REMEMBER trolley buses? They were all removed in the UK! But why?

Had our trolleybus infrastructure not been removed then today lorries servicing our cities could have raised their poles and done their work in that city, pollution-free. What a simple innovation!

This should and can be done. It has to be a governmental initiative. But will it understand the advantages quickly enough to make a difference?

We put trams into Edinburgh but had we chosen trolley buses, they could have serviced four times the area at a tenth of the implementation costs AND now be in a position to offers the service to lorries!

Our cities have been threatened with legal action for permitting noxious gases to pollute their air.

READ MORE: Johnson lookalike races against clock as climate action urged

Instantaneous part-solutions are available but remain unused. Even-numbered registrations allowed in one day, odd-numbered allowed the next. It’s a tried and tested system with a surcharge for empty seats! Other cities in the world have done this, even for taxis.

On every road into a city there can be a kiosk from which you must buy a licence for each empty seat. Different colours for different numbers for the police to see easily. This is affixed to the windscreen during the vehicle’s time in the controlled zone. Mind-numbing penalties for cheating!

I know it’s a pain in the bahookie but we’re poisoning ourselves and our planet!

We know everything we need to know about this trolley system of transportation. It is simple, it is cheap and it is easy to implement. 90% or more of what will be required already exists in the railway systems.

READ MORE: Scottish Government launches free bike pilot projects for kids in Glasgow

The ability for conventionally powered lorries and buses to hook on to the wires introduces a new way of working which would provide a significant reduction in noxious pollution in the cites and a significant reduction of greenhouse gases generally. All without reinventing the wheel!

Lorries having to deliver to “off wire” sites will have to use their convential engines or battery power, but that use would be limited to, say, 10% of their “moving time” in the city, monitored in a manner similar to the current “tacho” systems.

The costs of a scheme such as this is minute compared to any other solution at the present. it is not perfect, but it is streets ahead of any other available solution and it is possible now – no other system is or will be for many many years.

The bottom line price of adding the necessary apparatus to a lorry is small when compared to purchasing a new electric or hybrid vehicle. The same is true of buses. If this came into being then new lorries and buses would have this dual feature built in.

Such a system would be eagerly sought after, elsewhere in the world. The bottom line is healthy in every aspect. Fewer private vehicles in the cities due to registration reductions of 50%, and seat-packing provides a huge cut in noxious emissions.

Lorries and buses using electricity for better than 90% of their time in the cities further reduces the poisons that we are currently killing our people and our world with.

New industries emerge, new labour forces are required to run the “tickets for empty seats” kiosks, parking wardens are redeployed to monitor and police the “empty seats” scheme. Engineers to rebuild the trolley bus infrastructure, vehicle conversions etc, and more of course.

If this seems a far-fetched pipe dream, then smoke this: the whole of Glasgow could be equipped and running trolley buses within two years of the project starting. How fast the other users such as lorry drivers come on line (pun intended) I cannot tell, but it will be directly proportional to the pressures and incentives the government wishes to employ.

Lorries would register for this dual use and we could provide their first two years of electricity using the system free.

In those two years a digital reporting system could be introduced on the lines, identifying each and every vehicle using the system, and the length of time for which it was used. In later years, that information will form the basis for fair charging.

Right, who’ll be the first to get this off the drawing board?

Christopher Bruce