Green Manifesto 2010 Transport
Promoting safety and sustainability
The emphasis in transport policy should be upon improving access to local facilities and everyday transport. We would prioritise transport modes according to the following hierarchy:
1. Walking and cycling
2. Public transport (trains, trams and buses) and rail freight
4. Heavy goods vehicles
5. Flying To encourage walking and cycling for shorter journeys and improve road safety we would:
• Reduce speed limits (e.g. to 20mph in built-up areas, including villages).
• Make streets safe; make them public spaces again. Plan for mixed-use developments where shops, housing and businesses are closely located and connected by pavements and cycleways.
• Introduce a maximum speed limit of 55mph on motorways and trunk roads, and 40mph on rural roads, to make them safer for all road users.
• Introduce schemes such as Home Zones, Safe Routes to School and pedestrianisation.
• Ensure that at least 10% of transport spending is on securing a shift to more active travel like walking and cycling.
• Reallocate the £30 billion the Government has earmarked for road-building over the next 10 years. Spend the money on a programme of investment in public transport over the Parliament.
• Provide affordable, cheaper local transport that is accessible to those with disabilities by investing in buses and subsidising some routes. Make public transport public.
• Reregulate bus services nationally.
• Assist businesses with green workplace travel plans.
• Give higher priority to railways and plan for a growing railway network.
• Open additional stations on existing routes.
• Invest in new Light Rapid Transit systems (using appropriate technologies).
• Simplify fares for all public transport,
with discounted fares for off-peak journeys and for those with low incomes.
• Support free local transport for pensioners.
• Return the railways, tube system and other light railway systems, including both track and operations, to public ownership.
• Support in principle a new north–south high-speed line, which would reduce the number of short-haul flights within the UK.
We would make the cost of private cars more effectively mirror their environmental cost to wider society:
• Abolish car tax and replace it with a purchase tax on new cars that reflects their emissions. That way we would affect the types of car chosen at the time that matters, when they are bought new.
• Prioritise public transport, then if necessary work towards the introduction of road pricing schemes like the London congestion charge.
Investing in public transport
Expansion of public transport (and walking and cycling) is critically important to decarbonising our transport infrastructure, which is the only sector in which climate-altering carbon emissions are currently growing.
We would divert money currently being wasted on huge road projects and put more of the UK’s transport budget into public transport, and especially into local schemes for walking, cycling and bus travel.
We would spend £1.5 billion subsidising existing public transport to make fares up to 10% cheaper, and £30 billion over the Parliament on investing in a better system. This will have the effect of strengthening communities, promoting a greater appreciation of place, reducing crime, improving the health of the population and reducing traffic fatalities.
It would also create 160,000 jobs.
The new investment in public transport should itself be in low-carbon technologies as far as possible.
We would reduce heavy freight and shift it from the roads to the railways:
• Reduce the demand for freight transport by localising the economy.
• Expand the rail freight network and make greater use of waterways, where suitable.
• Safeguard land adjacent to railways for use in freight distribution projects.
• Introduce road user tolls for heavy lorries.
Lewisham candidate Darren Johnson leads Lewisham Green councillors in local action on climate change
At every opportunity Lewisham Green councillors have pushed for decisive action in tackling climate change and put forward practical solutions to help local residents play their part. Green councillors won a series of concessions in the Council budget-setting, including:
• More money for sustainable transport officers to promote cycling and walking and carry out cycle training in schools.
• Cash for a bid to be the first London borough to run a street-by-street energy reduction scheme.
• Smart meters on loan through libraries.
• Solar panels fitted in local primary schools. As an MP Darren could extend his work to the national scene.
We would reduce air travel:
• Introduce taxation on aviation that reflects its full environmental costs. Failure to tax aviation fuel, and choosing not to levy VAT on tickets and aircraft, amounts to a subsidy worth around £10bn every year in the UK alone.
• Stop airport expansion and shift shorter air journeys to the railways (45% of all air trips in the EU are under 500Km) .
• Ban night flying.
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