Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads

The speaker at last night’s Café Scientifique was Zena Curry, South East Area Highway Manager for Surrey County Council, civil engineer – and Woldingham parent. In a very enjoyable, interactive session, Zena talked about the problems associated with heavy and congested traffic and looked at the engineering solutions that may alleviate them in the future, including long distance underground trains that travel at speeds currently associated with aircraft and people-carrying drones. At ground level, we may be carried by individual, self-driving pods which would connect with others on busy routes, peeling away to suit our personal needs.

Whilst some may struggle to envisage such things, Zena told us that enormous resources, both money and expertise, are being invested in the future of transport and gave us food for thought by saying that her own father had memories of horse-drawn milk floats in London. As for the future of roads, although we’re probably going to need them for quite some time yet, some cities, such as Barcelona, have already taken some out of use and turned them into green spaces and this trend is growing.