As all fans of Jaime Lerner know, towns and cities should be about people not cars. Lerner transformed the bustling urban metropolis of Curitiba into one of the world’s most sustainable cities. His ideas have inspired urban planners around the world; unfortunately, his ideas have not yet reached Penzance!
A sustainable living environment must be people centred rather than car centred – an integrated public transport system is essential. This is almost a reality in Penzance. We have a bus and train station in the middle of the lovely cycle path between Marazion and Mousehole. You can even walk to the Scilly ferry terminal after arriving in Penzance by train. However, there is one major flaw.
These systems are not as integrated as they seem, when trying to take my little fold-up bike onto a First bus I was greeted with the unfriendly salutation “no bikes”. The driver continued to repeat these two words at me as I unloaded my little bike, locked it up at the bus station and bought a ticket. I was left under no doubt that bikes were not allowed on the double-decker to Porthleven.
People cannot truly reduce the reliance on their cars without a public transport system that is affordable and integrated.