A step in the right direction, but still further to go
PRESS RELEASE ISSUED WEDNESDAY 6 DECEMBER 2006 FOR IMMEDIATE USE
Reacting to the pre-budget report, the pressure group TRANSPORT 2000 welcomed increases in duties on petrol and flying, but called for renewed investment in alternatives. It also condemned the absence of any measure to encourage more fuel-efficient vehicles.
Jason Torrance, Transport 2000 Campaigns Director, said, “We welcome the Chancellor’s move to double air passenger duties. This goes a little way toward bringing the real cost of air travel in line with other modes of transport. However, there is still a long way to go before the aviation industry pays its full costs in terms of carbon emissions and climate change, as recommended by the Stern and Eddington reports.”
“We also want the Government to make a firm commitment to spending the almost £1 billion that will be raised by this increase in air passenger duty on investment in more sustainable forms of transport such as buses, trams and trains, and travel choice programmes such as cycling and workplace travel plans, so that people have real and affordable choices in how they travel.”
On motoring, Torrance applauded the increase in fuel duty but insisted it’s not enough to bring the true cost of motoring up to realistic levels. “Since 2000 when fuel duty was first frozen, the real cost of motoring has fallen while public transport fares have continued to rise. The Government’s proposed increase in petrol duty of 1.25p/litre will start to tackle this, but there is much further to go.”
But Transport 2000 criticised the Chancellor for doing nothing to promote fuel efficient cars. Torrance said: “The European voluntary agreement has failed to cut car pollution. The Chancellor should have increased taxes on gas guzzlers such as the big 4x4s and cut them for low emission vehicles. Without these measures, our car manufacturing will be vulnerable to competition from Japan and China, as in the US.