In the last week before the election I want to offer some of the reasons why I think a Green vote is a positive vote for the future…
Transport is such a vital issue… it’s how we get to work, see family and friends as well as how everything we buy gets to us. Traffic jams, train delays and sky-high costs at the pump or for a rail ticket all get us worked up.
Moving stuff and people around is vital, but carbon emissions from transport are also a major concern. While other the sectors’ emissions declined 9.5% across the EU, transport emissions grew a huge 32% between 1990 and 2005.
The right transport policies can create jobs, reduce pollution and save people money. Currently the car all too often seems the quickest, cheapest and easiest option for people’s journeys. Cars, whether running on petrol or batteries, will be with us for as long as I can imagine. But the mix has to change from car dominance to occasional use.
To make transport affordable and accessible to as many people as possible the Green Party proposes:
Investing £3 billion to buy 30,000 new buses, create 70,000 jobs and spend £2bn more to subsidise fares and create new routes.
Spending £2bn on a railway system brought into public ownership with new track, new trains and also urban tram schemes. This would created 20,000 jobs. We would also spend £3bn to bring rail fares down to be in line with the European average – not the 50% higher than European fares we currently suffer.
We would oppose new airport runways or major road building schemes. We would support changes to taxation so that airline tickets were no longer unfairly subsidised (by being tax-free) compared to other forms of transport.
We would introduce a core UK rail freight network and would introduce road use charges for lorries in Britain, as has been done elsewhere in the EU. This would cover the true costs of road-based freight and move it back to the rail network.
These are just some of our key policies on transport. We have detailed proposals covering all aspects of transport from rail networks, car emissions and noise to international shipping. You can read more about them on the Green Party website.