Friday, 25 November 2011

Why the RAC is wrong on roads

The RAC is predicting 4 million more cars on roads by 2035. They want more road capacity despite other pressing needs. Stuart Jeffery, Chair of Kent Green Party, condemns any idea of accommodating to this potential increase in traffic and congestion:
“The RAC has suggested that the country should surrender to the threat of 4 million more cars on our roads by 2035. They propose adding to road capacity, including allowing the environmentally damaging and ‘temporary fix’ A21 dualling proposal to go ahead(1). This would be madness.
“Today, our County Council has £40 million this year to repair potholes in Kent’s roads that will take £250 million to fix. No addition to road capacity outside urban traffic congestion areas is going to relieve congestion in Kent’s town centres. We must introduce a national congestion charging scheme to prevent traffic gridlock in Kent from getting any worse. This would: cut air pollution which our Government is to be prosecuted for, since it is breaking European air pollution laws to which is has agreed; it would cut greenhouse gas emissions which are currently increasing in the UK instead of declining (1) and it would generate funds for better bus services as the congestion charge has done in London.
“For improved public health, and reducing pressure on the NHS, we need radical improvements to walking and cycling networks in Kent and Medway. Since between a third and a half of all urban car journeys are less than 2 miles long, able-bodied people could walk or cycle such distances.”
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FURTHER INFORMATION: Stuart Jeffery, Chair of Kent Green Party, on 0797 0436 029. Contact address as above. Published by Kent Green Party and promoted by H.Dawe both at 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF. KENT GREEN NEWS, Kent Green Party’s free monthly ezine, is available from www.kentgreenparty.org
Notes:
1. The dualling of the A21 would only prevent traffic congestion on the A21 for about 4 years, after which predicted rises in traffic will make it congested once again. Kent Green Party also condemns any suggestion of another Thames Crossing as a waste of £1 billion when congestion charging could make such spending unnecessary.
2. The Department for Energy and Climate Change has admitted that greenhouse gas emissions in the UK were 2.8% higher in 2010 than in 2009: http://www.clickgreen.org.uk/news/national-news/122101-uks-greenhouse-gas-emissions-on-the-increase.html

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