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Lynn Sloman, 'Car Sick: Solutions for Our Car-addicted Culture'

Green Books, 2006, ISBN 190399876X; 160pp; £10.95

I must declare a bias here: I hate cars.

Hate what they do to the environment, hate the way they destroy our communities, hate that my three-year-old isn't safe even on the pavement, hate the hours I spend waiting to cross the road whilst streams of cars shoot past, belching out filthy fumes and deafening me with their roar.

Lynn Sloman clearly isn't keen either (and manages to live in rural Wales without a car), but she has managed to produce a readable - not ranting - book about how life - for all of us, car-drivers and not - would be so much better if we could only take back control from the car.

She examines in great detail how other European countries have done this, reducing their carbon emissions and making life for their inhabitants infinitely nicer.

Many studies are examined which show that when motorists are presented with pleasant, practical, simple alternatives to driving, many of them will get out of their cars.

But as Sloman points out, it's primarily a political problem: as long as motoring is so cheap, and no decent alternatives are presented, most people will continue to drive.

This book is an inspiring read for would-be transport activists (which should probably mean all of us, given transport's major contribution to climate change) with lots of wonderful examples of how life could be.

If it doesn't happen here, I'm moving to Utrecht.

Topics: Green