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E-transport boom could see first major European city go car free in 2020

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E-transport boom could see first major European city go car free in 2020

By Sonia Elks

 

2019-11-15T214235Z_1_LYNXMPEFAE1SZ_RTROPTP_4_NETHERLANDS-DAILYLIFE.JPG

A woman parks her bike beneath boxes of daffodils on a bridge in Amsterdam, Netherlands April 22, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs

 

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Next year will see the first major European city to ban private cars, a leading tech investor has predicted, saying a boom in electric-powered bikes and scooters was driving a green "revolution".

 

Norwegian capital Oslo and bike-friendly Amsterdam in the Netherlands are both candidates to become the first to go car-free in 2020, while France could follow in five years, said Martin Mignot of investment capital firm Index Ventures.

 

"People are just realising that congestion and pollution have reached a tipping point and that you can't just add more roads – space is very finite and a private car is just not a very efficient way of moving people around," he said.

 

"There is a genuine technological revolution ... Those(electric) vehicles are the missing link in the transport grid."

 

Major cities including Paris, Bogota and Jakarta have experimented with car-free days in an effort to cut air pollution and open up streets usually dominated by traffic.

 

Meanwhile, a drop in the price of batteries has enabled the creation of a wide range of relatively affordable electric vehicles that open up the city to travellers, said Mignot.

 

Electric bikes and scooters for rent through companies such as Bird and Lime are now a common sight in many city centres and Mignot said they could fill gaps in public transport.

 

Index Ventures, an early backer of Skype which currently has some $1.6 billion invested in funds, has put "a very fair amount" into mobility firms including Bird and Cowboy bikes, said Mignot, though he declined to give figures.

 

Mignot said the e-transport sector was still very young, with companies rapidly refining their products as they learn from their early years and the technology develops, while there was also a need for city infrastucture to evolve.

 

Experts on cities agreed that urban planners were moving away from private cars.

 

"I am confident that the first major European city will go completely car free, at least in the city centre, by 2020," said Lucy Mahoney, a spokeswoman on walking and cycling for the C40 network of cities tackling climate change.

 

"Leading the way and demonstrating that going car free is the new norm will help alleviate the crippling pressures our cities face and rejuvenate urban spaces."

 

(Reporting by Sonia Elks @soniaelks; Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-11-16
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The pickpockets in Amsterdam will be happy to hear this...but how are all the drugdealing gangs going to transport their merchandise? Will Amsterdam loose it's name as drug capital of the world?

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I don’t know,how do you get your groceries home how do you do home improvement projects ect ect?

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3 hours ago, Tug said:

I don’t know,how do you get your groceries home how do you do home improvement projects ect ect?

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I have been car-free for the past 3 years but, as Tug mentions above, getting the bigger stuff home cannot be done without paying somebody to deliver.

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6 hours ago, tebee said:

Change comes very fast and unexpectedly sometimes !

 

Can't imagine anybody even thinking about this even a couple of years ago.

 

In the 1976 edition of his book, J M Roberts wrote that the two things he had learnt about History (with regard to it predicting the future) were that: "things tended to happen a lot more slowly and un-dramatically than expected and that things tended to happen a lot more quickly and dramatically than expected".

 

Free download of 2003 edition:

https://epdf.pub/the-new-history-of-the-world.html

 

 

Edited by Enoon
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3 minutes ago, Enoon said:

 

In the first edition of his book (1976) J M Roberts wrote that the two things he had learnt about History (with regard to it predicting the future) were that: "things tended to happen a lot more slowly and un-dramatically than expected and that things tended to happen a lot more quickly and dramatically than expected".

 

Free download of 2003 edition:

https://epdf.pub/the-new-history-of-the-world.html

 

 

I do wonder why so much attention is being paid to the opinion of a tech investor. Lots of their bets go wrong. It's just that on balance, they come out ahead.

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56 minutes ago, DoctorG said:

I have been car-free for the past 3 years but, as Tug mentions above, getting the bigger stuff home cannot be done without paying somebody to deliver.

How does the cost of delivery compare with the cost of car ownership.

 

I realise you don’t own a car but my guess if you’d have to pay a lot out on delivery before you reach the ownership costs of a car.

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13 minutes ago, Chomper Higgot said:

How does the cost of delivery compare with the cost of car ownership.

 

I realise you don’t own a car but my guess if you’d have to pay a lot out on delivery before you reach the ownership costs of a car.

From what I read in his comment, I don't think he's in disagreement with what you write here.

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