24 June 2021
Reacting to the Climate Change Committee's annual assessment of UK progress in reducing emissions, Silviya Barrett, Head of Policy at Campaign for Better Transport, said:
"Government rhetoric, while welcome, is not enough: the report makes clear the need for swift, bold action to decarbonise transport.
"Public transport will be vital to this. The Government should hold its nerve, continuing to support public transport as we emerge from the pandemic to avoid devastating cuts. Messaging will be vital to encourage people back on board, but price pays a crucial role too: the increasing price advantage of driving over taking the bus or train is a scandal and must be reversed."
"We welcome the recommendation that road building which will lead to increases in carbon emissions should not go ahead. But overall traffic reduction will also be needed. If we are to meet Net Zero targets we can vacillate no longer: the Government must publish its Transport Decarbonisation Plan and put it into action as a matter of urgency."
On transport taxation, Silviya Barrett said:
"Vehicle taxation is a key tool of accelerating the transition to zero emission vehicles in a fair way and adjusting the pricing signals towards public transport. The Treasury should look to replace fuel duty and Vehicle Excise Duty with a new road use charge that varies by distance travelled, time of day, and how polluting the vehicle is. The revenue raised by this charge should be used to fund maintenance and renewals of the road network, along with investment in public transport."
On the role of local authorities, Silviya Barrett said:
"We welcome the recognition that local authorities need the right resources - including funding, guidance, and support with capability building - to enable them to play a full role in reducing emissions. More ambitious and binding local targets are also needed to jolt some local authorities out of unhelpfully car-centred thinking."
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Notes to Editors
Read the Climate Change Committee's 2021 Progress Report to Parliament.
Campaign for Better Transport operates in England and Wales. Campaign for Better Transport's vision is for all communities to have access to high quality, sustainable transport that meets their needs, improves quality of life and protects the environment. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).