Righting Labour wrongs on the environment

Ming Campbell MP and Paul Burstow MP during a visit to BedZed in SuttonDuring a visit to Sutton today, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ming Campbell, spelled out four reasons why the Government should be condemned for its transport policies, contrasting Labour’s record with one of the leading Liberal Democrat local councils, Sutton, and its policies to cut congestion and pollution.

Figures released by the Liberal Democrats show:

  • Traffic levels have increased by over 11% since Labour came to power, with 129 million additional car journeys per year
  • Since 1990 emissions from road transport within the UK have increased by 10%, to 32 million tonnes. They are projected to increase by 18% by 2010, to 38 million tonnes
  • Carbon dioxide levels are at their highest since 1997, having risen 3% over this time
  • Between 1997 and 2005 the cost of motoring has fallen by 9% while bus and coach fares increased by 15% and rail fares by 5%

Visiting Sutton, the first London authority to pioneer new initiatives that cut congestion and promote sustainable travel, Ming said:

The Labour Government has failed to cut congestion or pollution and green taxes have fallen to their lowest level since Mrs Thatcher was Prime Minister.

The Liberal Democrats are the only party with substantial proposals on cutting congestion and tackling pollution.

By reforming Vehicle Excise Duty Liberal Democrats propose that those with the ‘greenest cars’ pay nothing while those with the most polluting vehicles pay up to £2000.”

Liberal Democrat Councils are making a real difference on the environment. Sutton Council is encouraging business, schools and individuals to develop travel plans and Richmond Council is considering linking parking permits to carbon emissions.

The Liberal Democrats are the only party ready to make the tough choices on tackling climate change.

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1 Response to Righting Labour wrongs on the environment

  1. John Lipscombe says:

    To Ming Campbell

    I would like your comments on road use charging.

    Would it be a better way to simply increase fuel tax? This means that although you do pay more for using your car, the amount you pay is linked to reducing the use of fuel.

    This would encourage more efficient engines and also limit non essential journeys.

    The need for black boxes in cars and the whole of the extra monitoring and administration costs would be saved.

    The process for collecting fuel tax is already in place and could be implemented immediately.

    If the extra revenue was then seen to be put back into transport improvements, the increased cost at the pump would be accepted.

    The person paying would be the actual driver, be they legal or not.

    The driver would also be encouraged to develop fuel efficient driving techniques.

    As a consequence this should also reduce excessive speed related accidents, and incidents of “road rage”.

    Commercial traffic could get a fuel subsidy for journeys taken away from peak times, and this would be monitored by the existing tachographs, and therefore should be easy to apply.

    What would be your view on the above?

    Or do you have a better way?


    John Lipscombe

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