Fleet News

Groups hit back at Choke campaign

MOTORING groups and fleet organisations have hit back at a new campaign which has fixed the blame for increasing pollution firmly with the car. The fifth annual Don't Choke Britain campaign, run by the Local Government Association, is pushing to get people out of their cars and on to public transport.

Launching the initiative, comedian Ben Elton linked cars to massive numbers of people dying from air pollution. At the launch, transport minister Gavin Strang said: 'The Government is committed to providing travellers with a real alternative to the car. We want to see less pollution and congestion on our roads.'

But the AA has hit back on behalf of clean car owners, including the fleet industry, with proof that toxic emissions from vehicles have plunged by 30% since 1992 and have fallen 5% in the past year, despite traffic growth. The figures, produced for the AA by the National Environment Technology Centre, also show that older vehicles, including heavy diesel vehicles, such as buses and lorries, cause air quality problems out of proportion to their relatively small numbers.

Christopher Macgowan, chief executive of the Retail Motor Industry Federation, said: 'Modern cars are clean and efficient and the industry is locked into a tough programme of continuous development. 'The old argument that cars are bad news is now increasingly seen to be sterile and simplistic.'

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