Myth: “We need to get the right balance.”

Taken literally, this is not actually a myth; but it is a platitude, and as such adds nothing to the conversation. The myth arises in the way it is used as an excuse for keeping the status quo – in the implied assertion that anything that reduces the capacity for motoring in any way is “the wrong balance”.

The real issue is in what constitutes “the right balance”, and it is clear that the balance is currently grotesquely skewed towards providing for motoring at the expense of all else. This is evident in the consequences: according to the TfGM Travel Diary Survey, more than a third of all car or van journeys in Bolton are 2km (1.24 miles) or less, and over 60% are 5km (3.1 miles) or less. This is despite the fact that over 26% of households in Bolton do not have access to a car or van.

A typical scene on Blackburn Road at Astley Bridge.
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