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Halt Climate Change, Save Cash - End Roadbuilding!

Press release 30 October 2006
In response to the Stern report publication today Road Block condemned the government's £12 billion road building programme for taking us in the wrong direction to tackle climate change.  As the Stern report was published, community groups from Luton to Sheffield demonstrated against the £3.7 billion M1 widening programme.
Road Block said that:
**  Road transport contributes over 21 per cent of UK emissions [1]
**  Road transport emissions are predicted to rise by 30 per cent from 1990 to 2020 [2]
**  Traffic is predicted to grow 40 per cent from 1990 to 2025 [3]
**  Traffic growth will massively outstrip CO2 cuts from 'greener fuels' and more efficient engines [4]
**  Since 1997, the real cost of motoring has plummeted by 9 per cent between 1997 and 2005, whilst bus and coach fares increased by 15 per cent. and rail fares increased by 5 per cent.[5]
Road Block also highlighted the roadbuilding programme which is helping take us in the wrong direction.
**  Since 2000 the government has approved £12 billion of roadbuilding [6]
**  The government is currently advertising a £5 billion M25 Widening PFI contract [7]
**  The M1 Widening is currently costed at a total of £3.7 billion [8]
**  The government is considering adding a £2.9 billion M6 Widening contract to the programme [9]
Road Block Coordinator Rebecca Lush said:
"Road Block welcomes Sir Nicholas Stern's report on the catastrophic effects of climate change. Road transport emissions are very important in the fight against climate change.  However the government is leading us in the wrong direction with a £12 billion roadbuilding programme. Cuts in CO2 from 'greener fuels' and more efficient engines will be dwarfed by the amount of traffic growth the government is predicting and providing for with its £12 billion roadbuilding programme.  Roadbuilding fuels climate change"
Road Block called for:
**  Tackling climate change and reducing traffic to be made the central objective of any future road pricing scheme
**  Higher fuel taxes, to at least be kept in line with inflation
**  An end to roadbuilding, and the money invested in public transport and making cycling and walking more attractive
Road Block is a member of I Count - http://www.icount.org.uk/
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Today at 11am, community groups at Luton, Milton Keynes, Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield will be demonstrating by hanging banners over the M1 highlighting the climate and economic consequences of the £3.7 billion widening.  Contact Andrew Wood on 07973 953446
Notes to Editors
[1]  Transport Statistics Great Britain 2005, Table 3.7, DfT October 2005
[2] Transport Statistics Great Britain 2005, Table 3.7, DfT October 2005
[3] Future of Transport White Paper Assumptions, revealed via Freedom of Information, March 2005
[4]   Climate Change Programme 2006, Section 2, page 63, Defra, 2006. 
[5] Written Answer by Dr Stephen Ladyman MP on 4 May 2006
[6] Costs of approved schemes were provided in a Written Answer to Chris Grayling MP on 24 May 2006.  The TPI programme costs £10,323 million, the LTP programme costs £1,703 million, and the CIF programme costs £81.96 million = £12.108 billion
Tables showing the costs can be seen here
[7] Highways Agency press release, 13 October 2006
[8] Written Answer to Chris Grayling MP on 24 May 2006. 
Tables showing the costs can be seen here

[9]  Written Statement to Parliament by Roads Minister, Stephen Ladyman, 20 July 2006
Road Block
020 7729 6973 / 07854 693067