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Roads to Nowhere

Road to Zero plans a ‘major disappointment’ and ‘a step backwards’

9 July 2018

Campaign for Better Transport has today welcomed the Government's long awaited Road to Zero Report, which includes plans to increase electric vehicle charging points, but condemned the slow action in cutting emissions as ‘disappointing’.

Bridget Fox, sustainable transport campaigner at Campaign for Better Transport, said: "While the commitment to invest in and promote electric charging points is welcome, overall the strategy fails to match the urgency of the situation. This means another generation will pass before we have real action on cutting harmful CO2 emissions and cleaning up deadly vehicle pollution. Interim 2030 targets for zero emission cars and vans are a small step forward, but not good enough. We need action now: ending all sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 is the latest that should be acceptable, bearing in mind that cars will stay on the road long after purchase.

"Overall this strategy is a step backwards, giving concessions to keeping hybrids on the road which will water down the already inadequate 2040 target. The confusion over the future of hybrids combined with the lack of clear transitional arrangements means industry and consumers still lack the certainty needed to kick-start the switch to electric.

"The strategy also lets the freight sector off the hook - a voluntary target of 15 per cent cut in CO2 by 2025 is not nearly good enough. Road freight accounts for a fifth of transport carbon emissions, even though it only makes up five per cent of road mileage. Without an overall freight strategy that includes stretching and mandatory targets, there is a risk that rail freight, the safer, cleaner low-carbon option, will be hobbled by the ban on diesel-only locomotives and the halting of electrification, while little is done to cut the larger emissions from heavy goods vehicles.

"We also still need a comprehensive approach to cutting road traffic, and promoting walking cycling and public transport, to provide a sustainable future for people, places and the planet."

ENDS

For further information please contact the press office on 07984 773 468 or communications@bettertransport.org.uk

Notes to Editors

  1. Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).