UK rejects EU call for city centre ban on cars

13.18 | 29 March 2011 | | 2 comments

The UK has rejected proposals from the EU which call for a ban on petrol and diesel cars from city centres by 2050, reports BBC News.

Outlining plans for a ‘Single European Transport Area’, the European Commission said there needed to be a ‘profound shift’ in travel patterns, and phasing out ‘conventionally fuelled’ cars from urban areas would cut reliance on oil and help cut carbon emissions from transport by 60% by 2050.

But Norman Baker, UK transport minister, said the Commission should not be ‘involved’ in individual cities’ transport choices, adding: "We will not be banning cars from city centres anymore than we will be having rectangular bananas."

As part of the plans, the Commission also wants half of ‘middle distance journeys’ between cities – above approximately 186 miles – to shift from road to rail.

Siim Kallas, EC transport commissioner, said these moves need not inconvenience people: “Freedom to travel is a basic right for our citizens. Curbing mobility is not an option. Nor is business as usual.

"The widely-held belief that you need to cut mobility to fight climate change is simply not true. We can break the transport system’s dependence on oil without sacrificing its efficiency and compromising mobility."

Announcing a series of ‘challenging’ targets, Mr Kallas said there should be a 50% reduction in conventionally-fuelled cars in city centres by 2030, disappearing altogether 20 years later. The Commission also hopes to ‘move close’ to eliminating deaths by road accidents by 2050, halving current fatality rates by 2020.

Norman Baker concluded: "It is right that the EU sets high-level targets for carbon reduction, however it is not right for them to get involved in how this is delivered in individual cities.

“We are committed to decarbonising road transport by, for example, investing more than £400m over the next four years to support electric vehicles and promoting alternatives to car travel like walking and cycling."

Click here to read the full BBC News report.


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    Pictured, is The Strand, London WC2. The few vehicles visible are public service vehicles. Such congestion and air polluting vehicles must surely be dealt with.

    Remove the vehicles from the streets, and you have a shopping mall/business centre with no traders, as there will be no public. The EU and its carbon emission targets are hogwash, have little if anything to do with road safety, and carbon is a basic element that all plants, birds and mammals are comprised of. That which is emitted into the air is of a benefit to those plants, as it increases growth, which in turn increases oxygen production and carbon absorption. The ‘Carbon Con’ is becoming indoctrinated into generations, to suit the tax scams.

    I have just come back from a ride around Old Hatfield, a prettier little townscape you could not imagine – but dead, by-passed, a dormitory for the lovers of picturesque. No more associated with road safety than the EU is associated with the welfare and benefit of Nation States. All it craves is its own – one big one – in which individuality is forbidden.

    Derek, St Albans
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Laaaard, give me strength.

    Katja, Newcastle
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