A shot across the bows?

The Government was supposed to file its response to our legal challenge against its huge roads programme this week. Instead we’re still waiting. In its annual report to Parliament, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) called on ministers to “seize the opportunity” from COVID to tackle accelerating climate change. Surely scrapping road-building fits the bill?

The CCC’s advice to Parliament certainly seemed very clear: “Public money should not support industries or infrastructure in a way that is not consistent with the future net-zero economy”.

Unfortunately while it’s been too busy to respond to us, the Department for Transport (DfT) has found the time to publish plans for a key ten mile section of the supposedly paused Oxford-Cambridge Expressway. At every opportunity the DfT sticks its head into the sand and carries on spending public money on expensive, high carbon infrastructure.

Based on the CCC’s latest figures, if we are to have a hope in stopping runaway climate change, we need to cut UK transport emissions by over two-thirds by 2032. This is a far greater reduction than the DfT suggested in its decarbonisation plans announced this March. Yet we are set to emerge from the pandemic with “motoring cheaper than it has been for a very long time”, according to Lord Deben, the CCC’s chair. It’s as if we’re accelerating in the wrong direction.

Rolling out electric cars far faster won’t be enough. A massive programme of walking, cycling, public transport and broadband upgrades is needed now. Please help us campaign for this by sharing our posts on Facebook and Twitter, and the link to our crowdfunder. You can keep in touch with what we are up to by signing up to our new newsletter.

Photo courtesy of STOP! Ipswich Northern Bypass Campaign. 

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