Clampdown on drivers

July 25, 2003

The arguments to justify academics using private transport are unconvincing ("Driven to distraction by the charge of the green brigade", THES, July 18).

Academics drive to work because they can and there is little incentive not to. Many of them drive one hour, two hours or more each way to work.

In allowing academics to work from home, are not universities encouraging them to live farther afield? The price for such rural idyll is an increase in road building and air pollution. The chore of driving is a disincentive to visit the office, attend meetings or be available for students. Indeed, it is undoubtedly a factor in rising stress among academics.

The requirement to live reasonably close to your place of employment may be an unpopular one, but more realistic travel-to-work distances would be a step towards reducing the number of car journeys and the stress that regular long-distance commuting creates.

Josephine Kelly
Aston Business School
Aston University

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