'Company cars are a fairly emotive subject and there is a need for a grown-up debate on car use. However, the Government is not anti-car. We have to start somewhere to curb car use, but we know people won't switch unless there is an alternative.'
In a step-by-step defence of the Government's proposals, he countered fears over rail safety which might deter passengers, pointing out that the equivalent of three Paddington rail crashes had occurred on the roads since that disaster, without any comment from the public. He added: 'We have to start from here and make use of alternative transport work. Only by marrying roads and alternative transport are we going to combat the growing numbers of vehicles on our roads.'