We are rebelling against the Government’s Road Building Programme (RIS2 and all other new roads). And the Government’s prioritisation of private vehicles over public transport and active travel investment. Transport is the UK’s largest emitting carbon sector accounting for a third of total UK emissions. It is the only sector where emissions have increased rather than fallen since 1990.
Transport decarbonisation will not be achieved by the current strategy of building more roads and assuming all can have an electric vehicle (EV). Although we need to replace fossil fuel cars with electric ones, even with the most optimistic uptake of EVs the vast majority of mileage over the next ten years will be by fossil fuelled vehicles. Many people cannot afford EVs and simply switching from petrol/diesel cars to EVs is also not desirable for a whole host of other environmental reasons. To meet the fourth, fifth (and possibly sixth) carbon budgets, it will be necessary both to achieve an earlier transition to electric vehicles and to reduce miles driven.
Carbon emissions from building new roads and their subsequent use is not properly accounted for and the environmental impacts are enormous. Producing and leasing more privately owned cars, many of which are SUVs, is not compatible with a safe future. The assumption that everyone can switch to private electric vehicles bakes in more material extraction, destruction of nature and embedded carbon from the production of those vehicles. We want the Government to flip their funding from road building to investment in active travel and public transport.
Our demands are:
Tell the truth about the impacts of new road building and car manufacturing
Act Now to halt the new road building programme and invest instead in a green, integrated public and active transport system, in all areas
Enact regional Citizen’s Assemblies on transport.
1. Cancel all new road building and set targets for reduced car use
2. Make town and city centres car free by 2025
3. Make sustainable travel alternatives more convenient, comprehensive and less costly than car travel
4. Reduce default traffic speeds (20 mph urban, 60 mph motorway)
5. Stop the sale of the most polluting cars and all car advertising immediately
6. Stop building car dependent housing on all sites