More: Tony Bosworth: 0113 389 9958/ 07941 176 642 Friends of the Earth Press Office: 020 7566 1649
Friends of the Earth today urged the Government to do more to promote road-pricing as a way to tackle climate change and cut congestion.
Carbon dioxide emissions have risen by nearly seven per cent under Labour, while the cost of motoring fell by over eight per cent in real terms between 1997 and 2005. Over the same period, bus and train prices rose.
Tony Bosworth, Friends of the Earth's Senior Transport Campaigner, said:
"Road pricing is not a magic bullet solution to Britain's transport problems, but it is part of the answer. The biggest transport problem we face is not congestion, it is climate change. Emissions from transport are growing and tough action is urgently needed to tackle them. Road pricing should be part of a package of measures to tackle climate change and congestion, alongside increased investment in public transport, safer streets for cycling and walking and better land-use planning. These measures are needed now. We cannot wait for the planned introduction of national road pricing in a decade before we give people better alternatives to car use."
"The Government must make the case for road pricing's role in tackling congestion and climate change. Without road-pricing traffic levels will rise, congestion will get worse, and transport's contribution to climate change will continue to grow."
"Opponents of road pricing should explain what they would do instead. Building roads and widening motorways is not the answer. It has been tried before and has failed. We need sustainable solutions to the transport challenges of the 21st century. "
Friends of the Earth is campaigning for the Government to ensure that its proposed climate change law cuts UK carbon dioxide emissions by at least three per cent each year. The call for a new law has been led by Friends of the Earth through The Big Ask climate campaign, www.thebigask.com
1. Carbon dioxide emissions from road transport have risen by nearly seven per cent since 1990 and currently account for over 21% of total UK emissions. They are forecast to rise by a further 18% between 2005 and 2020, when they will represent over 26% of total UK emissions.
The cost of motoring has fallen in real terms by over eight per cent under Labour, while the cost of public transport has risen: bus fares by 14% and rail fares by five per cent.
Nearly a quarter of all car journeys are less than two miles long.