Shelagh Fogarty is Leading Britain's Conversation.
18 February 2017, 20:44
People in cars are causing a lot of the pollution in towns across the country. This is inconsiderate.
Not only are car owners incapable of driving and they can't park for toffee but they are killing the rest of us who get about on buses.
An alarming new study shows that despite car owners producing the most pollution per commuter, it is the people on public transport that are getting exposed to it.
Car drivers are sealed in their vehicles and so are relatively unaffected by the smoke that is pouring out of their exhaust pipes.
Bus passengers wait in the rain for a bus that might not come, get coughed on by strangers, can't find a seat and never know if they will be stabbed on the route home but are also being killed slowly by the car drivers who are causing the tailbacks they are stuck in.
Car drivers are the least exposed to the pollution they cause. Bus passengers suck in eight times more deadly toxins than car users.
Modern cars can protect their passengers from the environment. Old cars, like mine, do not do such a good job. When I drive through London, the smoke my car draws in is so thick I can barely see out of the windscreen.
It gets worse for those that travel underground.
Did you ever go on holiday and return to wonder at how ill everyone on the Tube looks? That is because many of them will be lucky to survive the journey. For some, a trip to the end of the line is literally the end of the line for them.
Tube trains that have opening windows are the worst. The soot that blows around the carriage may mask the smell of your fellow travellers but it doesn't do much good to your insides.
Apart from anything else, much of that black stuff that clings to your nostrils is the dead skin of millions of people that has been circulating the Underground for years.
You have seen how the dust accumulates in your home, and that's just from you slouching about. Imagine how much sloughs off the strangers that are running and scratching and rubbing up against each other on the Underground.
Think about that next time you breathe in on the Northern Line. You've got bits of Old Street's old people going up your nose.
That is bad news - you can't even escape the particulates in the air by going below ground because it is worse down there.
Up on the surface, experts are calling this an environmental injustice. Car drivers are responsible for most of the particulates of soot that are killing us but are protected from their own stink.
Those that create the problem are immune to its effects.
That seems to be the trend in modern Britain.
The non-domiciled, off-shore tax avoiders that operate their on-line warehouse operations are the least affected by the decimation of the British High Street they have caused, because they don't live here.
And bankers have done just fine out of the financial crash that their greed and stupidity caused, it is the rest of us that will be poorer our whole lives because of what they did and are continuing to do.
In each case, the government's position seems to be to allay themselves with the people causing the problem
That must be that new fairer society we've heard so much about.