London, 20 May 1999.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

All Party Commons Group Targets Drivers With Yet More New Taxes
Anti-Car MPs To Make Driving Exclusively For The Rich
The Association of British Drivers has discovered that an all-party Commons select committee is calling for even more new and increased taxes on drivers to price them off the road.

Their report, called "The Ninth Report - Integrated Transport White Paper" demands more and faster action in implementing the anti car measures proposed in the White Paper - measures that the Government's spin doctors are beginning to realise are responsible for a groundswell of disquiet from the British people before they have even been implemented.

The 17 member Commons Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Select Committee has recommended that drivers should be:

Additionally, the report demands the following measures be taken to obstruct drivers whilst they are using the roads which they have paid for many times over: Mark McArthur-Christie, the Association of British Drivers' Roads and Traffic Spokesman says "The proposals in the Committee's report amount to taxing mobility. We have already seen proposals for workplace parking tax, taxes for owning cars in towns and driving in towns. All these new taxes are wholly unnecessary.They are also admitting that "reallocating road space" is about making car use unpleasant as much as boosting alternatives."

The ABD goes on to point out that the Government already takes £32 billion a year in taxes from drivers - around £1,300 from the average car user - yet spends less than £520 million on directly providing public transport.

Coming hard on the heels of an Audit Commission report that slams public transport as "expensive, unreliable and inconvenient", the Committee's proposed new taxes seem cynical in the least; designed to generate maximum revenue and reduce the mobility of thousands of people who already struggle to afford their cars.

McArthur-Christie continues "As ever, it is the poorest in society who will suffer - the pensioner who needs her car but struggles to afford the £1,300 tax burden to run it, the family on a low income, the people on low-waged jobs who have to commute by car. It is time the Government realised that cars are an essential part of a truly integrated transport policy and that these new taxes are not pro-environment or pro-public transport they are simply anti-driver. "

The members of Parliament responsible for this disgraceful and unprecedented attack on the freedom of movement, prosperity and quality of life of the citizens of this country are listed below - the ABD has no hesitation in naming and shaming them:

Members of Parliament sitting on the DETR Select Committee

Bennett, Mr. Andrew F.Denton & ReddishLabour
Brake, Mr. TomCarshalton & WallingtonLib Dem
Butler, ChristineCastle PointLabour
Cummings, Mr. JohnEasingtonLabour
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.Cunninghame SouthLabour
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth Crewe & Nantwich Labour
Ellman, Mrs. LouiseLiverpool RiversideLabour
Forsythe, Mr. CliffordSouth AntrimUlster Unionist
Gorman, Mrs. TeresaBillericay Conservative
Gray, Mr. JamesNorth WiltshireConservative
Laing, Mrs. EleanorEpping ForestConservative
O'Brien, Mr. BillNormantonLabour
Olner, Mr. BillNuneatonLabour
Randall, Mr. JohnUxbridgeConservative
Stevenson, Mr. GeorgeStoke on Trent SouthLabour
Stringer, Mr. GrahamManchester BlackleyLabour
Whitehead, Dr. AlanSouthampton TestLabour

The ABD challenges each and every one of them to justify their support for these proposals to their own constituents and to the nation as a whole, or to declare their opposition to them publicly.

The Conservative members of this committee have failed to act as an effective opposition - only voicing opposition to the proposal to introduce parking levies on out of town retail outlets and refusing to divide the committee, claiming that there is much of "great value" in this disgraceful report. They more than anybody need to wake up and listen to the people rather than anti car pressure groups with their hidden socialist agendas.


Notes for Editors