying on big-ticket public transport projects from government, illustrated with a series of convincing and diverse real-world stories.
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