‘FOUR legs good, two legs bad’, chanted the beasts in George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

With the reaction to plans for a ban on cars around schools and a workplace parking tax, you might expect to hear SNP councillors chanting a‘four wheels bad, two legs good’ mantra in the City Chambers.

The workplace parking levy has sparked nothing less than outrage in some quarters.

Claims of an anti-car agenda and councils milking the motorist have been levied and it has even been branded a “poll tax on wheels” by the AA.

And the ban around schools has also, predictably, been met with disapproval from some parents.

The recent Connectivity Commission report for Glasgow recommended more pedestrianisation in the city centre to provide more space for people on foot or cycling.

The council wants fewer cars in the city centre and, with the pilot on banning cars around schools, fewer children being driven to class.

Is this anti car, anti-motorist?

The arguments against these policies are on convenience and financial grounds.

It could cost £400 a year to park your car at work argue the critics. However, it will cost most people £400 a year to take public transport to work.

And if you work in a place with no car park, it will cost a lot more than £400 a year to park in a council or commercial car park.

The benefits are, if you still want to drive and park at work, the council gets income and goodness knows it needs it.

Or if fewer people drive to work the roads will be less congested and public transport will flow more easily and people will get to work quicker.

And motorists will be saving money on petrol in the most uneconomical trips, those stop start, busy, traffic jam after traffic jam rush hour journeys.

The ones that leave you stressed and flustered before you even start a day’s work.

For the school parking ban the drawbacks are inconvenient. Instead of being dropped off right outside, children will need to walk a bit further.

Or maybe even walk the whole way from home to school. And if parents don’t want their children walking alone, they will need to walk with them.

The benefits here, are again less congested roads around schools and children will get a bit more exercise and maybe even a bit more independence.

With a climate crisis, levels of air quality that are contributing to premature deaths in Glasgow, and childhood obesity leading to a type 2 diabetes epidemic maybe we need to change how we react to policies that involve using the car less.

Neither of these policies are perfect and both still need some thought and work especially around exemptions and people with disabilities.

Some people do need to use a car to get to work and not just in rural areas and some children maybe do need to be dropped off right at school.

And public transport needs to be inproved if more people are to use it.

But in general overuse of the motor vehicle is creating more problems than it solves and benefits are there to be had from reducing reliance.

Perhaps we can stop thinking less in terms of anti-car and try out pro-people.

Four wheels good, two legs better.