Greenwashing of roads ramps up ahead of budget

Transport Action Network [1] believes that the Government’s announcement of £30 million for projects to reduce road construction emissions [2] is a distraction from the Government’s failure to stop making things worse by building more roads. While all efforts to reduce carbon emissions are welcome, the Government continues to ignore the fact that most roads increase traffic and congestion longer term. This causes significant user emissions which would be best addressed by not building bigger roads [3].

Chris Todd, Director of Transport Action Network, said:

“If the Government put as much energy into tackling carbon emissions from transport as it does into spin, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in. Emissions from domestic transport have barely fallen since 1990 and it’s now the largest emitting sector in the UK.

“This is a blatant attempt by the Government to rehabilitate road building as a carbon neutral activity. It’s pure greenwashing, aimed to provide cover for some highly damaging and hugely expensive road schemes ahead of the budget. Roads such as the Lower Thames Crossing, the A66 and the A303 at Stonehenge make no sense economically, or environmentally. They should be scrapped if the Government is serious about tackling climate change. It needs to stop making things worse. It needs to stop building new roads.”

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Notes to Editors:

[1] Transport Action Network was established to support local communities press for more sustainable transport in England and Wales. This involves fighting cuts to bus services, particularly in rural areas, and opposing damaging road schemes and large unsustainable developments.

[2] Press release from the Department of Transport: £30 million Government funding for innovative projects to decarbonise UK highways

[3] Road user emissions are a far greater issue for new roads than construction emissions as can be seen from this table of road carbon emissions taken from National Highways data.


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