|London, 15 November 1997.
For immediate release.
... insists that road transport and the motor car have a major place in any truly integrated transport policy
The Association of British Drivers has replied to the government's Integrated Transport Policy discussion document with a detailed, point-by-point response bringing realism, common sense and practicality into the ring. Whilst the government's document seems to be a front for the promotion of mass transit systems (for ideological reasons and to satisfy Labour's client groups), the ABD mounts a robust defence of road transport and the private car.
This document is particularly important because the government and the proponents of the "Integrated Transport Policy" are known to be actively anti-car and opposed to the freedom it brings. They are determined to remove that freedom - by restrictions and pricing - for barely concealed political reasons, in spite of the fact that some 68% of households have the use of, and are often dependent upon, private cars.
The ABD comments forcefully, with facts and figures to support their arguments, on the important issues raised in the discussion document, including:
Pollution attributable to cars is low and falling and gives no cause for restrictions on health grounds. By 2010, emissions of the four main exhaust pollutants will have fallen by 67% - 81% compared with their 1990 levels. If there is any cause for concern it is the level of particulates emitted by buses and other diesel-engined vehicles.
Whilst some congestion will always occur at busy times and places, the excessive congestion experienced on many roads which has such an adverse impact on business and family life is almost entirely due to the gross and negligent under-investment in our transport infrastructure by successive governments. The UK, for example, has 3200km of motorway compared with 8000km in France to serve a population of similar size.
Earlier forecasts have recently been drastically down-graded, indicating that those originally responsible were either deliberately scare-mongering or were just plain wrong, as the ABD has said repeatedly. This clearly discredits the forecasts which are being used as an excuse to propose draconian anti-car measures.
These issues and many others are covered in detail in the ABD's 13-page document, showing that there is no excuse for the drastic restrictions and further taxation on motorists likely to be the outcome if the Integrated Transport Policy is implemented as proposed.Julian Rowden, principal author of the ABD's response said,
"It is important to note that while many of the proponents of the Integrated Transport Policy are actively anti-car, the ABD is not anti-bus, anti-bike or anti-train. The ABD would welcome the availability of clean, safe mass transit systems. Genuine improvements for cyclists, rather than the tokenist pavement-painting exercises, would also be welcome.
"However, there is no doubt that the motor car is not only the preferable means of transport for many journeys, it is often the best and sometimes the only means of transport. Not even unlimited resources thrown into mass transit systems would change this fact."
If Gavin Strang and his "experts" ignore this they will not only strike a blow against the liberty and mobility of individual citizens, they will imperil the nation's economy.
You can read The ABD's Response to the UK Government's