London, 22 August 1997.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

Time to challenge Friends of the Earth
The ABD offers a balanced and rational analysis of the problems on Britain's roads.
Friends of the Earth have recently released a summary of a report "Unlocking the Gridlock" by Christian Wolmar in response to Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott's launch of a consultation exercise on transport issues.

The ABD believes that this summary is just a restatement of tired, misleading soundbites which FoE use to justify their irrational campaign against the car. ABD Chairman Brian Gregory explains:

"It is outrageous to blame Britain's drivers for congestion on our roads when the real reason is chronic underinvestment of motoring taxes in our transport infrastructure."

"It is equally outrageous that two pages of pseudo scientific waffle can achieve top billing on BBC Radio news, but the Today programme, once renowned for its objectivity, has become little more than Friends of the Earth's press office. Almost every morning, FoE spokesmen are invited on to put their increasingly extreme views without opposition. This is a disgraceful abuse of the licence fee."

The ABD believes the time has come for the arguments of FoE and others to be exposed to the rational challenge that BBC radio is protecting them from. A good place to start is with Christian Wolmar's summary. The ABD's comments on this are available from the numbers shown.

The ABD Roads and Traffic Spokesman comments further:

"The Earth needs friends on so many issues, but FoE's emphasis on opposing the car regardless of whether their arguments make any sense runs the risk of discrediting it on more important issues."

"The ABD would encourage John Prescott to read the Wolmar report. If he has a shred of common sense, he'll be calling the next crab he catches 'Christian'".


Notes for Editors