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Welcome for green taxes but real travel choices needed

21 March 2007
Transport 2000 [1] said today that the Chancellor's fuel duty increases [2] and new top rate of Vehicle Excise Duty [3] announced in today's budget are steps in the right direction, but great strides are needed to increase peoples travel choices and tackle climate change.

Stephen Joseph, Executive Director of Transport 2000, said: "The Chancellor has taken steps in the direction of tackling climate change, but great strides are needed. The rise in fuel duty is very welcome at a time when in real terms the cost of motoring is falling and the cost of public transport is increasing. However, we want to see the revenues ring fenced for public transport and other measures that will give people real travel choices, in line with the commitment the Chancellor made in the 2000 budget [4]."

Transport accounts for around 26 per cent of the UK’s carbon emissions and aviation is the fastest growing source of emissions. Transport campaigners argue that the UK’s work to bring emissions under control run the risk of being derailed by poor performance in the transport sector.

Notes to editors

1.Transport 2000 is an independent campaigning and research body that represents the key transport interests of around 40 environmental groups, transport organisations and transport unions. We bring together people who seek to reduce the environmental and social effects of transport through encouraging less use of cars, lorries and planes and more use of rail, buses, trams, cycling and walking.

2. An above-inflation rise in fuel duty will see a rise of 2p from today with further rises of 2p in 2008, and 1.8p for 2009

3. The highest emitting vehicles in VED band E will see duty rise to £300, an increase of £90 from the current top level of £210. VED for the least polluting cars in Band A will remain at zero.

4. In his budget speech of 2000, the Chancellor announced that he would, in future, make an annual budget decision on real-term rises in road fuel duties - the money to go to a new ring-fenced fund for roads and public transport.