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Does Boris's cycling legacy show a PM who could actually do something?

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Do away with all private cars in London over the next decade, says Leo Murray. He has written a report for a green coalition (and an article for The Independent), which sets out a vision of the zero-carbon traffic chaos of the future, with bicycles, electric scooters, “e-tuk-tuks” (electric rickshaws), buses, taxis, trams and pedestrians competing for road space.

This is utopianism at its best: idealistic, dramatic and not too bothered about the practicalities. I like it because I don’t like cars and have never owned one. Murray is right to point out that cars are wasteful and dangerous and that cities shouldn’t be built around them. The average car spends 95 per cent of its time parked, and 20 square miles of London is given over to car parking.

Then the doubts creep in. If zero carbon is your objective, abolishing private car ownership is irrelevant. The simplest way of achieving that would be to make all cars electric, and to generate all electricity from the wind, sun, water or nuclear reactors.

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