REGIONAL TRANSPORT FUNDING MAKING CLIMATE CHANGE WORSE [Media release]
...Green Party Councillors back CPRE report
Green Party Councillors in Eastern Region are backing a CPRE report (1) released earlier today which shows that the majority of regional transport funding is going on roads, and will be for years to come, and that road traffic levels have risen sharply over the last 2 decades.
Although it is not possible to separate out entirely the different types of transport funded in each region, CPRE have estimated the Eastern Region proportion spent on roads at 60%.
In the period 1993 to 2007, traffic (measured as million vehicle kilometers) rose by 29% over the six counties of Eastern Region, the equal second highest rise in England and with only the East Midlands being higher.
Figures from the Government (DEFRA) reveal that increasing greenhouse gas emissions from transport are cancelling out reductions in other sectors. Ministers claim that the UK can meet ambitious targets for reducing emissions yet since Labour came to power in 1997, UK carbon dioxide emissions have barely changed.
Cllr. Rupert Read, Norwich City Councillor and Lead candidate for the European Elections said
"The CPRE are absolutely right to highlight the fact that regional transport funding amounts to "road building as usual". Policy has not changed and Labour is throwing loads of money at outdated road-building schemes that are not giving people transport choices but are damaging the planet. That's why we in the Green Party have consistently called for a 'Green New Deal', investing to improve public transport - and cutting destructive road schemes."
Cllr. John Matthissen, Mid-Suffolk Councillor said
"It is incomprehensible that Eastern Regional Assembly members are endorsing plans to carry on spending on road schemes when they have been advised by the Stern Report that we must invest in cutting CO2 emissions, and by leading scientists that preparations should be under way to adapt our economy to diminishing petrol supplies as the oil runs out."
Cllr. James Abbott, Braintree District Councillor said
"Behind the green rhetoric of the authorities lies the truth - that it is business as usual - bigger airports and more roads, both of which are sucking taxpayers money away from sustainable development and at the same time leading to increased greenhouse gas emissions. In Essex, the latest price tag for a stretch of the A120 between Braintree and the A12 is approaching half a £ billion. Instead of looking at ways to make the existing road safer and relieve local villages, as the Greens have proposed, the regional planners, with the support of the other parties, want another gold plated section of Trans European Highway through open countryside. Meanwhile, long standing and widely supported proposals for improving the railways in mid-Essex sit on the shelf through lack of funding."