MPs ignored suburban and rural France at their peril

Mathematician Hervé Le Bras, emeritus researcher at France’s Institute for Demographic Studies and director of research at the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences, gives his verdict on the gilets jaunes and migration

The gilets jaunes movement was triggered by a series of government measures that made people living in the countryside feel car ownership was being attacked.

The majority of gilets jaunes protesters came from suburban and rural areas, where the problems are connected to services closing down. People in those areas have to travel further to work, to the doctor, to the chemist, the supermarket. As villages lose their shops and cafés, as maternity units, clinics, local tribunals and stations close, people are increasingly dependent on cars.

In Paris and other big cities, however, the law makers were oblivious to this. They simply wanted to make small changes that would show a government moving towards cutting carbon emissions. 

The reduction of the speed limit from 90 to 80kph ...

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