Pickles and Hammond to end the war on motorists
This has got me shouting at my monitor in disbelief.
Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said:
“This is a key step in ending the war on the motorist. For years politicians peddled the pessimistic, outdated attitude that they could only cut carbon emissions by forcing people out of their cars.
“But this Government recognises that cars are a lifeline for many people - and that by supporting the next generation of electric and ultra-low emission vehicles, it can enable sustainable green motoring to be a long-term part of Britain’s future transport planning.”
Hammond is of course talking about these uncongestable, “ultra-low emission” electric cars that he’s subsidising to the tune of £5,000 each. With 76% of UK electricity generated from coal & gas, and 15% from nuclear, and then the transmission & motor efficiency losses for electric cars, to call them “ultra-low emission” is either a masterful piece of greenwash or a sign of such crashing stupidity that it leaves me deeply saddened for the state of British politics.
Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said:
“Whitehall’s addiction to micromanagement has created a parking nightmare with stressed-out drivers running a gauntlet of unfair fines, soaring charges and a total lack of residential parking. The result is our pavements and verges crammed with cars on curbs endangering drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, increased public resentment of over- zealous parking wardens and escalating charges and fines.”
What Pickles simply fails to grasp is that the reason this policy failed was that no-one bothered to use a carrot to go with the stick. If the aim is to reduce the number of cars, then you must provide an alternative. Things like decent, direct cycle routes & cycle parking; reliable low-cost public transport; traffic-free, pedestrian-friendly town centres; and putting the squeeze on out-of-town shopping megastores that make having a car seem such a necessity.
How long do we have to wait ’till the next election? Can we really wait that long? Is it time for direct action . . . pushing beyond mere peaceful protest . . . and show them what a war on the motorist would really look like*?
*Note to MI5, anti-terror squad, the CIA, etc: I Am Spartacus.